Clerk & Assistant Clerk
The primary role of the clerk of the Chatham Summit Quaker Meeting is to organize and run the business meetings. “The clerk conducts all business sessions, sees that the business is properly presented to the meeting for consideration, and announces decisions when made.” (Faith and Practice, ‘Practice and Procedure’, approved 7/31/98, p. 96). To this end, the clerk sets the agenda and conducts the meeting by seeking the intentions and choices of those present. “The clerk is the servant of the meeting attempting to record the collective will of the business session.” (Ibid., p. 89.)
The clerk builds the agenda by consulting with the various committees as to what reports, issues, and concerns each committee intends to present to the business meeting. Since it is at the committee level that the items of presentation are discussed and established, it is expected that these items have been well considered prior to their presentation. If an item contains too many undeveloped issues, the clerk may suggest its return to the committee for further consideration. If there is an item without committee representation, the clerk may assign it to a committee’s attention.
The clerk should attempt to keep in touch with Trustees as well as the various committees that make up the meeting organization so as to help facilitate and coordinate the activities and projects of the meeting. The clerk may speak for the meeting if business situations require such attention. “The clerk carries out the instructions of the meeting and signs necessary documents on its behalf.” (Ibid., p. 96)
Additionally, the clerk collects and distributes the mail. At the conclusion of the meeting for worship, the clerk welcomes visitors and makes necessary announcements. These tasks, however, may be shared with others in the meeting, such as the assistant clerk and the clerk of ministry and counsel. The clerk should be available to members and attenders, being sensitive to the overall needs of the meeting.
>From 1995 Revised 2010
Assistant Clerk of Meeting Chatham-Summit Monthly Meeting
The Assistant Clerk is an essential member of the Meeting who serves in a leadership position beside the Clerk. As Faith and Practice suggests, both are “servants” of the meeting in conducting the business sessions and recording the “collective will” of the members. In the absence of the clerk, the Assistant Clerk will conduct the meetings for business. The Assistant Clerk may support the Clerk during worship by holding him/her in the light, and may have additional duties as the Clerk may delegate.
It has been the practice of the Meeting that at the end of his/her term the Assistant Clerk assumes the position of the Clerk.
In the area of stewardship, the Assistant Clerk is charged with monitoring and assessing the community’s spiritual, pastoral and financial support, needs and challenges, and obtaining support as needed for committees and committee clerks.
At least twice yearly, the Assistant Clerk convenes a meeting of committee clerks and others to provide an opportunity for them to share their experience and concerns for stewardship of the Meeting. The Assistant Clerk reports any identified concerns to the Clerk and to Meeting as appropriate.