Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Ministry & Counsel

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The Ministry & Counsel Committee (M&C) is assigned particular responsibility for the nurture of the spiritual life of the meeting. Its purpose is to exercise general care of meetings for worship and foster and support spiritual ministry. It is the practice of Chatham-Summit Monthly Meeting that membership in the Monthly Meeting is required for service on the M&C Committee.

As is the case with a number of larger meetings, at Chatham Summit Monthly Meeting the functions described above are shared with M&C and the Oversight Committee. The former assumes primary responsibility for spiritual ministry and the latter for what might be referred to as secular pastoral functions. There is natural overlap between these responsibilities, so some functions are shared in informal cooperation between the two committees. It is recommended that occasional joint meetings with Oversight be held for considering shared concerns.

Members of M&C should be familiar with the Faith section of our yearly meeting’s Faith and Practice (2001 edition), particularly “Seeking the Spirit.”

The functions of M&C include:

  • Responsibility for conduct of meetings for worship, both regular and special

(e.g., memorial meetings), including sharing the responsibility for the closing of meetings for worship with the clerk and assistant clerk of the Meeting. Meeting for Business is ordinarily conducted by the meeting clerk with the support of M&C.

  • Organizing and conducting some special activities such as threshing sessions,

inspirational meetings and the annual retreat, and providing opportunities for Adult Religious Education such as study and discussion groups, worship sharing, etc.

  • Periodic reading of advices and queries from Faith and Practice.
  • Fostering the spiritual growth of the meeting community and strengthening the corporate worship.
  • Ministering spiritually to members and attenders as appropriate, and appointing committees of clearness at the request of a member or group of members (see Faith and Practice for more specific guidance).
  • Reviewing annually the spiritual condition of the meeting and its membership,

and preparing the State of the Meeting report for the meeting to consider at its February meeting for worship with a concern for business. Suggested queries for preparing this report usually come from the yearly meeting State of the Society Committee (under Ministry Coordinating Committee) in December.

  • Preparing memorial minutes for deceased members of the meeting. Separate

guidelines for preparing such minutes can be found on the Meeting website.

Functions shared with Oversight include:

  • Greeting at meeting for worship.
  • Organizing and conducting some special activities.
  • Seeing that Friends informational material is made available to members and

attenders, and that interested attenders are aware of these materials.

Chatham-Summit Monthly Meeting >From 1996 Revised 2009