Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

More About Committees

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Why should I participate in a committee?

"Serving on a committee allows Friends to engage in the life of the Meeting. New attenders learn Quaker decision-making process, and all committee members have an opportunity to deepen relationships and to develop their gifts." (PYM F&P 2001)

  • Participation in committees is the gateway to our community.
  • By definition, a committee is a smaller group of people who do things that are harder to accomplish in a larger group.
  • When you are a member of a committee, you have the opportunity to get to know your fellow committee members.
  • Our practice of regularly changing the composition of our committees will provide you with the chance to deepen your relationship with all the members of our community.

Committees apply Quaker process in addressing the matter at hand.

"Committees conduct business in the same manner as a Monthly Meeting, waiting on the Spirit to find direction in their operation and unity in their decisions. They examine designated matters in depth, identify the issues, gather the most useful information, and make seasoned recommendations for decision by the Meeting."  (PYM F&P 2001)

  • Committees are clerked, just as the Meeting is clerked.
  • Discernment and Unity will arise from spirit-led input from committee members, and often includes seasoning.
  • At times, threshing may be part of that process.

Committees have the responsibility to communicate effectively with the rest of the Community.

"In bringing a matter to the Meeting for Business, the committee should supply concise background and a clear description of the response it wants from the Meeting, such as a draft minute." (PYM F&P 2001)

  • Committees may present reports at Business Meeting, but this may not be necessary if a committee does not have a matter to bring to the community.
  • If a committee has been charged with making a recommendation, then a report should be made.
  • Reports might include a description of the process the committee used, as well as the committee’s recommendation and their reason for making it. 
  • It should also include relevant issues considered in reaching that recommendation, as well as what was decided to not recommend.
  • It is often challenging to articulate the process of arriving at a spirit.