The Nominating Committee is a small committee that must be representative of the Meeting and familiar with its members and attenders. It is selected by a small ad hoc committee that nominates individuals to serve overlapping terms on the Nominating Committee. Committee members need to be discerning in judgment and tactful in manner, yet also bold, offering opportunities to younger Friends and those more recently arrived, and encouraging those who may underestimate their own potential for service.
Tasks of this vital committee include:
- Discerning how the gifts of members and attenders may best serve the Meeting.
- Understanding the Meeting’s needs regarding officers, committee membership, and other responsibilities.
- Selecting the best-qualified persons while developing and using the resources of the whole Meeting: the younger and newer as well as the older and more experienced people.
- Paying attention not only to the qualifications needed for each individual appointment but also to the need for a committee to function well together as a whole.
- Being aware that Meeting responsibilities or jobs need to rotate among Friends so that new approaches can be practiced and individuals explore opportunities to develop different gifts. Many gifts are latent. It requires great discernment to know the right moment to ask a particular Friend to undertake or to lay down a particular task.
- Explaining fully to each potential nominee the duration and scope of the appointment for which he or she is invited to accept a nomination; the approach should not be made casually or acceptance taken for granted.
- Recognizing that Nominating committees do not appoint. They bring their nominations to the Meeting for Business to be held over one month for the Meeting’s final approval. During the intervening month, members have the opportunity to express any doubts directly to the Nominating Committee, while recognizing that of God in each person.
- Listening carefully to any concerns from the community about a particular nomination. A member of the Nominating Committee may wish to meet with an objecting member to understand a concern. When the objection demonstrates a lack of unity around that specific nomination, the Nominating Committee should seek a different person to carry out the task. No member should press unduly to have a particular person appointed or not appointed.
- Accepting the limitations of the committee’s work, no matter how devoted. At times it may seem impossible to find someone to serve. Nominating committees should not feel obligated to fill vacancies that remain after the committee has concluded faithful discernment.
- Undertaking delicate tasks with compassion and care. Sometimes, following thoughtful consultation with Overseers, an appointment may need to be ended ahead of schedule or an appointed Friend may request release from service. A particular concern arises when a committee member’s presence on a committee could prevent another person’s access to that committee. In such a case, the committee member should be advised to resign. Nominating committees should not hesitate to bring problems back to the Meeting for guidance and practical help.
- Acknowledging the ebb and flow of the Meeting’s Committee needs. In the course of its work, the Nominating Committee may see cause to consider the laying down of a committee and should report this to Oversight for forwarding to the Meeting for Business.