Practices & Procedures

Approved
November 11, 2007

Contents

Introduction

The purpose of this practices and procedures manual is to assist in the spiritual life and good order of Adelphi Friends Meeting (AFM) of the Religious Society of Friends.  This manual is intended to be a supplement to Faith and Practice (1988) of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting.  Its purpose is to provide details of how Faith and Practice is applied at AFM, as well as areas where our practice differs from the guidelines found in Faith and Practice and where AFM has more detailed policies and procedures than found in Faith and Practice.

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Meeting for Worship

The heart of AFM’s life as a meeting community is Meeting for Worship each First Day (Sunday). Currently, AFM holds Meeting for Worship at 9:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. Child care and First Day School programs are available during the 10:00 A.M. Meeting for Worship.

Meeting for Worship is a time of expectant waiting on the Divine Presence of God. Sometimes the voice of the Spirit is found in silence; other times it comes through the vocal ministry of friends. Vocal ministry should come in response to “Divine breathings” experienced within the Meeting for Worship itself; Friends should guard against speaking in response to other agendas or coming to Meeting prepared to speak.

At AFM, the final 10 minutes or so of Meeting for Worship is set aside for “joys and concerns,” in which we briefly share joys and concerns that the meeting community can hold in the Light. Expressions of joys and concerns should be brief and limited in detail, with silence between these expressions.

At the close of Meeting for Worship is an opportunity for announcements that are of an immediate nature or warrant extraordinary attention. All other announcements should be placed in the written “Silent Announcements” that are available each week. Friends should use Silent Announcements whenever possible to communicate their news, concern, or event.

On days when Meeting for Business for the Conduct of Business (Meeting for Business) follows Meeting for Worship, there are no announcements, and those not able to attend Meeting for Business are asked to leave quietly, preserving the spirit of worship within the meetinghouse for the Meeting for Business which begins immediately following Meeting for Worship.

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Meeting for Business

General

Meeting for Worship for the conduct of Business (Meeting for Business) is held monthly, generally on the second First Day (the second Sunday) of each month following 10:00 A.M Meeting for Worship. Exceptions to the second Sunday
typically include May, July, and in the month that Easter sometimes falls on the second Sunday. In these months Meeting for Business is typically moved to the third Sunday on account of Mother’s Day, Friends General Conference, Annual Sessions of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM), and sometimes Easter. Other changes to the regular schedule may be approved at Meeting for Business.

From time to time, the Clerk or Meeting for Business may call a special Meeting for Business outside the normal schedule (a “Called Meeting for Business”). In scheduling and planning a Called Meeting for Business, the Clerk should give careful consideration to whether the business to be considered at the Called Meeting for Business is well-prepared. Sufficient time should be allowed for the Called Meeting for Business to fully consider the business for which it was called.

Conduct of Meeting for Business

The Clerk will preside at Meeting for Business; in the absence of the Clerk, the Assistant Clerk or the Clerk of Ministry and Worship may preside. The Clerk’s primary responsibilities are to see that the Meeting for Business is conducted in good order and to identify the “sense the meeting” with respect to decisions.

Friends participating in Meeting for Business should be mindful that this meeting is a Meeting for Worship. Care should be taken to leave some space between speakers.

The Recording Clerk takes minutes of the Meeting for Business. The Recording Clerk will not mention names of Friends for purposes of associated with them with statements given in the Meeting for Business unless they are speaking in an official capacity, for example, when reporting for a committee. The minutes should capture the range of opinion which was expressed in the discussion of a topic, along with the approved decision. Minutes of decision should be read back and approved during the Meeting for Business to ensure that they accurately express the sense of the meeting.

[Still to be added: something about how minutes are handled (final approval, publication in newsletter, etc.]

Preparation of Business

As much as possible, business matters coming before Meeting for Business should be carefully “prepared” and “seasoned” in advance. Prior to bringing the matter to the community for consideration, the individual(s) or committee(s) preparing the business should fully consider the matter and its implications for the meeting community, be familiar with past decisions or practice related to the matter, be prepared to recommend or suggest a clear course of action, and involve the Clerk and other officers, individuals and/or committees in advance as appropriate. Meeting for Business should consider the business in a spirit of worship, fully honoring the effort undertaken in advance to prepare the matter. At the same time, individuals and committees bringing prepared business to Meeting for Business should be prepared to “step back,” remaining open to the movement of the Spirit in the Meeting, and confident that the Meeting’s consideration will produce an outcome consistent with Diving leading.

To facilitate individuals and committees in familiarizing themselves with past decisions, searchable minutes of previous Meetings for Business are available online at http://adelphifriends.org. For more details, see “Minutes and Records” section below.

First and Second Readings

Some decisions of Meeting for Business typically require a “first reading” at one Meeting for Business, followed by a “second reading,” or final approval, at a subsequent Meeting for Business. Typically, decisions requiring first and second reading are as follows:

  • Approval of budget (and of the allocation of contributions to Quaker and Community-based organizations)
  • Approval of nominations for service in the meeting
  • Approval of policies

The Meeting for Business may approve certain items at a single Meeting for Business, without the need for a second reading. Such items include:

  • Traveling minutes
  • Building use requests
  • Letters sent in the name of AFM, such as letters generated by Peace and Social Concerns articulating the Meeting’s position on an issue [I’m not sure
    about this one.] [AMM – That sort of thing has been problematic in the past,
    but I still don’t want to insist on two readings when it would hogtie P &SC
    in an effort to respond in a timely way to something that they believe reflects
    the sense of the Meeting. Again, it’s the clerk’s job to slow things down,
    if appropriate.]

The Clerk will exercise care in considering whether a decision requires a first and second reading.

Committees and Meeting for Business

The roles and charges of various committees are described in detail below. This section addresses the role of committees in relation to Meeting for Business.

Certain business items which are brought before Meeting for Business are automatically referred to a committee for consideration. These include:

  • Application for Membership
  • Application for Marriage
  • Requests for funding by Quaker and Community organizations
  • Requests for funding by individuals
  • Items which fall under a committee’s area of responsibilities and have not
    yet been considered by the committee

Meeting for Business may decide to refer other items to a committee as well. In planning the agenda for the Meeting for Business, the Clerk should consider whether to suggest that a particular item be referred to committee. When referring an item to a committee, Meeting for Business should clearly instruct the committee whether, after considering the item, the committee should bring the item back to Meeting for Business for action, or whether the committee can and should take such action as it deems appropriate. In the latter case, Meeting for Business should be clear whether it expects the committee to report back to Meeting for Business on the action taken. These instructions should be included in the minutes.

Committees also bring items before Meeting for Business. Standing committees should report to the Meeting for Business when concerns require, and should provide an annual report either to Meeting for Business or in the newsletter. In order to assist the Clerk in preparing a Meeting for Business agenda, committees should notify the Clerk of the need to report at the next Meeting for Business at least one week prior to the Meeting. The Clerk may ask a committee to postpone its report if the agenda is filled.

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Membership

Most activities of the Meeting are open to members and attenders. An attender is a person who frequently attends Meeting for Worship and other activities of the Meeting but is not a member of the Religious Society of Friends and/or Adelphi Friends Meeting (AFM). As an individual becomes more familiar with the Meeting and involved in its activities, he/she may wish to consider requesting membership in AFM and, through it, in the Religious Society or Friends, or transferring membership to AFM from another meeting.

Attenders considering membership should read the section on membership in Faith and Practice of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and other materials on Quakerism. They should seek to discern whether they are ready to support AFM with their presence and resources, participate in the life of the Meeting, and strive to live in keeping with Friends’ testimonies and practices. An applicant for membership should address his/her application letter to the Meeting through the Clerk of AFM. The Clerk will read the application letter at a Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business and refer the request to the Pastoral Care Committee. It is helpful if the applicant can attend that Meeting for Business where the reading of the application letter occurs, in order to be introduced to the Meeting. The Pastoral Care Committee will appoint a clearness committee to meet with the applicant. The clearness committee will report back to Pastoral Care Committee, and Pastoral Care Committee will report to Meeting for Business. It is helpful if the applicant can attend this Meeting for Business as well. Upon Meeting for Business approval of the membership, Pastoral Care Committee will appoint a committee to formally welcome the new member and ensure that the new member is introduced after Meeting for Worship soon after.

Associate Members

As detailed in Faith and Practice, children may, at the request of parents or guardians who are members, be recorded as associate members. Associate membership generally terminates when the individual reaches the age of 25. Associate members are encouraged to apply for full membership as they mature in understanding of the significance of such membership by writing a letter to the Clerk. It is the responsibility of Pastoral Care Committee to contact young adult associate members on a regular basis to determine their desire to apply for full membership or request that their connection to AFM be terminated.

Transfer of Membership

A member of Adelphi Friends Meeting who desires to transfer membership to another Monthly Meeting or to be dropped from the membership rolls of AFM should address a letter to the Clerk. Meeting for Business will consider this request and decide whether to accept the request or refer the matter to Pastoral Care Committee. In the case of a member who asks to be dropped, the Meeting should be sensitive to the spiritual needs of that member and appoint a member or members to meet with him/her as appropriate.

Inactive Members

If the Meeting feels the need to consider dropping inactive members from its rolls, the Meeting for Business, exercising care and tenderness, may do so upon recommendation of Pastoral Care Committee. Such actions are to be guided by the procedures for inactive members as outlined in Faith and Practice.

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Marriage

Procedures for marriage under the care of the meeting are described in Faith and Practice.  A marriage “under the care of the Meeting” means that the couple has met with a Clearness Committee, this committee has recommended to Meeting for Business that the marriage be approved under the care of the Meeting, and the Meeting has approved that the marriage be under its care.  This is a lengthy process, and a couple should allow at least six months for the process from start to finish. For the marriage to be under the care of the meeting, one person in the couple must have been part of our community for a length of time and be known to the Meeting, but not necessarily a member.

A marriage “in the manner of Friends,” as opposed to “under the care of the meeting,” may be offered if neither member of the couple is a known attender of the Meeting, or if for some other reason the Meeting is not prepared to take the marriage under its care.

Procedure for Marriage Under the Care of the Meeting

The couple sends a letter to Meeting requesting a clearness committee for marriage. The letter is read at Meeting for Business and then passed on to Pastoral Care Committee. Pastoral Care seeks members for the clearness committee. Proposed members can be suggested by the couple as well as by Pastoral Care Committee. All the members of this committee do not need to be members of the Meeting, but all should be familiar with the Clearness process. The Pastoral Care Committee names the clearness committee and places one member of Pastoral Care on it to act as clerk. The clearness committee totals 3-5 people and may expect to meet with the couple for the amount of time needed for clearness. The duties of the clearness committee are as detailed in Faith and Practice.

There are two kinds of clearness involved in the process:

  • Discerning whether the couple themselves are clear that marriage is appropriate
  • Helping the meeting become clear that it can take the marriage under its care. A marriage under the care of the meeting implies and involves a long-term relationship between the couple and the meeting. Because of this long-term relationship, a wide range of issues of present and future import for the marriage may be discussed during the clearness process.

The clearness committee reports back to Pastoral Care Committee, which reports back to Meeting for Business. If the clearness committee finds the couple clear for marriage and recommends that the meeting take the marriage under its care, Meeting for Business will approve taking the marriage under its care. At that point, the couple is asked to name 3-5 members for the Oversight Committee for the wedding. At least one member of Ministry and Worship Committee must be on this committee. Ministry and Worship represents the meeting and as such ensures that the wedding follows good order.

The duties of the oversight committee are as detailed in Faith and Practice. It is the responsibility of the oversight committee to see that the wedding is carried out in good order and “after the manner of Friends”; that legal matters are properly carried out; that a copy of the marriage license and the wedding certificate are given to the Meeting Recorder; and that a report is given to the Meeting for Business following the wedding. It is expected that Marriage Oversight Committees will remain available to the couple throughout the marriage.

In addition to the oversight committee duties described above, many couples find it very helpful and supportive for the oversight committee to play a substantial role in helping to plan the logistics of wedding itself, including any “programmed” aspects of the meeting for worship, anticipating family concerns, how the ceremony should be introduced to non-Quakers in attendance, etc. The oversight committee and couple should clarify early in the planning process what the committee’s role will be.

For weddings under the care of the meeting, the couple is expected to issue an open invitation to the AFM community to attend the meeting for worship for the wedding. The couple may decide whether and how to extend that invitation to the reception. Weddings in the AFM meetinghouse are to be carried out in a dignified and spiritual manner. The meeting does not permit the recording of weddings through photography, including video cameras. Non-Quakers may not understand the reasons for this: a wedding in the manner of Friends is a meeting for worship and as such we sit in expectant waiting for the leadings of God. Recording devices and cameras cannot capture that and are disruptive to this spirit of expectant waiting. Photographs should be planned for either before or after the wedding meeting for worship itself.

For state recognition of a marriage under the care of the meeting, a couple comprising a man and a woman will obtain a marriage license in the county in which the wedding is being held (e.g., Prince George’s County if the wedding is being held at AFM). At the conclusion of the wedding, an “authorized official” of AFM will sign the marriage license on behalf of the meeting. This would typically be the Clerk if the Clerk is present at the marriage; otherwise, it should be the clerk of Ministry and Worship Committee or the clerk of the oversight committee for the marriage. If neither member of the couple is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, a member of the clergy must present at the wedding to sign the license, to satisfy the legal requirements of the state of Maryland.

As of this writing, Maryland does not recognize marriage of couples comprising two persons of the same gender. As part of the clearness and oversight process, the couple is encouraged to make appropriate legal arrangements. AFM’s minute concerning same-gender marriage is attached hereto as Appendix A.

Married couples who were not married under the care of a Friends meeting may request that AFM take their marriage under its care at any time. The couple should write a letter addressed to the Clerk, who will refer the matter to Pastoral Care Committee. Pastoral Care will appoint a clearness committee in the manner described above. With a positive recommendation back to Meeting for Business, a Meeting for Business will approve taking the marriage under its care. If the couple requests a ceremony to celebrate the taking of its marriage under the care of the meeting, an oversight committee would be appointed. If there is no such request, the clearness committee should be available for the ongoing support of this couple.

Marriages from Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative (TPFM-P)

If the couple requesting marriage under the care of the meeting is from a Preparative Meeting (PM) under AFM, the above procedure is followed with the following changes:

  • The letter requesting marriage under the care of the meeting is read at the PM’s Meeting for Business. AFM is invited to appoint one person to participate on the clearness committee.
  • The report of the clearness committee goes simultaneously to AFM’s Pastoral Care Committee and PM’s Ministry and Oversight Committee. Unless the clerk of either communicates a problem by phone to the other after their respective meetings, AFM’s Pastoral Care Committee can forward the recommending concerning marriage under the care of AFM to the next AFM Meeting for Business.
  • After clearness is reached and it is determined that the marriage will occur, the PM will ask AFM’s Ministry and Worship Committee to name one person to serve on the oversight committee. This AFM Friend will serve to ensure “good order” and is therefore temporary and will not become part of the long term support for the marriage.
  • At the conclusion of the wedding, the Clerk of the PM, or another designated person such as the clerk of the PM’s Ministry and Oversight committee or the clerk of the oversight committee for the marriage, will sign the marriage license on behalf of the meeting. [someone questioned whether the Clerk of a preparative meeting could sign officially.]

Procedure for Marriage “in the manner of Friends”

A wedding in the manner of Friends may be held at the meetinghouse or elsewhere. It may or may not involve participation of the meeting in a clearness process and/or in planning the wedding itself. While the wedding itself may be held in the manner of Friends (no “officiant,” couple speaks their vows in the context of a silent meeting for worship), a clergy person or justice of the peace must be present and must sign the marriage license for the ceremony to be considered legal. Otherwise, a civil ceremony must take place for the marriage to be legal.

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Memorial Meetings and Memorial Minutes

Memorial Meetings are well described in Faith and Practice and that should serve as the main guidance. Here are some additional notes.

One purpose of a Memorial Meeting is to help the family and Meeting appreciate the full life of the person who has died. As such, it has been helpful to wait some time after the death before having the Memorial Meeting (often, but not always, on the order of one month).

We have found it helpful to alert the family ahead of time that a Quaker Memorial Meeting celebrates the life of the person and can include vocal messages that mention unpleasant aspects of the person. We need to remember that we are all complicated people and our good and bad sides define who we are. The paths of our lives may include detours we wish we had not taken, but they make us who we are.

One final note concerns the Quaker practice of not recording the ceremony. Non-Quakers may not understand the reasons for this. A memorial Meeting is a Meeting for worship and as such we sit in expectant waiting for leadings from God. These leadings come to us from the Light within and no recording device or camera can capture that.

Following the death of a member or longtime attender of the meeting, the meeting prepares a “Memorial Minute” which briefly captures the life and faith of the individual. Pastoral Care Committee will typically ask the family to compose a first draft of this minute, and Pastoral Care will make edits before forwarding it to Ministry and Worship Committee for final editing. This minute will be included in the minutes of Meeting for Business. The Corresponding Clerk forwards the Memorial Minute to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. On occasion, BYM will include memorial minutes in the Yearly Meeting’s annual Proceedings document and forward the minute to Friends Journal.

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Organization

Officers

AFM has the following officers:

  • Clerk
  • Assistant Clerk
  • Corresponding Clerk
  • Recording Clerk
  • Assistant Recording Clerk
  • Recorder
  • Treasurer
  • Assistant Treasurer
  • Treasurer, TPFM-P, Assistant Treasurer, AFM

All officers shall be members of AFM [Note: 2/20/83 minutes state that Clerk, recording clerk, and treasurer shall be members. Other officers are not mentioned.]. The Nominating Committee nominates officers for approval by Meeting for Business. All officers have one-year terms, and typically should not serve more than six consecutive years except in unusual circumstances. The responsibilities of officers are detailed in the “Responsibilities of Officers and Committees” section below.

Standing Committees

AFM has the following standing committees:

  • Ministry and Worship*
  • Pastoral Care*
  • House and Grounds
  • Religious Education
  • Adult Religious Education
  • Outreach and Fellowship
  • Finance
  • Hospitality
  • Newsletter
  • Nominating
  • Search
  • Peace and Social Concerns
  • Trustees*
  • Clerk’s Support
  • Resident Liaison and Support
  • Library

*All members of the Ministry and Worship, Pastoral Care, and Trustees committees shall be members of AFM, with occasional exceptions for the Pastoral Care committee to allow for participation of regular attenders with particular talents and/or training. Nominating Committee should have nine members, five of which should be Meeting Members. Participation in all other committees may be by members and attenders.

The Nominating Committee nominates committee members for approval by Meeting for Business. Committee appointments are generally for three year terms, and typically should not exceed two consecutive terms except in unusual circumstances. All committees are responsible for developing and periodically updating the “charge” for the committee, which outlines the basic responsibilities of the committee. All committee charges are subject to approval by Meeting for Business. The Ministry and Worship Committee is responsible for ensuring that all other committees are active and that each committee appoints one of its members to serve as Clerk of the committee. The committee clerk should be appointed/re-affirmed at the beginning of each AFM fiscal year. Each clerk should keep a record of the committee membership, a list of recurring items for which the committee is responsible, and notes or minutes for each meeting. All committee material should be turned over to the succeeding clerk. Each committee is responsible for approving appropriate payments to be made from the AFM operating budget for the committee. Specific responsibilities of each committee are detailed in the “Responsibilities of Officers and Committee” section below.

Standing Sub-Committees

AFM has the following standing sub-committees under the care of standing
committees:

  • Memorial Garden (under House and Grounds)
  • Communications (under Ministry and Worship)

Ad Hoc Committees

As the need arises, AFM may chose to create ad hoc committees for specific purposes, and to lay down such committees once the committees’ purposes have been achieved. Ad hoc committees are named by Meeting for Business. The Nominating Committee is not responsible for nominating individuals to serve on ad hoc committees.

Other Appointments

In addition to service as officers and members of committees, AFM appoints individuals to serve in the following roles:

  • American Friends Service Committee Contact
  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting Camping Program Contact
  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting Camping Scholarship Contact
  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting Correspondent
  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting Educational Funding Contact
  • Catoctin Weekend Coodinator(s)
  • Directory Coodinator
  • E-Mail List Coordinator
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation Contact
  • Friends General Conference Contact
  • Friends United Meeting Contact
  • Prince Georges Community Ministries Contact
  • Resident
  • Safe Haven Coordinator(s)
  • Silent Announcements Editor
  • Strawberry Festival Coodinators
  • Supplies Buyers
  • Webmaster
  • William Penn House Board Member(s)

Appointees to the above service roles may be members or attenders. The Nominating Committee nominates committee members for approval by Meeting for Business. These appointments are for varying terms, often determined by the affiliated group. In general, individuals should avoid service of more than six consecutive years in any one position or committee appointment.

Newsletter

AFM publishes a monthly newsletter. The Newsletter Committee edits and publishes the newsletter.

Silent Announcements

AFM publishes weekly Silent Announcements. The Silent Announcements Editor edits and publishes the Silent Announcements. This person serves on the Communications Sub-committee.

Web site

AFM maintains one web site:
http://adelphifriends.org. The Communications Sub-Committee maintains the websites.

Minutes and Records

Minutes of Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business are posted at http://adelphifriends.org and are electronically searchable back to 1993. Minutes from 1990-1992 are also posted, but not in searchable form. There is also posted an index to the minutes of the 1980’s. The physical copies of the minute books are available in the White House and located in the second floor classroom. There is also a section on the web called Policy Minutes, and there you will find the exact wording of what we passed.

Finances

AFM’s fiscal year begins on December 1 and ends on November 30. The Trustees are the legal entity through which the Meeting is incorporated, and it is the body whose members are individually and corporately legally responsible for the legal and financial actions of the meeting.

Preparative Meetings

Currently, AFM has one Preparative Meeting under its care: Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative (TPFM-P). When Friends in our area are led to start a new worship group they are encouraged to look to AFM for support and nurture. Oversight and support of such groups may be provided by Ministry and Worship Committee or an ad hoc committee, as seems most appropriate. The existence of such worship groups should be reported to the Monthly Meeting. Until such groups begin holding their own Meetings for Business, their business should be handled by their Ministry and Worship Committee with advice and consent from AFM as needed. When such a group is ready to conduct its own business, it does so, working with AFM to establish a Preparative Meeting. The Preparative Meeting may continue to look to AFM and its committees for assistance with the approval of memberships and marriages and the handling of financial matters. Further guidelines for starting and supporting new groups may be found in Faith and Practice and in a separate Guide for Preparative Meetings developed by Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting for Seneca Valley and Patapsco. Agreements establishing a Preparative Meeting should be reviewed every three years unless the agreement itself provides differently. (The agreement itself is for an indefinite period of time.)

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Responsibilities of Officers and Committees

Officers

[Note: officer roles were drafted by M&W and edited by Clerk but are
subject to further review.]

Clerk

The Clerk shall:

  • Have care of the 10:00 A.M. Meeting for Worship, including announcing the period of joys and concerns, closing the Meeting for Worship, and managing the giving of announcements. In the absence of the Clerk, the Assistant Clerk, the Clerk of Ministry and Worship Committee, or a member of Ministry and Worship Committee will discharge this responsibility. [This has been changed. A member of Ministry & Worship does this]
  • Prepare and distribute (via email) the agenda and preside at all Meetings for Business and should be kept informed of all business matters that affect the Monthly Meeting. In the absence of the Clerk, the Assistant Clerk, the Clerk of Ministry and Worship Committee, or a member of Ministry and Worship Committee will preside.
  • Present the monthly Query at the beginning of each Meeting for Business.
  • See that decisions of the Monthly Meeting are carried out as directed by the Meeting.
  • Be alert to and be promptly informed by Meeting members and attenders of all unexpected or emergency matters related to the Meeting.
  • Maintain a yearly schedule chart with dates of regular events, as well as planned special events, so that any required business may be handled at an appropriate time.

Assistant Clerk

The Assistant Clerk shall:

  • “Serve as Clerk of the Meeting for Business when the Clerk is unable to be present.
  • Keep copies of all changes to the Practices and Procedures that are approved by the AFM, and maintain a current copy of the Practices and Procedures.
  • Help with the correspondence and any matters when requested to do so by the Presiding Clerk or the Monthly Meeting.

Corresponding Clerk

The Corresponding Clerk shall:

  • Send written responses to items raised in Business Meeting – membership transfers, letters of introduction, traveling minutes and the like – consistent with the sense of the Business Meeting.
  • “Forward memorial minutes to BYM.

Recording Clerk

The Recording Clerk shall:

  • Provide for the orderly recording of the proceedings of the Meeting for Business, including announcements of births, marriages, and deaths.
  • Record comments of appreciation expressed at Meetings for Business regarding deaths, births, and other matters related to members and attenders of the Meeting.
  • Provide the Presiding Clerk and the Recorder with a copy of the corrected minutes; and
  • Be responsible for the care of the minutes until the end of his or her term, when the minutes are given to the Recorder for preservation.

Assistant Recording Clerk

The Assistant Recording Clerk shall perform the duties of the Recording Clerk in his/her absence.

Recorder

The Recorder shall be responsible for maintaining:

  • The files and lists, in chronological order, of membership, birth dates, dates of admissions to membership (including transfers), and deaths of all members and associate members; and
  • A copy or photocopy of certificates of marriage for all members, associate members, and other couples who are married under the care of the Meeting.

All these matters should be kept up-to-date, and Monthly Meeting members should be reminded from time to time to give such information to the Recorder. The Recorder shall also:

  • Forward to Baltimore Yearly Meeting AFM’s list of officers and committee clerks and membership statistics.
  • Forward information regarding marriages, births, and deaths for the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Interchange publication.
  • See to the safekeeping and preservation of Meeting minutes as recommended in the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Handbook on Records.
  • See that the Meeting records are periodically taken to the Maryland State Archives to be microfilmed, at the expense of the Meeting, and the microfilm sent to the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College for permanent storage.
  • Oversee the preservation and long-term storage of committee minutes and records.

Treasurer

The Treasurer is an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee.

The Treasurer shall: (this section is under review)

Assistant Treasurer

The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer with his/her duties as described above. The Assistant Treasurer is an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee.

Treasurer, TPFM-P, Assistant Treasurer, AFM

As noted above, the Treasurer of TPFM-P serves as an Assistant Treasurer of AFM. This officer will carry out the duties described above for AFM’s Treasurer with respect to the financial affairs of Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative.

Should another preparative meeting be established under the care of AFM in the future, please note that until such a time as Preparative Meetings appoint their own Treasurers, the Treasurer of AFM also serves as Treasurer for any Preparative Meetings, as agreed upon with the Ministry and Worship Committee and the Preparative Meeting and following the patterns used by Monthly Meeting committees. Once Preparative Meetings appoint their own Treasurers, the Treasurers of Preparative Meetings are Assistant Treasurers of AFM. Minutes establishing the position of Preparative Meeting Treasurers, if not part of the establishing agreement, are amendments to the establishing agreement and are approved by both the Preparative Meeting and the Monthly Meeting.

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Committees

Following are the charges and other procedures for the operation of AFM’s committees:

Ministry and Worship

The Ministry and Worship Committee consists of approximately seven members, with approximately one-third appointed each year. The clerk shall be a member of AFM, and the other members shall be Friends.

This committee is responsible for supporting the spiritual life of the Meeting by deepening corporate worship, deepening individual worship, recognizing spiritual gifts, supporting committees and organizational efforts within Meeting and supporting Meeting relationships with other groups. Specific responsibilities in each of these areas include the following:

Deepening Corporate Worship:

  • Attend and prayerfully consider the quality of worship in all meetings for worship and in other community gatherings.
  • Close meeting for worship when the Meeting clerk and assistant clerk are not present.
  • Nurture the worshipful conduct of business by being present for meeting for business and holding it in our care. Provide food and childcare.
  • Support special worship gatherings and organize called meetings for worship.
  • Provide oversight of memorial services, and appointing a member to oversight committees for weddings.
  • Write memorial minutes for members and regular attenders (after receiving notes and possibly a first draft) from Pastoral Care; bringing memorial minutes to business meeting for approval, and send on the BYM when requested by business meeting.
  • Support clerk in clarifying and honoring Gospel Order in all Meeting gatherings.
  • Organize special efforts to deepen worship (2nd hours, written information, spiritual quotes in Silent Announcements, etc.)
  • Coordinate the preparation of the Annual Spiritual State of the Meeting report.

Deepening Individual Worship and Recognizing Spiritual Gifts:

  • Elder members and attenders by naming gifts, reaching out, giving support, asking questions, making requests or giving guidance when needed.
  • Work with Pastoral Care committee when issues of individual worship and individual difficulties are happening simultaneously.
  • Provide oversight for those called to the ministry.
  • Sponsor Spiritual Formation groups from time to time.

Supporting Committees:

  • Support committees and committee clerks in fulfilling their responsibilities and updating committee charges.
  • Encourage prayerful consideration and communication among committees regarding issues of mutual concern
  • Participate in joint committee efforts.
  • Recommend changes in committee structure and assignments

Supporting Organizational Efforts within Meeting:

  • Support Business Meeting in clarifying questions about the responsibilities of Adelphi committees
  • Maintain list of clerks & committee meeting times in Silent Announcements)
  • Explore and monitor use of website and email; coordinate with Newsletter Editor as needed.

Supporting Meeting relationships with other groups:

  • Support special projects/concerns within the larger Religious Society of Friends
  • Assist the meeting in holding under our spiritual care Friends Community School and Takoma Park Preparative Meeting

Pastoral Care

[Note: This charge was drafted by M&W and is subject to review or replacement by Pastoral Care Committee.]

The Pastoral Care Committee consists of approximately ____ members, with approximately one-third appointed each year. The committee deals with a wide variety of matters concerned with the spiritual care of individual members and regular attenders, as well as membership requests. Many duties of the members of Pastoral Care are delicate and personal. In such areas, the committee’s proceedings are kept confidential and the dignity of the persons concerned is respected.

The Pastoral Care Committee is responsible for:

  • being alert to needs for encouragement and support. Others in the Meeting are encouraged to inform Pastoral Care about members and attenders who are in financial, social, or spiritual need;
  • coordinating the Meeting’s response to the needs of individuals, including visiting and helping ill, troubled, or needy Friends;
  • getting in touch with absent members and keep contact with non-resident members;
  • providing assistance and support to families at the time of a death in the family;
  • help to reconcile differences that may arise between and among individuals in the Meeting;
  • receive, consider, and recommend Meeting action on requests for and withdrawals from membership;
  • the right ordering of marriages under the care of the Meeting and in the manner of Friends;
  • providing assistance to any families and marriages in the Meeting should the need arise; and
  • providing assistance in finding professional counsel if needed.

House and Grounds

[Note: This charge was drafted by M&W and is subject to review or replacement by House and Grounds Committee.]

The House and Grounds Committee consists of approximately ____ members, with approximately one-third appointed each year. The committee is responsible for:

  • maintaining the facilities, buildings and grounds of AFM in a manner in keeping with the standards of “simple but decent and pleasant; not shabby.”
  • ensuring maintenance of the equipment and facilities of the buildings on Meeting property by contracting for repairs or by arranging maintenance work on the part of the meeting;
  • maintaining a capital plan for major capital repairs and replacements that will be paid from AFM’s replacement reserve;
  • organizing spring and fall workdays to perform cleanup and improvements to buildings and grounds
  • assuring that the buildings on Meeting property are kept clean;
  • formulating regulations regarding the use of the buildings;
  • maintaining liaison with the Finance Committee regarding maintenance and replacement of capital assets of the Meeting.

Children’s Religious Education

The Children’s Religious Education Committee consists of approximately ___ members, with approximately one-third appointed each year. The Children’s Religious Education Committee is responsible for the religious education and nurture of children from infancy through high school.

The committee:

  • Oversees the First Day School program for birth through High School
  • Recruits, supports and oversees the teachers
  • Implement the Youth Safety Policy.
  • Facilitates Junior Meeting, teacher retreats, opening & closing ceremonies, intergenerational Meeting events, service projects and the summer program.

Adult Religious Education

This committee of approximately 5 to 6 people will organize educational events in order to deepen and nurture Quaker worship, and provide information on and discussion of Quaker faith and practice. This will include designing a curriculum directed at adults new to Quakerism.

Outreach and Fellowship

The Outreach and Fellowship Committee consists of approximately 6 members, with approximately one-third appointed each year.

The purpose of this committee is to reach out to all seekers, particularly newcomers, to advance the understanding of Friends and Quaker faith and practice. Specifically, this committee is responsible for:

  • Arranging for greeters each Sunday morning.
  • Greeting folks on Sunday mornings before 10:00 Meeting for Worship. This includes identifying newcomers so that they might get a “newcomers” envelope of materials, distributing pamphlets when needed, and generally assisting with communicating a welcoming atmosphere to all.
  • Taking responsibility for the Meetinghouse Lobby – organizing it and keeping it orderly, obtaining brochures when needed for the display racks.
  • Inviting newcomers, visitors, and any others who are interested to meet with them in the White House after Meeting for Worship. A member of the committee makes an announcement at the rise of meeting stating this availability;
  • For newcomers, following up with a conversation or a phone call, possibly suggesting ways to become more familiar with Quakerism and Adelphi Meeting, and moving them towards activities and committees.
  • Holding bagel breakfasts, or similar, to welcome new Members into the Meeting or to welcome and introduce transferred families or individuals.
  • Helping transferring members and attenders integrate themselves into our community.
  • Organizing Friendly Eights and monthly theme potlucks (the Sunday evening variety)
  • Reaching out to the surrounding community; e.g., getting out newspaper blurbs when appropriate, looking for ways to highlight our presence in the community.

Finance

The Finance Committee consists of approximately ___members, with approximately one-third appointed each year. The clerk of the Finance Committee shall be a member of AFM, and the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurers are ex-officio members of this committee.

Responsibilities of the Finance Committee are as follows:

[Insert charge when available]

[Somewhere the Sharing Fund and the Sufferings Fund should be discussed, including the participation of the clerk, and the Treasurer, and everyone else involved.]

Hospitality

The Hospitality Committee consists of approximately ___ members, with approximately one-third appointed each year.

The Hospitality Committee aims to support informal gatherings within our community by providing coffee and other nourishment downstairs after worship and by means of the Meeting’s monthly potluck.

Newsletter

[Currently, this is one person, since we no longer send out printed copies.] The Newsletter Committee typically has three members: each month one person collects material and formats it into a pdf document, which s/he sends to members and attenders choosing to receive electronic mail. Another person makes photocopies of this document for regular mail (currently about 70 copies). A third person prepares mailing labels, folds, stamps and sends the Meeting Newsletter to members and attenders of AFM, who do not receive electronic mail. Occasionally, there is insufficient material for a mailing.

The Newsletter includes the following material:

  • Announcements that are of concern to the Monthly Meeting, such as special meetings, community activities, marriages, births, and deaths.
  • Other submissions offered by members and attenders and determined by the Newsletter Committee to be suitable.

Nominating

The Nominating Committee consists of approximately nine members (six of whom are members of the Meeting), with approximately one-third appointed each year. The Nominating Committee works with Meeting members and attenders to discern how they are being led to serve the Meeting. The Search Committee (see below) nominates members of the Nominating Committee. Responsibilities of the Nominating Committee include the following:

  • Presenting at Meetings for Business, hoping to be finished by 12th Month (December), the names of persons suggested to serve as officers, to serve on all other committees, and those extending their terms;
  • Explaining the duties and time commitments of a position to the person being recruited for that position and/or referring them to the current clerk of that committee for further clarification of the position;
  • Recruiting new appointees to fill vacancies that may occur throughout the year, as well as any special service requested by the Meeting for Business;
  • Sending the names of Meeting members and regular attenders who may be interested in service on Baltimore Yearly Meeting committees to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Nominating Committee;
  • Keeping records of all nominations and appointments and passing them on to the next committee clerk;
  • Keeping in mind the availability and interest of Young Friends in serving on Meeting committees, and providing such opportunities as appropriate; and
  • Posting the current committee list, with committee clerks’ names identified, in the Newsletter, Directory, and other venues as appropriate.

The clerk of the committee shall ascertain that each person is notified of his or her appointment and that each committee clerk or designated convener has a list of new appointees to his/her committee. The clerk is also responsible for passing committee records, including all nominations and appointments, to the succeeding committee clerk. In nominating individuals to serve on boards, the committee should try to learn what kind of experience is needed on the boards at that time.

Things for Nominating Committee to Keep in Mind:

  • The School Board’s term ends in June so the search for new members is in the spring.
  • Only Meeting members (not attenders) can be on Trustees, Ministry & Worship, and Pastoral Care.
  • The committee term limit is six years (with special exceptions).
  • Clerks of individual committees are chosen by that committee.

Search

The Search Committee nominates members of the Nominating Committee. The committee consists of approximately 4 people. Members of this committee are named by Meeting for Business during the month of March. The purpose of this committee is to bring forward for approval by Meeting for Business names of people to serve on the Nominating Committee. Those names should be approved in the July and August Meetings for Business.

Peace and Social Concerns

[insert charge when available]

Trustees

[Note: This charge was drafted by M&W and is subject to review or
replacement by Trustees.]

The Committee of Trustees consists of approximately ___ members, with one member appointed each year to serve a six-year term. Trustees must be members of the Meeting. The Finance Committee appoints one of its members who is a member of the Meeting to attend Trustees’ meetings.

The Committee of Trustees is the legal body of the Meeting and is therefore legally responsible for all the real and personal property and invested funds of the Meeting.

Clerk’s Support

Ministry and Worship committee, in consultation with the clerk, establishes a committee of four to five people to support the clerk. This committee will include the assistant clerk.

Resident Liaison and Support

Nominating committee, in consultation with the Resident, will name a committee of four or five people to support the Resident, and to present to H&G committee and/or Business Meeting any serious concerns or proposed changes in job scope that the Resident might want to have communicated.

Library

The Library Committee consists of approximately ____ members, with approximately one-third appointed each year. The committee is responsible for the following:

  • care and display of books and periodicals in the Monthly Meeting library;
  • overseeing the process for lending books, including keeping an up-to-date file on books that have been checked out, notifying persons who have overdue books, and tracing lost books;
  • taking inventory and replacing missing books that are deemed of value to the Meeting;
  • discarding books believed to be no longer of interest, which should be donated or discarded as determined by the committee;
  • keeping the Meeting informed of new books and periodicals that may be of interest to members. This includes being sensitive to the needs of religious education and books and periodicals on activities of the Monthly Meeting;
  • purchasing books and periodicals; and
  • seeking opportunities to bring books and periodicals to the attention of members and attenders of the Monthly Meeting.

Memorial Garden Sub-Committee

[insert charge when available]

Communications Sub-Committee

This sub-committee under Ministry and Worship Committee consists of ____ members. This committee supports Meeting by assuring that accurate and accessible information is available to support the work of the Meeting community. This would include maintaining the various mailing and emailing lists and directories, emailing announcements, maintaining the web sites, and other similar tasks.

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Other Appointments

[Note: There are more than 20 other appointments listed above. Descriptions of additional appointments will be inserted as written and as the need arises.]

Resident

AFM typically engages an individual or family to live in the apartment in the White House in exchange for helping to care for the meeting’s facilities. The length of such appointment is typically one year, renewable for an additional year or, in exceptional circumstances, an additional two years. The Resident is an important member of the AFM community, and is expected to participate fully in the life of the Meeting, both through active involvement in committees and through attendance at Meeting for Worship, as the individual is led. A full description of the Resident’s responsibilities is attached as Exhibit
E.

The Resident is responsible for keeping the calendar of events for the Meeting House to avoid conflicts in scheduling, maintaining an answering machine that gives information about our Meeting, check the Meeting’s voice-mail box and responding to telephone inquiries.

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Friends Community School

  • -describe formal relationship between AFM and school
  • -appointment of FCS school board
  • -Peter Curtis and/or Jade Eaton to draft

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Changes to the Practices and Procedures

Changes to the Practices and Procedures may be initiated by the meeting or by any member or any committee of the meeting. Ideally, the proposal will be seasoned by a committee prior to being brought to Meeting for Business. The proposal then should be presented in writing to Meeting for Business. If considered appropriate as presented or revised, the proposal will be printed in the Meeting Newsletter and will be considered at the next Meeting for Business for final approval.

The Assistant Clerk shall see that approved changes are incorporated into this Manual of Procedures. The Assistant Clerk may also suggest changes to the Manual to reflect changes in the procedures of the Meeting or one of its committees.

Ministry and Worship Committee will review the Manual annually.

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Exhibits:
Other AFM Policies and Procedures

List of Exhibits

  1. Lesbian and Gay Relationships at Adelphi Friends
    Meeting
  2. Living Life in the
    Spirit
    (PDF format). (Also available in
    RTF format for
    Word or WordPerfect)
  3. Use of Electronic Communications
  4. Facilities use policies, fees, etc. (PDF format)
  5. White House Resident Manual
  6. Sustainability Minute
  7. Youth Safety Policy

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Youth Safety Policy

Statement of Spiritual Purpose

Adelphi Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends is committed to honoring that of God in everyone, and to being a community in which respect for the sanctity of each person is shown by our actions. Children are the most vulnerable members of our community, and we intend to ensure their safety at all events sponsored by Adelphi Meeting.

Administrative Purpose

To satisfy Guide One’s liability insurance requirement that all covered entities have a written, policy, this policy is articulated. This policy is intended to help prevent any sexual or physical abuse of children from occurring. Further, it is intended to resolve any suspected incident of abuse in a manner that is responsible for the welfare of all and that holds both victim(s) and perpetrator(s) in loving light.

Definitions:
In this document: the phrase “abuse” may mean either physical or sexual abuse, as defined in state and county statutes and regulations; an adult is a person
of 21 years or older.

Policy on Youth Safety

To ensure the physical and emotional safety of our children and youth, and the adults who work with children and youth, the policy of Adelphi Meeting shall be as follows:

  1. Employees and overnight volunteers–criminal and child abuse checks:
    With their written permission, the Clerk of Pastoral Care Committee, or designee, will carry out criminal and child abuse history checks on

    • all paid employees who work with children and youth;
    • all adult volunteers who supervise overnight events for children and youth;
    • all adult volunteers driving children and youth for a Meeting sponsored event;
    • all adult volunteers who provide one-on-one counseling or mentoring to children and youth.

    Confidential records of all such checks will be maintained by the Clerk of Pastoral Care Committee, or designee. No individual who has been found guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor will be employed or permitted to volunteer to work with Adelphi’s children or youth.

  2. First Day School teachers and other ongoing adult volunteers of youth activities must be members or regular attenders who have been attending Meeting at least six months. All such adult volunteers will provide two written references from persons other than family members. Occasional volunteers of daytime activities are exempt.
  3. Each First Day class will have two teachers present in the room whenever possible. Classroom doors will remain unlocked whenever children and youth are in the room and doors without windows will remain open whenever possible. No minor will be alone in an enclosed space with only one unrelated adult unless that adult has passed criminal and child abuse history checks.
  4. Field trips or day trips sponsored by the Religious Education Committee or the Meeting require supervision by adults who are members or regular attenders, with a ratio of at least one adult to six children, and with a minimum of two adult supervisors at all times.
  5. Youth Safety Committee. As circumstances require, Adelphi Meeting will convene a three member Youth Safety Committee to act on behalf of the Meeting. This Committee will be comprised of the Clerk of the Meeting, the Clerk of Pastoral Care, and the Clerk of Trustees, or their designees. Any concerns for youth safety that arise from background checks of prospective employees and volunteers, from information about adult employees or volunteers provided at any time by other sources, or about any suspected incident of abuse, will be referred to the Youth Safety Committee.
  6. Reporting Incidents. Any Meeting member who becomes aware of or suspicious that an incident of child abuse of a has occurred will immediately notify a member of the Youth Safety Committee. The Youth Safety Committee will establish, maintain and follow written procedures for addressing suspected incidents of abuse.
  7. Youth Safety Committee, Extended. In any instance in which the three members of the Youth Safety Committee find themselves unclear about how Adelphi Meeting should act, they will immediately summon the other members of the Pastoral Care and Trustees Committees and reconvene as the Youth Safety Committee, Extended. This larger membership body will then determine what action Adelphi Meeting will take.
  8. Confidentiality. The confidentiality of all persons concerned in any background checks, or in any validated or suspected incident of abuse, will be maintained. In particular, committee clerks and others who act on behalf of Adelphi Meeting will maintain their records in strict confidentiality to the degree consistent with protecting children and youth and complying with legal requirements.
  9. Parents’ responsibilities. Young people and children are the responsibility of their parents (guardians) whenever Meeting sponsored adult supervision is not provided. Parents and guardians are encouraged to teach their children what appropriate behavior is and how to respond if inappropriate behavior occurs. The Religious Education and Youth Safety Committee will make relevant materials available in the Meeting library and update these as necessary.
  10. This Policy to be Publicized. The Youth Safety Committee will make this policy available to all members and attenders.
  11. Prevention Awareness. The Youth Safety Committee will facilitate at least one session annually on youth safety and the prevention, recognition and reporting of child abuse. Additionally, we encourage adults in our Meeting to attend such sessions when they are offered elsewhere.
  12. Review of this Policy. This policy will be evaluated by Meeting for Business at least every three years and revised as necessary.