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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

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Contents page

iv: organization of the society

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The Monthly Meeting

pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.



 Ministry in word and act, responsibility for the good order and material needs of the Meeting, visitation, faithfulness in testimonies: all these things, in the measure of the Light that is given, are the responsibilities of persons in the Meeting. For practical reasons Monthly Meetings appoint members to serve as its officers for definite terms of service, using a nomination process described below. A good officer is one who, while assuming a particular responsibility, seeks to engage the resources of the Meeting in the task to be done.

 The Clerk presides at the business sessions of the Meeting, prepares or bears responsibility for the minutes of its proceedings, and carries out the instructions of the Meeting to accomplish its business. <See p. 89 for qualifications and role of a Presiding Clerk> He or she may be assisted by a Recording Clerk who assists with drafting minutes, an Alternate Clerk, who presides when the Clerk is unable to serve, and a Corresponding Clerk, who handles Meeting correspondence.

 Most Meetings appoint a Recording Clerk who can make faithful, concise and accurate records of the minutes of action, as discerned and stated by the Clerk. The Recording Clerk puts the Meeting’s insights and minutes of exercise into written words but the Clerk bears the ultimate responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of the Meeting’s minutes. <See p. 90 for Minutes of Action and Exercise.>

 The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining and disbursing the Meeting’s funds, and giving regular reports to the Meeting. A financial professional should periodically review the Meeting’s accounts.†

 The Recorder (or Recorder/Archivist) keeps faithful and accurate membership records on forms provided by the Yearly Meeting. Such records include vital statistics pertaining to the member and his or her immediate family, whether or not they are all members of the Meeting. The Recorder promptly notes any changes relating to the membership, such as births, deaths, transfers, releases, or marriages. At the request of the Yearly Meeting Statistical Clerk, the Recorder completes a questionnaire regarding the Monthly Meeting, and files a copy of this report in the permanent records of the Monthly Meeting.

 The Recorder/Archivist also takes proper care of other important records of the Meeting. The officer responsible for current minutes and record books may retain them. All others should be preserved, together with important correspondence and legal papers, such as deeds, conveyances, and trusts, in a durable and legible form, and in a permanent repository, protected from fire and loss. <See Appendix 1a: Recommendations for Monthly Meeting Records.>

† See Friendly Audits, Elizabeth Muench, available through Friends General Conference Bookstore