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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.


worship and ministry committee

 The Worship and Ministry Committee customarily consists of members of the Religious Society of Friends of varied ages, genders and gifts and who are known to be faithful in worship and sensitive to the life of the Spirit. It includes both Friends inclined to speak in the Meeting for Worship and those less inclined to do so. It also includes Friends who are acknowledged as spiritual elders, to whom persons go instinctively for understanding and loving care. The function of the committee is to nurture the spiritual health of the Meeting community.

 The first responsibility of the committee’s members is to deepen their own spiritual lives and their preparation for worship. When they are grounded in the Spirit, committee members can recall that they are but vessels of the Light among many other vessels. Then they can better trust that the power of God may work through all persons in the Meeting and beyond. Committee members’ concern for the Meeting throughout the week, the promptness and reverence with which they approach the Meeting for Worship, and their faithfulness to the guidance of the Spirit, are the most effective ways they may deepen the quality of the worship. By deepening their own experience of worship, and by their regular presence at Meeting for Worship, committee members contribute to the corporate experience of a centered Meeting for Worship. care for the meeting for worship: The Worship and Ministry

 Committee meets regularly to keep the Meeting for Worship under constant review, prayer, and care. Committee members should nurture the Meeting for Worship by giving appropriate attention to the quality of the vocal ministry and the ministry of stillness that springs from the centered silence. They should encourage all Friends to give adequate time to study, meditation, prayer, and other ways of preparing themselves for worship.Members’ concerns about worship are directed to this committee for prayerful consideration and action. At times, the committee should open its meeting to all to share experience, search for insight and nurture the spiritual health of the Meeting for Worship.

 Committee members should encourage those who show promising gifts and lovingly guide those who speak unacceptably, too often or for too long. They should endeavor to open the way for those who are timid and inexperienced in vocal ministry and should encourage all Friends to listen with tenderness. In trying to be helpful, they should not assume superior wisdom, trusting instead that all are sharing in the search for guidance.

care for the meeting for worship for business: The Worship and Ministry Committee’s responsibilities include nurturing Meeting for Worship for Business.At least a few members of this committee should be present at every Meeting for Business. The committee considers prayerfully how to contribute to the Meeting’s faithful discernment of Truth. It works with the Presiding Clerk to develop his or her skills and to create a worshipful and faithful Business Meeting.

care for individual lives: The committee seeks to strengthen the lives of the individuals in the Meeting by helping individuals discern and develop varied gifts for ministry and service. Committee members encourage vocal ministry, teaching and counseling, along with aesthetic, social, and practical modes of expression and regular spiritual disciplines. The Committee can support individual spiritual growth by circulating appropriate literature and arranging for study groups, spiritual sharing groups and retreats.