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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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appendix 1: records

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1C: Preparation of Meeting Minutes: Some Useful Practices

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.


 Expeditious preparation of useful minutes can be aided in many ways. Some suggestions follow.

 The recording and presiding clerks may study the agenda together in advance of the Meeting.

 An effective minute usually consists of three sections: 1) reasons for the matter before the Meeting; 2) decision approved; 3) who is responsible for carrying out the decision, including how it is to be financed. (See body of text for“ minutes of action,” and “minutes of exercise.”)

 A minute may be drafted in advance for on-site editing as discussion of the matter takes place. (Examples: membership, marriages, matters having clear alternatives.)

 Oral committee reports should be supplemented by a written version and should include draft copies of action minutes. Assign topical identification to sections of minutes and let the minutes of action be serially numbered (ex. 1-7:2000 = Minute 1: 7th month; year 2000). Both facilitate reference in the future.

 Use care in distributing and filing copies of the minutes to ensure that those given a responsibility in a Meeting have a written copy of the decision.

 To the extent possible, make minutes themselves complete, interpretable without reliance upon attachments — which often go astray.

 Some Monthly Meetings approve all the minutes of a Meeting at that Meeting, and read them at the next Meeting for information only. In other Meetings, the recording clerk takes notes and prepares minutes later (except for minutes of action). Those minutes are read for correction and approval at the next Monthly Meeting.