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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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vi: activities and organization of the yearly meeting

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The Yearly Meeting as an Organization

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.


yearly meeting committees

standing subcommittees of ministry and oversight

 In its role of helping to “foster the spiritual life and the good order of the annual session,” the Ministry and Oversight Committee works in part through subcommittees and through liaisons to other standing committees. As the needs of the annual session vary, so do the work and constitution of subcommittees. Ad hoc subcommittees serve a specific charge and then are laid down, while standing subcommittees have ongoing responsibilities. In addition, the Ministry and Oversight Committee appoints a liaison from its own membership to each of the appointed subcommittees along with liaisons to certain Pacific Yearly Meeting standing committees. the yearly meeting as an organization

 adult religious education: The Adult Religious Education Subcommittee attends to the various ways in which Friends continue to grow in the Spirit. It seeks to present one or two interest groups at the Yearly Meeting, often based on successful programs which have been developed either by a particular Meeting, by a Quarterly Meeting, or by Ben Lomond Quaker Center. It has four members who serve overlapping two-year terms.

 brinton visitor: The Howard and Anna Brinton Memorial Visitor Subcommittee arranges for one or more Friends to sojourn among Meetings and Quaker gatherings. The subcommittee selects Friends to serve as Brinton Visitors and reports on its work to the Ministry and Oversight Committee. With approval, the subcommittee submits its recommendations to the Yearly Meeting. It then prepares a schedule for the visitation. The subcommittee is made up of members from the Yearly Meetings it serves: Pacific (3), Intermountain (1), and North Pacific (1). Members from Pacific Yearly Meeting serve overlapping twoyear terms. Individuals and Meetings may contribute to a fund maintained by the Yearly Meeting Treasurer for support of this program.

 special funds: The Special Funds Subcommittee prepares and updates descriptions of each of the special funds under its care, together with descriptions of the procedures to request disbursements. At the annual gathering and at Representative Committee Meeting, they publicize the existence of the funds and the procedures for accessing them. Along with the Treasurer, this subcommittee evaluates requests for the expenditure of monies from special accounts established by the Yearly Meeting, and ensures that each proposed expenditure is in accordance with the minutes that established the funds. The funds address the following areas: (1) peace, social order, or spiritual concerns; (2) sharing to meet unusual needs of a member of a Monthly Meeting; (3) Brinton Visitor; (4) peace tax fund; (5) student conscience fund; (6) assistance to attend PYM; (7) scholarships for young Friends to attend Quaker gatherings. When time permits, the full Ministry and Oversight Committee decides how the funds should actually be expended. In routine cases and/or where time is of the essence, if all of the requirements pertaining to a particular fund’s purpose appear to have been met, the Clerk of the subcommittee, in consultation with the Clerk of the Ministry and Oversight Committee,may give direction to the Yearly Meeting Treasurer. This subcommittee has two members who serve overlapping two-year terms.

 worship-sharing: This subcommittee creates opportunities for small worship-sharing and affinity groups to meet during the annual session. The subcommittee makes sure that the needs for such groups and their availability are made known to the Representative Committee and consults with the Registrar to assure that the options are described in the registration materials. It designates the worship-sharing group leaders and assigns groups. It consults with the Presiding Clerk or Assistant to the Clerk to establish appropriate times for worship-sharing and affinity groups to meet. It works with the Arrangements Clerk to be sure there are suitable gathering places and with the Assistant to the Clerk to arrange for orientation of leaders. It consists of four persons who serve overlapping two-year terms.