Pacific Yearly Meeting Organization

Committees
Children’s Program Committee

The Children’s Program Committee is responsible for coordinating and operating at the Annual Session of Yearly Meeting an educational program and activities for infants and children up through age 13. (Children age 13 can choose whether to participate in children’s program or Junior Yearly Meeting teen program.) It meets several times during the year in planning for the Annual Session, and meets frequently during the Annual Session.

Tasks:

  • Select, supervise and evaluate the program coordinator(s) and set their stipend.
  • Review and select educational curriculums, games, toys.
  • Plan and supervise educational activities and outings.
  • Select program spaces at the Annual Session site (in consultation with the Arrangements Committee).

This committee has six members, who serve three-year overlapping terms, with two members appointed annually. The current and immediate past coordinators are members ex officio.

July 2005

Note: The Children’s Program Committee does not plan First Day programs for Monthly Meetings.

For information about activities for children, visit Children in the Yearly Meeting.

Communications Committee

The ministry of the Communications Committee is to nurture and grow the “beloved community” by facilitating communication both within and outside of Pacific Yearly Meeting, both during and outside of the Annual Session.

The Communications Committee needs individuals with a wide variety of skills. While some individuals may bring substantial technical skills, others will bring knowldge and understanding of the structure and processes of Pacific Yearly Meeting and of its people and history. Still others will bring energy for reaching out to new and long-time Friends.

It is important that members share a commitment to the work for which the Communications Committee is responsible on behalf of the Yearly Meeting. There needs to be a balance between those who are particularly comfortable with technology and those who are not.

Tasks:

  • Develop and maintain communications policies and guidelines.
  • Develop and manage the Pacific Yearly Meeting website.
  • Develop and oversee working group to monitor and moderate any official Pacific Yearly Meeting social media presences.
  • Work with other organizations so that their information about Pacific Yearly Meeting is accurate and links to our website are correct.
  • Collaborate/share and learn from other Quaker organizations about communication resources.
  • Maintain secure electronic archive of important Pacific Yearly Meeting documents.
  • Facilitate communication within Pacific Yearly Meeting.

October 2020

Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee concerns itself solely with the book of discipline of Pacific Yearly Meeting, operating between revisions of the book “Faith and Practice”. (During a revision of the book of discipline, the committee is augmented and the committee is then called the Faith & Practice Revision Committee.)

Qualifications for membership on this committee should mirror the purpose of the book of discipline, which is to be an instrument for spiritual growth as well as reflection of current feeling and though as Friends seek to experience and follow the leaderings of the Spirit. Service on this committee requires membership in the Society of Friends and should be representative of the thought and spirit of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

The committee has six members who serve three-year overlapping terms. Two members are appointed annually. The Presiding Clerk and the Historian are ex officio members of the Discipline Committee.

Tasks

  • Assemble and organize material that may go into a revision of the book of discipline.
  • Receive concerns, suggestions and questions in written form from Monthly Meetings and Friends.
  • Interpret matters relating to Faith & Practice.
  • Encourage the study and use of Faith & Practice.

July 2005

Faith & Practice Revision Committee

The Faith & Practice Revision Committee is charged with revising Pacific Yearly Meeting’s book of Faith and Practice. It is a permanent committee of Pacific Yearly Meeting, but it is called the Discipline Committee during periods when it is not actively engaged in revising Faith & Practice.

Work to begin on a new edition of Faith & Practice was authorized at the 2014 Annual Session.

The Revision Process
The Faith and Practice Revision Committee has transitioned to a “rolling revision” process, in keeping with Friends’ belief in continuing revelation and our practice of valuing the testimony of all members because “there is that of God in everyone.”

As Elfrida Vipont explains, Fox, at his famous Firbank Fell gathering “bade the people take heed of the spirit of God in their hearts and obey its guidance in their daily lives; he told them that the spirit that inspired the Scriptures was living and working still in the hearts of men and women, ready to reveal fresh truths”

Vipont, Elfrida; The Story of Quakerism 1652-1952; Bannisdale Press, 1954; p.30

The rolling revision process utilizes electronic technologies, presenting text for revision on this webpage with instruction to monthly meetings on how to work with the material. Meetings will discern their “sense of the meeting” with regard to the passage, and return this to the committee, who will then do final revision for presentation at annual sessions. The committee expects to send out materials three times per year. Finalized revisions will be incorporated into the online version of Faith and Practice: A Guide to Quaker Discipline in the Experience of Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. The book will be available as a print-on-demand volume.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is responsible for developing the budgets for the Yearly Meeting and the Annual Session. It considers all proposed expenditures and makes recommendations for consideration by Representative Committee and/or Yearly Meeting.

Tasks:

  • Recomment appropriate contributions from Monthly Meetings per adult member.
  • Hear proposals from various affiliated Friends’ organizations for outreach contributions from Pacific Yearly Meeting to these organizations.
  • Hear requests for changes in a committee’s budget and make recommendations regarding requests to Yearly Meeting.
  • Present budget for adoption to Yearly Meeting at Annual Session.
  • Notify all Yearly Meeting officers, committee Clerks and Representatives to affiliated organizations of the amounts budgeted for their use.
  • Recommend travel reimbursement rates.
  • Arrange for audit of the books when Treasurer changes, or every three years.

The committee has six members who serve overlapping three-year terms, two of who are appointed annually. The Treasurer and Statistical Clerk are members ex officio.

July 2005

Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee

The Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee was created by the Ministry Committee in February 2021. The present purposes are to:

  • Inform and support the Pacific Yearly Meeting community as it seeks to uncover the history and ongoing impacts of colonization in and on both Indigenous and Quaker communities,
  • Increase awareness of Indigenous peoples’ struggles and joys both within and outside our Quaker communities, and
  • Seek equitable and just partnership among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.

Membership: The subcommittee is seeking recommendations of members and of Indigenous Friends who may prefer to serve as an advisor or accountability partner to the subcommittee. 

Service description: The subcommittee assumes firm commitment to the goals. Each member invests an average of 4 hours per month to subcommittee work. Usually the subcommittee meets once per month. There is an expectation of leadership on interest groups and activities at and outside of Annual Session.

Latin American Concerns Committee

In 1997, the Annual Session established a standing Latin America Concerns Committee to gather and disseminate information to Pacific and other Yearly Meetings regarding Friends groups and service projects in Latin America. The intention is to support rather than replace spirit-led projects already supported by Monthly Meetings, Worship Groups and individual Friends.

Committee meetings will be held three to four times a year: usually before and during Annual Session and Representative Committee. Some meetings will be by conference call. These meetings will include planning and preparation of Interest Groups at Annual Session.

The four main programs, Casa de los Amigos, El Salvador Project, Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program (Progresa) and the Undocumented Student Scholarship Program of Sacramento Meeting will take turns as presenters for Interest Groups. Subcommittee/Working Groups will be formed as appropriate.

There is a fund to assist the committee in bringing representatives or others to Annual Session. The committee, through the clerk, should communicate with clerk of Finance Committee the recommendations for committee expenses (line 5238) and Latin America Concerns Outreach (line 5212/R2749) for the upcoming fiscal year (October 1 – September 30) at least two months before Annual Session. The clerk should assess whether the approved committee budget is sufficient to complete the committee’s work and request augmentations as appropriate to clerk of Finance before Representative Committee and/or Annual Session.

The committee is composed of from five to nine members who are determined by the Nominating Committee in consultation with the committee. Additionally, there are three members appointed to the committee, one each from Casa de los Amigos, El Salvador Project and Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program.

TASKS:

Information gathering and dissemination regarding Latin American meetings and projects.

Make report to the Representative Committee and PYM Annual Session

Communication with contacts in PYM Monthly Meetings.

Support of subcommittees as needed

Clerk shall make request to Finance for the coming year’s budget 2 months before Annual Session.

EXPECTATIONS AND TIME INVOLVED

Committee meetings are held usually 3-4 times a year, lasting up to 2 hours each time. One to two are in-person and two are by telephone conference. There may arise occasion for additional telephone conferences.

Co-Clerks meet as needed to prepare for meetings.

Committee member work may include writing, attending meetings, information gathering regarding Latin American meetings and projects, communication with contacts in PYM Monthly Meetings, and planning/preparation of Annual Session Interest Groups.

Minutes of meetings are kept.

No expenditures are necessary beyond reimbursable expenses.

Revision approved by LACC June 2015

Ministry Committee

The Ministry Committee consists of nine experienced and sensitive Friends who serve overlapping three-year terms. Its role is to help foster the spiritual life and good order of the Yearly Meeting, by providing assistance and counsel ot the Yearly Meeting clerks and endeavoring to make the Annual Session a fulfilling experience for all participants. During that time, it is responsible for all Meetings for Worship, including Meeting for Memorials, and it oversees smaller gatherings such as worship-sharing, affinity and interest groups. It prepares the program for one plenary session to aid in centering the spirity of the Yearly Meeting.

The committee may invite officers and clerks of the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings who have particular concerns to meet with them. The committee selects three persons to serve as the Epistle Committee and brings these names to the first plenary session of the Annual Session. Throughout the year the Ministry Committee is concerned for the spiritual life and good order of those Monthly Meetings, Preparative Meetings and Worship Groups that are not affiliated with a Quarterly Meeting. Upon request, it may assist any committee, Meeting or individual of the Yearly Meeting.

The committee also considers and reports on any other matters brought to it by the Yearly Meeting, Representative Committe, Quarterly or outlying Meeting. It establishes liaisons with other committees and groups so as to be aware of their needs, and names two of its members to be available to the Statistical Clerk for advice and counsel. The committee administers the Fund for Concerns and advises the Treasurer regarding other special funds.

Tasks:

  • Prepare the program for one plenary session to aid in centering the spirit of the Yearly Meeting.
  • Select three persons to serve as the Epistle Committee.
  • Review State of the Meeting reports.
  • Arrange reading of, receives, and makes available copies of memorial minutes.
  • Handle requests for financial assistance to attend the Annual Session.
  • Consider and report on matters brought by the Yearly Meeting, Representative Committee, and/or Quarterly Meetings, and unaffiliated Meetings.
  • Administer the Fund for Concerns.
  • Advise the Treasurer about special funds.
  • Hold in its care the following standing subcommittees: Adult Religious Eucation, Brinton Visitor, Special Funds, Worship Sharing, Committed Relationships, Released Friends, Mental Health and Illness, Electronic Communication and Records.
  • Appoint and Liaisons to Discipline Committee, Junior Yearly Meeting Committee, Young Friends, Children’s Program Committee.
  • Name two of its members to be available to the Statistical Clerk.
  • Arrange time to listen to those at the Annual Session who have a need.
  • Provide assistance to Monthly Meetings and individuals on request.

Time Involved: There are three meetings per year in addition to the Annual Session, staggered between north and south, and lasting from Friday until Sunday. The meetings are usually held in November, February and April. There are daily meetings during the Annual Session lasting for approximately 2 hours. In addition, this committee requires a few hours a month on committee or subcommittee work. Spring and summer are busier, and additional time may be required during that period.

Each member of the committee is a liaison for one of the other subcommittees. Attendance at their meetings is helpful and there are phone calls and emails to keep in touch. Although it is not necessary to have computer skills for this committee, access to email is very useful. Minutes are kept of this committee’s meetings. Expenses beyond those which are reimbursed are negligible. Travel may occasionally be necessary beyong the scheduled meetings of the committee, to areas where committee members are liaison (Mexico, Guatemala, Hawaii).

2005

At the 2020 Annual Session unity was found to drop the word “Oversight” from the traditional name which was “Ministry and Oversight” or “M&O”.  There was not unity as to what word, if any, to replace “Oversight” with, so the name will remain “Ministry Committee” until such time as the issue may be revisited.

Ministry & Leadings Subcommittee

The Ministry subcommittee on Ministry & Leadings will be responsible for:

  • developing a means, and assisting Monthly Meetings to develop means, for helping Friends to discern when they are experiencing a leading, and supporting them in fulfilling the leading.
  • recommending procedures to Monthly Meetings for ways of supporting individual leadings and ministry through the use of clearness committees, anchor committees, and/or oversight committees.
  • developing mechanisms for helping to fund Friends traveling in the ministry, including overseeing Yearly Meeting funds for these purposes.
  • sponsoring interest groups and other adult education opportunities related to ministry and leadings.
  • sponsoring opportunities to members of anchor committees, elders and others to gather and discuss their work.

July 2005

** The Ministry & Leadings Subcommittee is not currently active in 2024.

Naming Committee

description pending

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee makes nominations for most of the officer and committee positions of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

(full description pending)

Peace & Social Order Committee

The Peace and Social Order Committee is responsible for the ongoing peace and social action work of the Yearly Meeting. It encourages and assists the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings in undertaking peace and social order activities. It seeks to balance its efforts between the peace concerns and social order concerns and to expressive activities around Friends’ testimonies on unity, equality, simplicity, peace and community. It brings to the Annual Sessions time the concerns, which may be in the form of Minutes for action.

Racial Justice Subcommittee

The primary purpose of the Ministry Subcommittee on Racial Justice is to facilitate candid, loving dialogue and transformative activities regarding racial justice and racial healing within Pacific Yearly Meeting. As a foundation for this service, members of the subcommittee should seek to “be patterns, be examples” (George Fox) for racial justice – that is, to mode open, honest and caring dialogue on issues of race within Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Members of the subcommittee should be well informed about the current state of racial justice and racial healing within Pacific Yearly Meeting, to initiate timely, and thoughtful responses. The subcommittee works best when the membership includes adequate representation from both Friends of Color and Friends of European descent.

The subcommittee is under the care of the Pacific Yearly Meeting committee on Ministry, which seasons the recommendations of the subcommittee and discerns with the subcommittee appropriate next steps.

The following are examples of activities of the Racial Justice subcommittee as the Spirit leads us:

  • Propose and plan activities for the Annual Gathering, for example:
    • Affinity Group for Friends of European Descent Concern About Racism.
    • Drafting worship sharing queries on racial justice and racial healing.
    • Proposing outside speakers and workshop leaders who might enrich the programs at the Annual Session.
    • Sponsoring interest groups and other adult education opportunities related to racial justice and racial healing.
    • Planning intergenerational activities around issues of race.
  • Propose and plan activities to take place within Pacific Yearly Meeting during the year between Annual Sessions, such as:
    • Offering and developing resources for Friends education on racial justice and racial healing, including historical contributions of Friends of Color.
    • Sponsoring or developing workshops and retreats on racial healing and racial justice.
    • Facilitating traveling ministry within Pacific Yearly Meeting on racial healing and racial justice.
    • Coordinating and communicating about racial justice and racial healing within and between Monthly and Quarterly Meetings.

December 2020

Representative Committee

Pacific Yearly Meeting (PacYM) Officers and Committee Clerks are members of Representative Committee, along with one designated representative from each Monthly Meeting, the Clerks of College Park and Southern California Quarterly Meetings, and the immediate past Clerk of the Yearly Meeting.

All Friends with interest in the business of Pacific Yearly Meeting are invited to attend the sessions of the Representative Committee (RepCom).

Representative Committee meets once a year (over two Saturdays) to:
– conduct any pressing business that requires the discernment of the Yearly Meeting body
– conduct business pertaining to the holding of Annual Session
– address financial items, such as the Treasurer’s report for the previous fiscal year, changes to the budget for the current year, and the budget for Annual Session
– consider nominations made by Nominating Committee since Annual Session and approve these nominations when so guided
– confirm interim appointments
– name the Naming Committee, which proposes the names of Friends to serve on the Nominating Committee

Any business that PacYM committees, officers or representatives to outside organizations intend to bring to Annual Session must be brought to RepCom for a “first reading”. Additionally, PacYM committees that would like to propose an interest group session for Annual Session must submit their proposals before the rise of RepCom.

PacYM Committees, the Treasurers and others, prepare and submit reports in advance of RepCom.

For more information about Meeting Representatives and Representative Committee, see page 175 of the 2001 edition of Faith & Practice.

Unity with Nature Committee

The Unity with Nature Committee encourages, supports, shares, and brings forward Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends’ concerns, Witness, and Leadings for earth care and sustainability. Central to our concerns for the last many years is to slow and eventually stop global warming and its horrific proliferation of dire consequences for both humans and the whole ecosystem. We lift up and listen to each others’ living Testimonies caring for the earth.

Visit the Unity with Nature committee’s website (click the image or go to https://www.unitywithnature.org/)
Visiting Friend Subcommittee

As a subcommittee of the Ministry Committee, the Visiting Friend Committee provides support for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Visiting Friend.

The subcommittee has three to five members. One member is also a member of the Ministry Committee and serves as liaison to that committee. Members serve for two years in, when possible, overlapping terms.

Tasks:

  • The committee provides support for the Visiting Friend by:
    • providing spiritual support to the Visiting Friend
    • overseeing visits, budget, and funds
    • assisting with travel and hospitality arrangements
    • facilitating communication between Meetings wishing to be visited and the Visiting Friend
    • collecting feedback from Meetings and discussing it with the Visiting Friend as appropriate; summarizing feedback for inclusion in committee’s report to M&O
    • reviewing annual reports of Visiting Friend
  • The committee will report at least annually to PYM’s M&O Committee.
  • The committee assists in the selection of the Visiting Friend by:
    • staying aware of Friends who might be good candidates to serve as the Visiting Friend
    • when the current Visiting Friend’s term is nearing its end, the Committee will begin a nominating process to create a list of possible candidates to serve. Candidates on this list will be both suitable and available to serve. The list will be presented to Ministry with recommendations. Naming of the Visiting Friend is the responsibility of Ministry.

January 2012

** The Visiting Friend Subcommittee is not currently active in 2024.

Youth Programs Coordination Committee

(pending)

Officers
Presiding Clerk

The Presiding Clerk of PYM should be a seasoned Friend, spiritually grounded, able to preside over a large group, and be able to work easily with others. Good institutional memory of PYM is desirable, including attendance at some recent annual sessions. They must be a member of a constituent Monthly Meeting. Familiarity with Faith and Practice and other Quaker literature is needed.

The Clerk should be able to comprehend readily, evaluate rightly, and state clearly concerns brought for consideration and items of business brought for action. They must have the ability to gather the sense of the Meeting, including to discern when unity has gathered the meeting together and when it has not.

The Clerk should be able and willing to make decisions on behalf of Yearly Meeting when immediate action is required and when an appropriate committee is not available to consider carefully and make a recommendation. In such cases the Clerk will consult with seasoned Friends in the yearly meeting, including officers and clerks of committees as the Clerk sees appropriate.

SERVICE DESCRIPTION
The Clerk bears primary responsibility for the work of the Yearly Meeting, including the plenary sessions. They prepare the agenda and set the time and place for items, sensing the importance or urgency and possible time requirements of the items. The Clerk coordinates the business between annual sessions, involving the Assistant to the Clerk and others as appropriate.

The Clerk is responsible for minutes of all meetings for business; minutes are prepared by the Recording Clerks. The Clerk is an ex-officio member of all committees of the Yearly Meeting and should attend at least some of the meetings of Ministry and Oversight Committee. The Clerk keeps close enough to the work of the committees to be aware of business which may come before the yearly meeting, discerning whether it is appropriate for Yearly Meeting action. The Clerk, in conjunction with Nominating Committee, keeps attuned to any committees which are not functioning well so that action may be taken to strengthen them. There is much preparation work, especially between Representative Committee meeting and the annual summer session.

The term of office is one year; however, clerks are usually asked to serve for three consecutive terms. It is assumed that, in accepting appointment as Presiding Clerk, that person would envisage being able to serve more than one term.

TASKS

  • Compose the Call to Yearly Meeting prior to annual session, and, with the Assistant to the Clerk, sees to its timely distribution.
  • Prepare the agenda for plenary sessions and for Representative Committee, setting the time and place for items on the agenda, and sensing the importance and/or urgency of the items.
  • Preside at plenary sessions at the annual sessions and at Representative Committee meeting.
  • In consultation with Ministry Committee, decide on the theme, if any, for the Yearly Meeting annual session, the overall schedule for the annual session and the selection of keynote speaker(s), if any, for the annual session.
  • Oversee the minutes of the yearly meeting’s plenary sessions (drafted by the Recording Clerks) and takes final responsibility for their accuracy and completeness.
  • Responsible for final sign-off on the completed minutes of both annual session and Representative Committee. May require a special effort to see that the minutes are finalized for distribution in a timely manner.
  • Follow through on notification of tasks assigned by the yearly meeting, ensuring that the instructions of the Yearly Meeting are carried out. (Is ultimately responsible that instructions/actions are carried out.)
  • At the request of, and in consultation with, the clerk of Nominating Committee, may appoint Friends to fill critical officer, committee or other vacancies between annual sessions and Representative Committee meetings.
  • Sign all official papers and minutes.
  • Available to meet with the Ministry Committee as needed during the year and with other committees and individuals on an as-needed basis.
  • Available throughout the year to respond to concerns that require a Yearly Meeting response, whether raised by individuals, Monthly Meetings, Quarterly Meetings, or from outside the yearly meeting. May require contact with or referral to other officers of the yearly meeting or with clerks of committees.

The Clerk is also responsible for the following tasks, which may be delegated:

  • Forwarding the Pacific Yearly Meeting Epistles to Yearly Meetings throughout the world.
  • Selecting the location of any Representative Committee meeting which is not concurrent with yearly meeting sessions.
  • Receiving correspondence to Pacific Yearly Meeting and distributing as appropriate.
  • Verifying that Representatives to Pacific Yearly Meeting from each Monthly Meeting are appointed.

TIME EXPECTATIONS AND TIME LINES
Can expect 8-12 hours of activity per week in the quiet months of the year in addition to preparation time for the annual session, Representative Committee, and time attending committee meetings, e.g., with Ministry and Oversight, as well as full time at the annual session and Representative Committee meeting.

The Clerk will find activity increases as Winter begins. Preparations must be made for Representative Committee. There should be communication with officers, committees, and meetings so all know their roles as well as when, where, and what is to be considered at Representative Committee.

Before Summer begins, the Clerk will again be communicating about preparations for annual sessions, distributing draft schedules and agenda, and making sure committees and officers are handling their responsibilities for the annual session. It is helpful to give guidance to Recording Clerks, Reading Clerk, and Assistant to the Clerk so that the “clerks at the table” can work smoothly together at annual sessions and support each other in their roles.

Follow-up to annual session requires particular attention to finalizing the minutes for distribution, assuring that assignments to individuals and committees are clear and being carried out, and distribution of the Epistle to all other Yearly Meetings is completed.

April 2015

Statistical Clerk

The Statistical Clerk maintains the official list of members of Pacific Yearly Meeting. They assemble annual statistics of deaths, new memberships, transfers or withdrawals of membership and changes of address from constituent Monthly Meetings.

The term of office is three years. The Statistical Clerk is an ex officio member of the Finance Committee.

2012

Other Service Descriptions
Visiting Friend

The Pacific Yearly Meeting Visiting Friend, appointed by the Ministry Committee, will travel in the ministry among Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in Pacific Yearly Meeting in order to help us live more fully in the Spirit and strengthen the bonds of community in the Yearly Meeting. Visitors will be members of a Monthly Meeting, known to the Yearly Meeting and generally recognized as “weighty” Friends. Visitors may be individuals or couples. The term “Visitor” is used below to refer to the Visiting Friend (or Friends) in whatever configuration the Visitor takes at a given time (individual, married or unmarried couple, etc.).

The Visitor will travel over one year and try to visit each Monthly Meeting and Worship Group. In the past the Visitor has had 2-5 topics to present, based on his or her concerns, experience, and answering to the Spirit.

The Visitor may be released from duties at his or her Meeting.

Monthly Meetings may choose a topic for the Visitor to address, either from among topics suggested by the Visitor or a topic that is of particular interest to the Monthly Meeting. The Visitor may provide assistance in discerning a response to an issue in the Meeting.

The Visitor is in regular contact with the support committee throughout the year, and at the end of the visiting year provides a written report to the committee, to be shared with Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Ministry Committee.

There may not be a Visiting Friend each year if the funds do not support it or no suitable Friend is available, allowing the reserve to build up to a level that will support a Visitor.

June 2012

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