Committee Handbook — 2015

Committee Handbook

June 30, 2015

PDF File for download

Am I ready to offer assistance as part of my religious community serving its members? Am I equally willing to accept graciously the help of others?”
[
Faith and Practice, 1997, p. 208]

Introduction

Committee Hosting Responsibilities

Monthly Meeting Officers

Clerk Term: 2 years

Assistant Clerk Term: 2 years

Controller for Operations Term: 4 years, starting July 1

Assistant Controller for Receipts Term: 4 years, starting July 1

Treasurer for Endowments Term: 4 years, starting July 1

Recorder Term: 4 years, Reports in January

Announcer (2) Term: 1 year

Monthly Meeting Committees

Auditing Committee 3 Members Term: 3 years

Buildings and Grounds Committee 10 Members Term: 4 years

Care and Counsel Committee 12 Members Term: 4 years

Conference Grant Committee 3 Members Term: 4 years

Financial Oversight Committee 7 Members Term: 4 years

Note: The functions of Friends in Need have been taken on by Care and Counsel.

Inreach/Outreach Committee 7 Members Term: 4 years

Library Committee 6 Members Term: 2 years

Newsletter Committee 8 Members Term: 3 years

Newtown Friends School Committee Term: 3 years, starting July 1

Nominating Committee 9 Members Term: 3 years

Peace and Service Committee 8 Members Term: 2 years

Religious Education Committee 10 Members Term: 2 years, starting July 1

Adult Religious Education Committee 6 Members Term: 3 years, starting July 1

Friends Schools Tuition Assistance Committee 3 Members Term: 4 years

Worship and Ministry 15 Members Term: 4 years

Ad Hoc Committee on Conflict Resolution

QUARTERLY MEETING APPOINTMENTS

Budget and Nominating Committee (2 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Chandler Hall Auxiliary (1 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Friends Boarding Home and Village Committee (2 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Friends Camp Association (2 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Oversight Committee (1 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

YEARLY MEETING APPOINTMENT

Interim Meeting (1 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Charter for Newtown Friends School

Purpose of Newtown Friends School

The Newtown Friends School Committee

Functions of the Committee

Amendment

 

Introduction

Since Newtown Monthly Meeting has no professional, paid staff, the life of the Meeting depends on voluntary involvement and commitment. The Meeting has formed several committees and positions to ensure the continuity of the spiritual, as well as the operational, goals of the Meeting.

Members and attenders are encouraged to understand the roles and nature of the committees, to utilize them if the need arises, and to know where they can contribute their talents most effectively. Hence, this handbook.

This handbook lists the duties of officers and committees of Newtown Monthly Meeting as of January 30, 2014.. The Meeting may, from time to time, appoint additional committees, revise the duties of standing committees, or lay committees down.

It is the policy of Newtown Monthly Meeting that no member of any Meeting Committee may serve more than three consecutive full terms. A minimum of two years must elapse before being eligible to be reappointed to that committee. Monthly Meeting sets the term limits for our appointments to Quarterly and Yearly Meeting.

Attenders are welcome to serve on any committee not restricted to Meeting members. Committees that are open to attenders are indicated in this handbook; all other committees are limited to Meeting members. More details are given with the Nominating Committee’s description.

Committee Hosting Responsibilities

Committees take turns hosting our monthly covered-dish meals. They take responsibility for:

         Setting up tables and chairs

         Providing hot and cold beverages and cups

         Bringing main dishes; chilling or heating food until the meal

         Checking supplies

         Cleaning up

Please see the Assistant Clerk if you have any questions. Schedule for Covered Dish Lunches:

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Jan. Library, Camp Onas, Inreach/Outreach Nominating NFS Building and Grounds Newsletter
Feb. Worship & Ministry Library, Camp Onas, Inreach/Outreach Nominating NFS Building and Grounds
Mar. Audit, Adult R.E., Tuition Aid Worship & Ministry Library, Camp Onas, Inreach/Outreach Nominating NFS
Apr. Financial Oversight Audit, Adult R.E., Tuition Aid Worship & Ministry Library, Camp Onas, Inreach/Outreach Nominating
May Peace & Service Financial Oversight Audit, Adult R.E., Tuition Aid Worship & Ministry Library, Camp Onas, Inreach/Outreach
June Religious Ed Religious Ed Religious Ed Religious Ed Religious Ed
July and Aug. No Friendly First Shared Meals in July and August
Sept. Care and Counsel Care and Counsel Care and Counsel Care and Counsel Care and Counsel
Oct. Newsletter Peace & Service Financial Oversight Audit, Adult R.E., Tuition Aid Worship & Ministry
Nov. Building and Grounds Newsletter Peace & Service Financial Oversight Audit, Adult R.E., Tuition Aid
Dec. NFS Building and Grounds Newsletter Peace & Service Financial Oversight

Monthly Meeting Officers

Monthly Meeting Officers (Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Controller, Treasurer and Recorder) must be members of the Meeting.

Clerk Term: 2 years

Reports Annually to Monthly Meeting in November, Quarterly Meeting in November.

Ideally, the Clerk is both servant and leader. The Clerk sees to the management and good order of the affairs of the Meeting and is responsible for a general oversight of the Meeting activities. Specifically, the Clerk:

1.      Conducts all business sessions of the Meeting and carries out the instructions of the Meeting in all matters pertaining to the complete accomplishment of its business:

         Prepares the agenda and conducts the Monthly Meeting in a worshipful spirit;

         Ensures administrative compliance with the wishes and/or business decisions of the Meeting;

         Ensures that those charged by the Meeting with new tasks or specific actions are informed of their responsibilities;

         Defers a matter to a later time when there is no clear sense of the Meeting, and takes care that matters held over appear in a later agenda.

2.      Receives and properly acts upon all correspondence directed to the Meeting, and promptly dispatches all letters or documents whose drafting has been entrusted to the Clerk.

3.      Serves as ex-officio member of all committees and attends when appropriate.

4.      Signs legal documents to which the Monthly Meeting has given approval, as executive officer of the Meeting, and represents the Meeting at ecumenical or other functions when called upon to do so.

5.      Manages important communication with members and attenders.

6.      Closes Meetings for Worship, or appoints another member to do so.

The full description of the functions of the Clerk is contained in Faith and Practice.

Assistant Clerk Term: 2 years

1.      Records the minutes of Monthly Meeting and sees that they are passed on in good order or properly stored. Provides final copy of the minutes to the Newsletter Committee and Web Clerk. Sends one copy of the minutes to the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College.

2.      Reads the appropriate Query once each month during Meeting for Worship.

3.      Reminds committee clerks of their responsibility for hosting the monthly covered dish lunch.

4.      Assists the Clerk in any way possible when called upon, and acts in the absence of the Clerk by presiding at Monthly Meeting, picking up the mail, etc.

5.      Acts in the name of the Meeting whenever the Clerk is unable to do so.

6.      Normally becomes Clerk at the end of the two year term.

Controller for Operations Term: 4 years, starting July 1

1.      Holds, accounts for, and when properly authorized, disburses funds for the Operating Fund and other funds as assigned by the Financial Oversight Committee. Authority to disburse funds for certain line items is contained in the approved operating budget. Other disbursements shall be made only on authorization of the Monthly Meeting, the Clerk, or the appropriate committee chairperson.

2.      Provides, when called upon, financial reports and data to the Financial Oversight Committee. Reports to Monthly Meeting quarterly.

3.      Submits the book of accounts for annual audit by the Auditing Committee.

4.      Serves as alternate to the Treasurer for Endowments and to the Assistant Controller for Receipts.

5.      Is a member ex officio of the Financial Oversight Committee.

Assistant Controller for Receipts Term: 4 years, starting July 1

1.      Receives contributions and other payments for the Operating Fund and other funds as assigned by the Financial Oversight Committee, and deposits them in the Meeting’s bank account.

2.      Provides, when called upon, financial data concerning receipts to the Controller and to the Financial Oversight Committee.

3.      Provides receipts for all contributions at the end of the calendar year. Provides receipts for all other contributions as requested.

4.      Serves as alternate to the Treasurer for Endowments and to the Controller for Operations.

5.      Is a member ex officio of the Financial Oversight Committee.

Treasurer for Endowments Term: 4 years, starting July 1

1.      Receives, holds, accounts for, and when properly authorized, disburses funds for the endowment funds, income funds relating thereto, and other funds as assigned by the Financial Oversight Committee. Disbursements shall be made only on authorization of the Monthly Meeting.

2. Engages in shares transaction for the purpose of donated gift shares under the authorization by the Financial Oversight Committee. 

3.      Provides, when called upon, financial data to the Financial Oversight Committee for financial reports.

4.      Prepares and submits reports to Monthly Meeting in March and September.

5.      Submits the books of account for annual audit by the Auditing Committee.

6.      Acknowledges receipt of gifts to the endowment; provides annual written cumulative report of all gifts and bequests.

7.      Serves as alternate to the Controller for Operations.

8.      Is a member ex officio of the Financial Oversight Committee.

Recorder Term: 4 years, Reports in January

1.      Maintains the records of births, deaths, admissions, removals, marriages and any other pertinent statistical information relating to the Meeting membership.

2. Maintains records of address, phone, and other contact information for members and attenders.

3.      Certifies and transmits at the direction of the Meeting such information to a requesting member.

4.      Transmits to PYM changes in membership information.

Announcer (2) Term: 1 year

1.      At the close of Meeting for Worship, asks visitors to be introduced or to introduce themselves and asks them to sign the guest book.  Asks for news of absent or ill friends and for sharing joys or concerns.

2.   Makes announcements that have been provided in advance.   Announcements should pertain to concerns of this Meeting, other Friends organizations, or ecumenical affairs.

3. Solicits and manages any additional announcements from those in attendance.  

4. Announces schedule for the remainder of the day and for the next Sunday.

Web Clerk Term: 4 years, reports in March

1.      Manages the Meeting’s web site, maintaining it as a welcoming and informative resource for those wishing to learn more about Newtown Meeting and the Religious Society of Friends, as well as organizing and providing internal information to the Meeting community.

2.      Regularly updates the on-line schedule, posts newsletters, minutes and other timely information, and adds committee and other relevant Meeting information on request.

3.      Coordinates with Meeting committees that utilize web resources, including Newsletter, Building and Grounds (for Meetinghouse reservations) and others.

4.      Exercises care in appropriately protecting information.

5.      Maintains web hosting service and domain name subscriptions to ensure continued availability.

 

Monthly Meeting Committees

Auditing Committee 3 Members Term: 3 years

Meets annually, on call Reports in October

The Auditing committee reports to Monthly Meeting annually on the results of its review of the books of account of the Meeting.

1.      Makes an annual audit of the financial records of the Controller for operations and the Treasurer for Endowments.

2.      May audit the financial records of other groups and individuals who handle funds for Meeting purposes if requested.

Building and Grounds Committee 10 Members Term: 4 years

Meets monthly except June and July Reports in February

Open to attenders

The Building and Grounds Committee oversees the maintenance and care of the Meeting property. The Committee:

1.      Is responsible for the general care of the equipment, appliances and property; inventories these items periodically.

2.      Coordinates the housekeeper task in dealing with “orphaned clutter.”

3.      Employs and manages caretakers for the property, and maintains contracts and permits with all 3rd parties concerning care and use of the property.

4.      Oversees the graveyard, establishing policies for burials and maintaining records of grave plots.

5.      Reviews the needs for capital improvements to the Meeting property and makes recommendations to Monthly Meeting concerning these needs

6.      Receives all requests for use of the Meetinghouse and keeps a calendar of such use. Oversees all outside parties in their use of the meetinghouse and acts as liaison for Newtown Monthly Meeting.

7.      Coordinates and directs Meeting Community work days.

Care and Counsel Committee 12 Members Term: 4 years

Meets Monthly Reports Monthly

The following persons are also members of Care and Counsel, ex-officio: Clerk, Assistant Clerk of Meeting, and a representative of the Financial Oversight Committee.

1.      Pastoral care includes:

  1. Care of members in need, including referrals to community resources:

         Visiting shut-in members, as well as the ill or bereaved.

         Maintaining contact with young adult members

         Keeping in touch with non-resident and inactive resident members.

         Sending cards or notes to members at times of significant lifetime events.

  • Helping to resolve differences between members.
  • Coordinating meals in times of need.
  • Maintaining and delivering the Healing Quilts to those in need of comfort.
  • Overseeing the Mentoring program for children beginning in sixth grade.
  • Coordinating with Inreach/Outreach regarding care of attenders

b. Membership applications, transfers, releases and resignations. Gives active consideration before presentation to Monthly Meeting of all applications for membership, removals, and transfers.

       Welcome and introduce new members along with Worship and Ministry on Friendly First, as needed.

         Follow up with Associate members who have turned 21, have been absent from Meeting and have not affirmed their interest in membership.

         Review of Recorder’s annual report for accuracy.

  1. Appoints Committees of Clearness for all marriages under the care of the Meeting. Assists and advises in accomplishing the marriage if requested.
  2. Maintenance of three marriage books.

2.  The committee is also responsible for the oversight of the following additional activities:

a. Support Religious Education committee for child care;

b. Assist with Membership Directory as needed;

c. Attenders gathering;

d. September opening brunch;

e. Maintain supply of Meeting plates and stationery;

f. Transportation from Friends Home/Village to Meeting for Worship

3. . Responsible for seeing to the appropriate distribution of endowed funds for the benefit of those in the Meeting with unusual financial needs.

  1. Provides help to members of the Meeting in need of financial aid as funds available to the Committee permit.
  2. Encourages Friends to contribute to the Newtown Friends in Need Trust Fund.

4.      Provides a member to the Conference Grant Committee.

Conference Grant Committee 3 Members Term: 4 years

Meets as needed Reports in March

Open to attenders

The Conference Grant Committee is comprised of one member from each of the Care and Counsel, Adult Religious Education, and Worship and Ministry Committees. The Committee considers funding requests from members and attenders to participate in Quaker conferences and gatherings to nurture their spiritual growth and understanding of Quakerism.

Committee members are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding such requests.

Financial Oversight Committee 7 Members Term: 4 years

Meets monthly Reports monthly

Members include Treasurer for Endowments, Controller for Operations and Assistant Controller for Receipts.

The Financial Oversight Committee is charged with guiding the Meeting in its financial affairs.

1.      Prepares and recommends the annual budget to the Monthly Meeting.

2.      Responsible for all aspects of raising funds to meet the budget.

3.      Designs and maintains a chart of accounts for all Meeting funds and determines which special accounts are to be in the respective custody of the treasurer and controller.

4.      Prepares quarterly reports of operating funds and comprehensive annual reports of all Meeting funds, and such other financial reports as the Meeting may request.

5.      Advises the Meeting as to the acquisition, management and disposition of its funds, and other assets.

6.      Makes specific investment decisions to carry out the Meeting’s investment strategy for endowment funds. Guides the Controller for Operations in the investment of operating funds.

7.      With the Treasurer, reviews remaining income amounts, if any, in the Friends in Need Fund and Education (Tuition Assistance) Fund at the end of each fiscal year, making transfers among them as necessary, and transferring available balances to the General Fund Endowment for re-investment.

8.      Reviews budgets of Quarterly and Yearly Meetings, and recommends for approval by Monthly Meeting commitments to Quarterly Meeting for future financial support of both functions.

9.      Makes recommendations to Monthly Meeting for the disposition of gifts and bequests.

10.  Members of the Financial Oversight Committee shall have charge of the trust funds, endowments, and reserves for perpetual care of the burial grounds. They serve as Trustees in accord with the requirements of the 1967 Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws (revised 1995), and, as such, perform the functions stated therein.

Inreach/Outreach Committee 7 Members Term: 4 years

Meets in odd-numbered months Reports in February

Open to attenders

Members include ex-officio clerks of the Web Site, and Newsletter Committee.

The Inreach/Outreach Committee is charged with enhancing the social life of the Meeting as a faith community and enhancing its relations with the wider community – including but not limited to various forms of hospitality for members, attenders and visitors, social activities, public relations, media relations and participation in activities of the Newtown and Bucks County communities.

The Inreach/Outreach Committee:

1.      Is responsible for defining roles and organizing activities to further ist mission, such as the role of greeter, improving our recording, contact and tracking process for visitors, and incorporating attenders quickly and directly into the life of the Meeting.

2.      Conducts the welcome postcard program to new arrivals in the Newtown area.

3.      Is responsible for organizing Friendly Eights or similar activities, refreshments after worship on first days, and the Blossom Ride.

4.      Anticipates scheduled programs and prepares materials for public relations and media relations.

Library Committee 6 Members Term: 2 years

Meets on Call Reports in December

Open to attenders

1.      Maintains the Meeting Library.

2.      Is responsible for acquisition, cataloging and circulation of books and certain pamphlets.

3.      Maintains a contact with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Library and may occasionally bring out an exhibit of books for use of the Meeting.

4.      Through announcements, the Newsletter, displays, etc., keeps Meeting members and attenders aware of new publications, books, pamphlets, tapes, and other items in our catalog which nurture the spiritual growth of the Meeting.

Newsletter Committee 8 Members Term: 3 years

Meets on Call Reports in April

Open to attenders

1.      Assembles and writes items of interest to Meeting members ten times a year from September to June. Publishes calendar of events and information about meeting activities, informal working groups in the Meeting and news of Meeting members and attenders.

2.      Publishes the draft minutes of the business of Monthly Meeting in each month in which it publishes.

3.      Distributes the Newsletter by mail and on the Meeting’s website, including enclosures judged suitable by the committee or the Monthly Meeting.

Newtown Friends School Committee Term: 3 years, starting July 1

Meets monthly, except July and August. Reports in April.

Five (5) seats on the School Committee shall be held by persons nominated by Newtown Monthly Meeting, who shall also be members of Newtown Monthly Meeting, one of whom shall serve as Clerk. Other appointees are as specified in the School Charter.

Responsible for the care and operation of our school, Newtown Friends School, under the charter provided by the Meeting.

For Duties, see Charter at end of this handbook.

Nominating Committee 9 Members Term: 3 years

Meets on Call Members serve One Term Only

Members of the Nominating Committee may not succeed themselves. The Meeting Clerk proposes a special three member “Naming” committee, approved at the September Monthly Meeting, to nominate new members to this Committee.

Responsible for full staffing of Meeting committees. As much as possible, it should be sensitive to broadening the involvement of Meeting membership in carrying forward its work. Members of the Nominating Committee should be familiar with the functions of other committees and the personal qualifications and interests of Meeting members in order to match functions and qualifications skillfully.

1.      Presents to Monthly Meeting a list of nominees to serve as officers of the Meeting and members of standing committees of Monthly Meeting and as representatives to Quarterly and Yearly Meeting. This list is presented in December for approval (and at other times as necessary).

2.      Prepares the Committee List for publication on the website and in the Newsletter and keeps the Committee list on the Meetinghouse bulletin board up to date.

3.      Nominates members to fill vacancies as they occur. Encourages the participation of younger members and attenders as well as longtime adult Meeting members in the life of the Meeting.

4.      Attenders of the Meeting may be appointed to most committees.  When attenders are suggested for appointment to committees that normally have only Meeting members assigned or when such persons are being appointed as clerks of any committee, special note of those nominations should be made to Monthly Meeting. The Nominating Committee reports the names of co-opted committee members to Monthly Meeting..

5.      Members or attenders may be co-opted.  Co-opted members of a committee are not counted in the formal number of members on a given committee. A person may be co-opted to learn and experience how a committee operates or to serve in a consultant role, having a particular expertise for a specific project.

6.      Revises and republishes the Committee Handbook from time to time.

7.      Reviews gifts of those not serving on committees to see how these gifts might be better used by the Meeting.

Peace and Service Committee 8 Members Term: 2 years

Meets monthly Reports in May

Open to attenders

The Peace and Service Committee builds a bridge between the individual concerns of those in the Meeting Community and the Meeting as a whole, and seeks ways for the Meeting to support the leadings and social concerns activities of individual members.

The committee:

  • supports in any way appropriate those who are endeavoring to be faithful to the Friends Peace Testimony;
  • presents opportunities for individuals to become involved in solutions to social problems on community, national and international levels; and
  • keeps before Friends the need to develop international understanding and support for the institutions of peace, peacemaking and service.

Religious Education Committee 10 Members Term: 2 years, starting July 1

Meets monthly Reports in July

Open to attenders

The Religious Education Committee has as its primary responsibility the nurture of the children of the Meeting through the First Day School program.

1.      Enlists the First Day School Clerk and teachers and assigns substitutes as necessary.

2.      Is responsible for planning curriculum for the teachers and nursery and obtaining supplies as needed.

3.      Assigns children to the proper classes and space.

4.      Presents programs by the First Day School at Christmas.

5.      Presents Bibles to fourth graders at Easter and Faith and Practice to eighth graders in June.

6.      Maintains a coordinated effort with Worship and Ministry and Care and Counsel with regard to babysitting younger children during Meeting for Worship.

Note: Teachers are encouraged (although not required) to attend Religious Education Committee meetings and are welcome to serve as committee members.

Adult Religious Education Committee 6 Members

Term: 3 years, starting July 1

Meets as needed Reports in June

Open to attenders

The Adult Religious Education Committee develops and promotes the Adult First Day School programs through the program year (September through June). Programs are intended to inform, inspire and educate members, attendees, and the general public. Presenters may be members or attenders of the Meeting, visiting Quaker leaders, educators, or other prominent speakers.

The Committee also provides a member to the Conference Grant Committee.

Friends Schools Tuition Assistance Committee

3 Members Term: 4 years

Meets in February Reports in June

Following a schedule established from year to year by Friends Council on Education::

1.      Maintains responsibility for disbursing tuition assistance to children of Meeting members attending primary and secondary Friends Schools.

2.      Notifies Meeting members of the procedures and deadlines for requests for aid, usually through the Meeting Newsletter.

3.      Ascertains from the treasurer the available funds.

4.      Allocates funds in one or two meetings and instructs the treasurer to issue the checks.

5.      Committee members are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding scholarship requests.

Worship and Ministry 15 Members Term: 4 years

Meets Monthly Reports in October

From the very beginning, it has been the belief of the Religious Society of Friends that everyone is a minister – we are all called upon to bear witness to the presence of God in our individual lives, in the life of the Meeting, and in the life of the world community in which we live. This suggests that the Committee on Worship and Ministry in a monthly meeting is in reality a “Committee of the Whole”. Nevertheless it has been deemed appropriate to appoint a committee as part of the Meeting structure to carry out two functions: (1) To focus on nurturing the spiritual life of the Meeting, and (2) To attend to the various pastoral needs of the Meeting that are rooted in our spiritual foundation. To a certain extent, a number of the duties enumerated below may overlap with the duties of other committees. This should not be a cause for concern. Everyone should feel that they are a part of the workings of the Committee on Worship and Ministry.

Essentially, the duties of the Committee are as follows:

1.      Committee Membership: Members of the Committee are expected to attend worship regularly, to be persons of some spiritual depth, and to be good listeners. They should be active participants of the Meeting and members of the Religious Society of Friends.

2.      Worship

        Shows concern, by example and counsel, for the quality of worship.

        Provides for the conduct of regular and specially appointed Meetings for Worship, including memorial meetings (marriage services are under the care of the Care and Counsel Committee).

        Encourages the “opportunity” for brief worship at the beginning and ending of each working or social meeting among members so that the experience of deep listening between each other and the Divine and the opening to that which is Eternal becomes a way of life.

3.      Memorial Meetings

  • Appoints a Coordinator of Memorial Meetings to be the contact person for bereaved families. Both the Committee and the Coordinator provide appropriate support to the family on behalf of the Meeting, using the Memorial Meeting Handbook as a guide to all procedures and responsibilities.
  • Makes sure the Memorial Meeting Handbook is current and accurate and copies are available and accessible to Meeting members. Each Committee member should have a copy and be familiar with the responsibilities involved for Memorial Services.

4.      Spiritual Nurture

  • Gives continuing thought and encouragement to the spiritual life of the Meeting.
  • Is available to listen to, as well as to nurture and offer counsel to, those who are growing or struggling in their spirituality.
  • Offers support and discernment to those in the Meeting who are under the weight of a spiritual leading.
  • Devotes time at its meetings to the spiritual development of its members, sharing spiritual journeys and spiritual practices, discussing spiritual concerns and issues.
  • Responds to the spiritual needs of Friends unable to attend regular NM Meetings for Worship; checks to make sure someone from the Meeting visits these Friends at their residence,

5.      Support of the Meeting

  • Reaches out to members who are 18-25 years old. Organizes the Homecoming Sunday for them during the Christmas holidays; presenting each who turns 21 with a framed Edward Hicks Peaceable Kingdom painting. The committee sends a spring mailing, welcoming the 18-25 year members and attenders to worship with us in the summer.
  • Organizes workshops or speakers from time to time who will contribute to the spiritual development of the Meeting and of the Worship and Ministry Committee.
  • Cooperates with the Religious Education Committee and other groups that offer programs of spiritual development. It is helpful to have a member of Worship and Ministry serve on the Adult First Day School Committee.
  • Meets with the Care and Counsel Committee at least once a year. Worship and Ministry cooperates in the pastoral care of the Meeting.
  • Welcomes new members to Newtown Meeting with Care and Counsel, with attention to their spiritual life in the early years.
  • Provides a member to the Conference Grant Committee.

6.      Relationship with Bucks Quarterly Meeting

  • Conducts worship services at Chandler Hall for one month (every 10 months), providing music and a worship leader for each Sunday.

7.      Relationship with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

  • Responds, on behalf of the Meeting, to inquiries from PYM Committee on Worship and Ministry.

8.      Relationship with Newtown Ministerium

  • Oversees representation of the Meeting on the Newtown Ministerium.

Ad Hoc Committee on Conflict Resolution

When the level of conflict, disaffection or estrangement among members or between members and functions organized under the care of the Meeting reaches a point of being incapable of resolution and reconciliation by the parties themselves, it may become appropriate for the Clerk of the Meeting, the Clerks of the Care and Counsel and Worship and Ministry Committees to meet and devise a plan of action that will meet the needs of the particular case.

Each case must be evaluated on its own merits. Referrals of this type may come at the request of any one of the Clerks, upon the request of one or more of the parties, or by referral thereto by the Meeting. The overriding concern of any process so proposed shall be that the result be achieved through a reverent and prayerful effort by all participants to seek the leading of God and to be guided accordingly.

Traditional techniques used for dispute resolution, from the least to the most formal, include:

Clearness committees

Unmediated dialogue between the parties

Dialogue mediated by a Meeting member or members

Dialogue mediated by another Friend or Friends

Non-binding arbitration

Binding arbitration

Legal process

It is worth noting that the higher the degree of formality, the lower the rate of mutual satisfaction. Friends favor the less formal mechanisms as being more likely to offer a superior path to resolution guided by God’s will. An essential precondition for successful Quaker mediation may well be an agreement that a particular mechanism is the most likely to reveal God’s will, and a good faith commitment to eschew other mechanisms except by mutual agreement.

QUARTERLY MEETING APPOINTMENTS

There is no limit to the number of terms which may be served on Quarterly Meeting Committees.

Budget and Nominating Committee (2 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Meets on first Saturday. in February, May and November.

1.      Nominates officers of the Quarterly Meeting: Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, 3 Auditors, BQM Scholarship Committee and six members to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Nominating Committee.

2.      Prepares and submits to Quarterly Meeting a suggested budget for approval. Advises and assists Quarterly Meeting in financial matters.

3.      Prepares and maintains the handbook of functions of officers and committees of the Quarter.

Chandler Hall Auxiliary (1 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Provides support for Chandler Hall services. Meets four times a year.

Friends Boarding Home and Village Committee (2 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Meets Monthly Reports in July

Friends Home and Village is a Retirement Community in Newtown under the Care of Bucks Quarterly Meeting. Functions as Board of Managers for the Home and Friends Village.

Friends Camp Association (2 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Meets six times per year. Reports in January

Camp Onas is a residential summer camp in Ottsville, PA operated by Bucks Quarterly Meeting. The committee serves as the Board of Directors of the Camp. Members encourage Monthly Meeting support and children to attend.

Oversight Committee (1 from Newtown) Term: 3 years

Meets Monthly

Oversees and assists the work of the Coordinator of Bucks Quarterly Meeting.

1.      Sets budget and salary, including fringe benefits.

2.      Keeps the Meeting informed about Quarterly Meeting activities. (Should be a regular attender at Meeting in order to do this well.)

3.      Encourages participation in the work and activities of the Quarter.

4.      Sees that Quarterly Meeting Newsletters are distributed to Newtown Meeting members and attenders.

 

Newtown Monthly Meeting

Of the Religious Society of Friends

Charter for Newtown Friends School

 

Purpose of Newtown Friends School

 

As an institution with its deepest roots in Quaker religious experience, to provide students with an opportunity, in an environment of cooperation rather than competition, to demonstrate religion as a part of daily life, to develop a positive view of the world and their responsibilities of living in it, to practice respect for differences, and to find rewards in service to others.

 

The Newtown Friends School Committee

 

The Committee shall consist of:

 

1.      A minimum of five members of this Meeting, one of whom shall serve as clerk.

2.      Up to seven members from other Friends Meetings with preference given to members of Bucks Quarterly Meeting.

3.      Not more than three representatives of the Parent Association of the School.

4.      Not more than five persons co-opted by the Committee by reason of special skills and interest in the School.

5.      At least fifty percent of the Committee’s membership must be members of the Religious Society of Friends.

 

None of these appointments shall hereafter exceed three consecutive terms of three years each.

 

Other School Committee Meeting Attendees

 

The Head of School meets regularly with the Committee, accompanied, when appropriate by the Heads of Upper and Lower School, the Business Manager, Director of Development, and Director of Admissions. Two representatives of the faculty and the President of the Parent Association are also invited to attend.

 

Functions of the Committee

 

1.      Adopt, and amend as necessary, in consultation with the Meeting, a Statement of Mission not inconsistent with this Charter.

2.      Serve as Board of Directors of the School.

3.      Appoint and evaluate the Head; meet with the Head as needed.

4.      Supervise construction, renovation and maintenance of buildings and play areas.

5.      Prepare an operating budget in consultation with the Head, set tuition rates and a salary scale, supervise the raising of funds authorize the incurring of debt for capital purposes only, and arrange for the repayment of such indebtedness which shall be an obligation solely of the school as an entity, and not of the Meeting.

6.      Determine policy on instruction and other operations of the School.

7.      Determine policy on the admission of pupils and the extending of financial aid.

8.      Promote good relations between the School, Newtown Monthly Meeting, and the wider community of Friends.

9.      Report to the Meeting annually, in November, and at such other times as may be appropriate, on the spiritual and financial health of the School and the School community, being guided by the Meeting’s queries for the School.

 

Amendment

 

The Meeting may from time to time make changes in this Charter, and the School Committee may from time to time make changes in the Statement of Mission. In either case, this would be done after full and deliberate consultation between the Meeting and the School Committee.

 

* * *

Early History

 

In the mid-1940’s, a concern arose for the creation of an elementary school under the care of this Meeting. Parents sought a school which would have its deepest roots in Quaker religious experience, and provide pupils an opportunity to demonstrate religion as a part of daily life, to develop a positive view of the world and its responsibilities in an environment of cooperation more than competition, and to practice respect for differences and find rewards in the service to others.

In time a committee of Monthly Meeting was formed and authorized to proceed with organization of the school. The George School Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends set aside a portion of its land and leased it to this Meeting for the construction and operation of an elementary school “under the care and direction of Newtown Monthly Meeting” for the education of children of Friends and others. As a result, Newtown Friends School opened in 1948.

 

 

Amended and Approved April 5, 2001, February 3, 2008

 

Comments are closed