“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)
Since Newtown Monthly Meeting has no professional, paid staff, the life of the meeting depends on voluntary involvement and commitment. The Meeting’s committees 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 th need arises, and to discern where they can contribute their talents most effectively. Attenders are welcome to serve on any committee not restricted to Meeting members (Administration, Finance, Care & Counsel).
This section on committees lists the duties of officers and committees of Newtown Friends Meeting as of March 2020. Committee descriptions can now be found under each individual committee. The Meeting may, from time to time, appoint additional committees, ad hoc committees or task groups, revise the duties of standing committees, or lay committees down.
It is the policy of Newtown Friends Meeting that no member of any committe 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 appointments.
Committee clerks are chosen by the committees with assistance from Nominating Committee if needed. Clerks are responsible for scheduling and conducting meetings, ensuring that the tasks of the committee are completed, and that the committee page is kept up to date. Clerks are expected to attend All Clerks meetings, and report to Monthly Meeting as needed; at least annually. The annual report should be posted to the committee web page. They should ensure that their committee is prepared to host Friendly First on their scheduled month and that new members of the committee are welcomed and oriented. Clerks should keep minutes for committee meetings in an electronic file and pass these—and other committee materials– along to the next clerk. Important paper documents should be scanned in the electronic file and kept in the meeting office. Clerks should report key decisions and recommendations to business meeting, which enables them to be recorded in the meeting minutes for permanent record.
Subcommittees and task groups Several committees have found it helpful to form subcommittees for particular interests or tasks. Examples are the Climate Action subcommittee of Peace & Justice, the Christmas program group for Children’s Religious Education, and the Finance Stewardship Subcommittee. An individual may also take primary responsibility for a task such as note-writing for Care & Counsel. Subcommittees may be ongoing or function more as a task group for a specific short-term purpose.
Formation of subcommittees enables people not on the committee to participate in a special interest. Subcommittees report and make recommendations to the committee under which they lie. They have their own Clerks and keep minutes of meetings. It is critical to have good communication between the committee and the subcommittee.
The Clerk of the Meeting may also appoint people to a Task Group for a specific purpose which reports to the Meeting for Business and does not fall neatly under a committee, such as the Parking Task Group.
Schedule of committee annual reports and Friendly First meal hosting can be found in the Newsletter.