Young Clerk Trainings
Every spring, Friends General Conference holds a clerk training for clerks of the summer High School and Adult Young Friends Programs. This weekend training supports young Quakers whose clerking gifts have been identified by their peer communities at the Summer Gathering to truly flourish. Learn more about this program.
Every spring, Friends General Conference holds a clerk training for clerks of the summer High School and Adult Young Friends Programs. This weekend training supports young Quakers whose clerking gifts have been identified by their peer communities at the Summer Gathering to truly flourish. Supporting young Quakers in gaining hands on experience and deep insight into the Business Meeting process is one way FGC is committed to nurturing the Religious Society of Friends. It is important for summer Gathering clerks to have a chance to form a bond as a clerking team to support one another. Often clerking for the High School Program is a first clerking experience and FGC is dedicated to providing the tools and knowledge to assist the clerks in fully developing their skills and further identifying their gifts. FGC’s Long Range Conference Planning committee identifies clerking workshop leaders with many years of experience who volunteer to share their learnings so young clerks can be well prepared. FGC also finds the location for the training, organizes meals to be provided for the clerks, assists with local transport, and supplies for the training. The date of the training weekend is determined by FGC in coordination with the clerks to find a date that best suits their availability. For the FGC staff who work to host and put on the trainings, it is gratifying to receive feedback every year, both on how to improve but also how helpful for their confidence and preparedness young clerks find the training.
For the Adult Young Friends program the weekend provides a time for the clerking team to connect, to prepare, and to season continuing work from past years, grounding the upcoming summer’s business meeting in the continuity of past Gatherings allowing for a held, healthy, and growing community. The young clerks’ training also gives both AYF and High School Program clerks the time to mock clerk, and to consider what topics might come up and how they as clerks can best be prepared.
FGC hosts the program just for the High School and Adult Young Friends clerking teams together so that they can offer support and training tailored to the needs of both programs. Rather than separating out AYF and High School clerks the training facilitates Adult Young Friends in supporting the high school clerking team by sharing their own experiences of High School Program business meeting so the high school clerks can be more deeply prepared. It also allows the Adult Young Friends to gain a sense of what the current High School Program has been like, and to see the skills and gifts, and make personal connections with Friends who may soon be graduating into the Adult Young Friends Program.
Several high schoolers’ who had their first experience clerking the 100 person business meeting of the High School Program have gone on to serve again with Adult Young Friends. Adult Young Friends has a longer clerking term of two years, allowing clerks to get even further into the growth of community and the experience of working with the body of a business meeting. FGC is excited to see young clerks from the summer Gathering use their understanding of Quaker process and dedication to their national Quaker community through service on FGC’s Central Committee, Committee on Nurturing Ministries, Long Range Conference Planning Committee, as High School Program coordinators, and as a co-clerk of the Gathering. Beyond gifts to Friends General Conference, young clerks have taken their training back to their home meetings and yearly meetings as clerks of committees or business meeting. It is inspiring to see excitement and engagement with Quaker process fostered through the gifts of young people, identified by their peers, supported by their religious community, and shared so fruitfully with all of us.