Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

How Do I Participate in the Business of the Meeting?

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Attend Monthly Meeting for Business! 

All are invited whether you are a member of Meeting or not - this includes children. Child care is provided for children not attending the meeting.

Quakers conduct business through "monthly meetings for worship with attention to business" and through committee meetings. The Quaker process that is used to conduct business is radically different from the manner in which business is conducted in modern society. In making decisions, Quakers strive for a "sense of the meeting." We believe that by following Quaker process, we will be led to a view of the truth and God's direction for us.

NYM Faith & Practice on decision-making asserts that all present are responsible for the right working of the Meeting for Worship to Conduct Business:

  • for maintaining a worshipful attitude
  • for listening carefully to and being respectful of others
  • for speaking when led, briefly, to the point, and without repetition
  • for addressing the clerk by standing or raising a hand when wishing to speak
  • for speaking to the group as a whole, not to individuals
  • for coming prepared and informed
  • for seasoning matters by good committee work, or otherwise, before bringing them to the meeting
  • for coming with minds open to the working of the Spirit, being prepared to have our minds changed and setting personal interests aside
  • for working towards unity when differences are present

The Quaker Process documents below, prepared by the Madison Monthly Meeting Ministry and Counsel Committee, may help you understand this process more deeply.

Consider participating on a committee!

Committees are the life of the Meeting! There is a committee for every interest, time commitment and ability. Email [email protected] to learn how your interests and leading may fit the Meeting’s needs. Or click the rink at the right for committee descriptions.

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Conducting Business

MONTHLY MEETING FOR WORSHIP WITH ATTENTION TO BUSINESS, a meeting for worship for the purpose of conducting business, is open to all meeting attenders. Starting February 7, 2016 business meeting will convene at 9:45 a.m. on the first First Day of every month.  It will end at 11:15 a.m. and any leftover agenda items will be addressed at the following month's business meeting. This experiment will be re-evaluated later in the year.

NOTE: July Business Meeting is often moved to the 2nd or 3rd Sunday to avoid time conflicts for travelers to Friends General Conference. Check the weekly schedule on the home page or the weekly announcements by email or in the Meetinghouse closer to the date to find out.

COMMITTEES are the life of the meeting. In addition to carrying out the work that keeps our Meeting going, committees may prepare items for business meeting by considering aspects of an issue, gathering information and holding open threshing sessions.

MORE ABOUT QUAKER PROCESS
Quaker Process brochure
Quaker Process - large print

Dig deeply
Cast forth the loose matter
and get down to the
rock, sure foundation
to the Divine Voice
which gives a
clear and certain sound.

- JOHN WOOLMAN