It was really titled "Expectant Meeting for Business" led by Tracy Hjelt Sullivan at Ben Lomond Quaker Center.
The first best thing that happened was that I met Carrie and Kathleen, and their baby Timothy, Friends of a Friend, from Philadelphia. The ride down was fun and getting to know them was great. It's always good to meet other people who are intentional about motherhood and about Quakerism. I look forward to seeing them again, one day or another, maybe at FGC!
Being at Quaker Center is always beautiful, always a little bit hectic and deeply peaceful, and always fun. They have a rotating cast of cooks, but Todd is the best! A wonderful balance of healthy AND tasty food. And being with 30 people, ages 15-75 (approx.) who are interested in Clerking was wonderful.
This was a first time for this workshop topic for Traci, but I thought it was a nice mix of lecture and discussion, of small and large groups, of fun and serious. Traci's experience of business meeting and clerking is rich, her attitude is respectful and inspiring, and her personal store of anecdotes and advice were very helpful. I just plain like her and her family and I'm glad to be in the same Quarterly and Yearly Meeting with them.
An important query for clerks: Is your first concern to be successful or to be faithful?
One of the most popular handouts was a piece called, "Spiritual Responsibility in the Meeting for Business, by Patricia Loring.
Other insights, questions, concerns, advices that I took away:
- How do we cultivate a culture of spiritual expectancy, of waiting upon the Lord?
- Try to be in harmony with the Divine: there isn't just one pitch that could be in harmony with the Divine melody.
- Don't be afraid to use religious language in writing minutes or instructing Friends in meeting for business.
- How can we bring good Quaker process to committee meetings as well?
- Give yourself permission to wait until you're ready.
- Have a sense of how to break down issues into components, and have the discipline to deal with one question at a time. Leave the pragmatic stuff to later.
- It's not healthy for the Clerk or the Meeting for the Clerk to take on too much work - Clerk needs perspective, and others in the Meeting need to learn how to do Quaker business.
- Have an elder for Clerk who is focused on "Are we in the Spirit?" Have a structure for feedback to Clerk.
- One person can NOT stand in the way of the Meeting's decision, but the Meeting can decide not to move forward without him or her.
- How can I hear past my own opinion to hear the sense of the Meeting?
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