New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

2018 Annual Report

Oct 17, 2018

Coordinating and Advisory Committee (C&A) began our work this year with a weekend retreat. At the retreat, the committee considered how we wish to work together and the themes and priorities before the committee and before each of the members of the committee this year. My experience of the retreat was that C&A named its work clearly as supporting NEYM in continuing to turn towards God and laid the foundation to do this work grounded in God’s presence and supported by our love for each other.

The committee has almost completed the triennial review of purposes, procedures, and composition of NEYM committees. Two committees reviews are outstanding and will be brought to Permanent Board this fall. Three are in the Unity Agenda for approval. One of these is for a “Faith in Action committee” to support witness in NEYM. When the Peace and Social Concerns Committee was laid down in 2017, C&A was directed to explore how the Yearly Meeting might more powerfully support witness. This new committee is the fruit of that discernment.

The committee is charged with the supervision of the Yearly Meeting secretary. The secretary reports monthly to C&A on his priorities, concerns and sense of where attention might be needed. We are responsible for ensuring his annual evaluation is completed.

The committee continued to support quarterly meeting leadership and to host ongoing video conference calls with the quarterly meetings. One of the results of this conversation is the “Purposes of Quarterly Meetings” document included in these Advance Documents and in the Unity Agenda.

C&A’s purpose is to “shepherd the work of the Yearly Meeting.” This year this has included supporting leadership development for Yearly Meeting committees; supporting committee clerks; responding to requests for advice, assistance, and support from quarters and monthly meetings; and sharing the news of deepening faith and persistent witness among Friend in New England. There has been a noticeable decrease in requests from committees for support this year. I think this is a reflection of the careful review of the purposes, procedures, and composition of committees last year.

An essential piece of the work of C&A is to advise and support each member of the committee. The committee consists of the clerks of Permanent Board, Ministry and Counsel, and Finance Committee, the presiding clerk, the secretary and the secretary’s supervisor.

Over the course of this year I have heard from several Friends that they feel that C&A is functioning as an executive committee of the Yearly Meeting. This is not my experience. The primary work of C&A is to pay attention and to provide support. At each meeting of Ministry and Counsel and of the Permanent Board, I report and seek advice on the activities and concerns of C&A.

—Fritz Weiss, presiding clerk

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]