Minutes Establishing the Faith and Practice Revision Committee

Permanent Board Meeting, February 27, 1999

Minute 99-27. Katharine Clark, Administrative Secretary, expressed again her concern that our stock of Faith & Practice is low. We have already determined that we will pursue a reprint rather than a revision at this time (see minute 97-6), but Kate feels the longer view needs to be taken into account, if for no other reason than to determine how many copies of the current edition to print. We feel the need for a Faith & Practice Review Committee, and appoint Janet Hoffman (convenor), Alana Parkes, William Kriebel and Katharine Clark for this purpose.

Excerpts from Report of the Faith and Practice Review Committee to the Permanent Board Meeting, May 22, 1999

2. Long term needs: a new revision. We believe it is time to consider another major revision of Faith and Practice, beginning in 2002, to be completed by 2010. Our last revision took six years, so we assume 8 years as a generous estimate. It may be useful to have on display at our YM sessions in 2000 the exhibit on the history of the nine previous Faith and Practices of NEYM (1708–1966) created for our 1985 sessions. This will give Friends a sense of the larger process of which any revision is a part.

We recommend this revision for the following reasons:

a. It will have educational value for the Monthly Meetings and Friends in New England. The necessity to look closely at our current Faith and Practice will offer the opportunity for Friends to become better acquainted with its current contents. It will also offer the opportunity to make the distinction between Faith and Practices as descriptive, that is, they simply reflect the reality of a Yearly Meeting; or prescriptive, that is, what is in Faith and Practice must be adhered to by the constituent Monthly Meetings. We can then affirm New England's understanding that our Faith and Practice is descriptive.

b. Through the process we can gain a sense of where we are now and how we have changed from 1985.

c. We believe this sense will lead not only to new quotations, but to new topic headings in the faith section. We also caution, as did our last Faith and Practice Revision Committee, that as new quotations are added, some old ones must be eliminated. Looking towards the long range planning process now being initiated by Consulting and Advisory Committee, we also foresee changes in the practice section. We also believe there may be helpful additions to the practice section for the large numbers of new Friends our Yearly Meeting now includes. We have heard in particular of a need for specific queries which might be asked by clearness committees for marriage and membership.

In making this recommendation for revision, our question is not "How can we revise our Faith and Practice in the most efficient and trouble-free way?" but "How can the process of revising our Faith and Practice deepen our spiritual life—individually and corporately?" If general approval is given to revising Faith and Practice by 2010, our task as a Faith and Practice Review Committee will be to suggest a process that offers the opportunity to do this.

3. Faith and Practice text on computer. We do not know yet whether we will need the Faith and Practice text on computer for the reprint, but we know that we will need it on computer for the revision process. We are unclear about whether the printer has the text of Faith and Practice on disk from the previous printing and therefore whether we start with this, or need to start from scratch. Therefore we REQUEST that Permanent Board authorize our committee to spend monies out of the Faith and Practice account to either update the old text, or simply get it scanned. 

Permanen​t Board Minute 99-47, May 22, 1999

99-47 Faith & Practice Review
Janet Hoffman presented the attached report from the Faith & Practice Review Committee. They are recommending that we consider the next major revision of Faith & Practice, beginning in 2002, to be completed by 2010. As a first step toward facilitating that process, they recommend scanning the book onto the computer. Friends approved spending up to $500 for scanning, from the Faith & Practice account. 

Excerpt from minute 26, NEYM 1999, the Permanent Board report: “New efforts in Permanent Board include … authorizing a Faith and Practice Review Group along with a modest expenditure to scan our current Faith and Practice into the computer in preparation for the process of revising and reprinting it."

Excerpts from the Report of the Faith and Practice Review Committee to the Permanent Board Meeting, May 13, 2000


1. Permanent Board has already approved beginning a revision of Faith and Practice in 2002, but has as yet brought no recommendation to NEYM sessions. We now recommend that the revision begin in 2001 and that the Permanent Board bring such a recommendation to sessions in 2000. If approved, this will enable the Nominating Committee to present names for a Faith and Practice Revision Committee to NEYM 2001.  (Our report to the May 22, 1999 Permanent Board meeting gives our reasons for recommending a revision.)    

Permanent Board Minutes, May 5, 2000

00-27.   Faith and Practice Review Committee. Alana Parkes reported that the reprinting of the 1985 edition of Faith and Practice is in progress. The Review Committee recommends starting the Faith and Practice revision process in 2001, rather than 2002 as previously approved. This means the Nominating Committee will be asked bring names for the Revision Committee to Sessions 2001. Permanent Board will bring the revision process and committee to Sessions for its approval this year. The Review Committee also recommends they be laid down only after the Revision Committee is in place. Permanent Board approved these recommendations. 

Minute 12 of 2000 NEYM Sessions

12. The Faith & Practice Review Committee (ad hoc) of Permanent Board has been examining our present Book of Discipline, 1985. They recommended the following:

1) That we begin a revision of Faith & Practice in 2001

2) That the Nominating Committee be asked to submit names for appointment to a Faith & Practice Revision Committee to our 2001 Sessions, and 

3) That the Faith & Practice Review Committee not be laid down until the Revision Committee is appointed. Friends approved.