New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

2018 Annual Report

Oct 17, 2018

We have worked hard and faithfully during this year despite our very small committee. We were delighted to welcome three new at-large members through the discernment of Permanent Board’s Internal Nominating Committee. However, each of them is new to Nominating Committee work and we have taught through our handbook, demonstration, and example so that they will be ready to fully engage in the committee’s work next year. In the face of the Interim Clerk completing her term, the whole committee has felt uncertain about the future of the committee, but are feeling reassured since hearing that there is a plan in place for leading the committee next year. Additionally, some of the longest-serving meeting representative members are completing their terms of service, leaving us well below a functional level of membership.

In fact recently, as we have struggled to articulate to potential Ministry and Counsel members the difference between serving as an at-large member and as a meeting representative, we have come to realize and feel strongly that the original intent for this committee structure is no longer being met. We hope that our concern might be addressed in the coming year by Permanent Board and/or Coordinating and Advisory. Having two categories of membership on Nominating Committee has not shown to make any difference in committee participation.

And yet, we take joy in being together at our meetings and telephone conferences which have been greatly enhanced by using Zoom! While discerning and inviting Friends with the gifts needed for service on specific committees can be frustrating, more frequently we hear that Friends are eager to serve or are amazed that they have been recognized as having needed gifts. With ever-shifting numbers and natures of committees, we have both felt relief that there are not as many committees that we must people (either through the committees being laid down or the responsibility for them passing to Permanent Board) and challenged by the formation of new committees.

The slate we offer Sessions this year has quite a few “needs,” but the philosophy of the committee is that we work throughout the year to complete the slate. To that end, we are fortunate that Permanent Board meets several times during the year and can approve interim appointments. We do appreciate email and telephone as means of accomplishing our work, but even more look forward to being at Sessions where we are able to have face-to-face conversations with Friends and open up opportunities for going deeper into that which is eternal.

—Penny Wright, interim clerk

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]