Hey everyone,

Our meeting's clerk came to us this morning wondering where our meeting's practice came from of bringing a name to meeting for worship with attention to business (MfWfB) one month for seasoning and we don't approve it until the next month. I know that's what we have done at FLGBTQC MfWfB. But I've only been to my meeting's and FLGBTQC's MfWfB.

Is that what your meeting does when your nominating or naming committee has someone to nominate for a position at your meeting? What about your yearly meeting? If not, how does your corporate body season someone nominated for clerk or for ministry & council?

Just curious.

Jeanne

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I have been involved in a number of Meetings and in general they have followed the description you have described. There have been times when "emergency" needs have been accomplished by a CLEAR sense of Meeting that led the Meeting to approve a nomination after discussion and waiting in one meeting. To me that is one of the real advantages of Friends practice, the desire to wait upon the leadings of the Light/Spirit/Christ but whe the leading is very clear to all present, the Sense of the Meeting can be "immediate."
What Meetings are you talking about? Our clerk said he's talked to lots of other clerks and they don't do that. I want to give him specific examples.
One incident was about 30 years ago at Moorestown NJ, another incident was 2-3 years ago when a clerk "resigned immediately" and the "new" clerk was clearly needed, ready and able. The latter was at Granville, OH.

I am not sure of any other nominating committee reports, but there have been other situations when the normal procedure of a "second reading" was done in one MfWfB. Most of these situations have occurred in a quite small Meeting (often only 5-10 members present)

I believe that a strict adherence to the "rule of law(precedence)" somehow seems to limit the power of the Spirit. However, I believe in almost all incidences it is best to "hold-over" nominations to the next Meeting. It is also VERY difficult to get a CLEAR Sense of the Meeting on a topic just brought to the Meeting.
If there is unity on a name, we approve it without laying it over. If there is any block, we hold it over a month. During that time we encourage Friends with any concern over the nomination to speak with members of nominating and with the person who has been nominated.
What if someone has a block but doesn't feel comfortable saying so? Or has a concern but they can't name it and it's not strong enough to block it?
This is where good clerking comes in. A clerk needs to take the time to read facial expressions and body language. If they see discomfort, then, whether nomination or another issue, they need to name what they are seeing and ask the meeting to hold over the issue.

If someone feels a block, they also have the responsibility to speak up. By not speaking up, a Friend is effectively standing aside. Speaking up can be as simple as asking that the issue be held over without offering specifics.

Then comes the hard part. The person with the concern needs to discern the source of the block. Is it truly based on Spirit and the welfare of the community, or does it arise from a personal bias or fear. In a nut shell, is it a leading or is it reaction?

The expectation in my meeting is that the person with the concern should go to the person nominated and speak with them. If their discomfort is too great for this, they can ask a member of nominating to accompany them. What we do not want is triangulation; using nominating to speak in place of the person with the concern.

Community, especially spiritual community, requires being open, vulnerable and gently honest. It requires faith and love.

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