Who Are We?
Our full name is Annapolis Valley Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. We belong to a world-wide religious movement that is often referred to as “the Quakers.”
Read more about…
- Why we have no designated priests or ministers
- Why there is no single “creed” Quakers are required to believe
- Where we meet
- Who can attend (and how we welcome children)
- What to expect in Meeting for Worship
We have members and attenders from Windsor to Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, Canada, which is on the traditional and never-ceded territory of the Mi’kmaq (or L’nu) People.
How Quakers Make Decisions
We meet roughly once a month for Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. Our way of making decisions is distinctive. As during Meeting for Worship on Sundays, we have no designated leaders or directors. All are invited to listen for the “still small voice” of the Spirit, and participate in helping the Meeting come closer to the truth and justice to which we are called. If you are interested in sitting in or participating in a business meeting, don’t hesitate to let us know.
What Do We Do, and Who Does It?
Presiding Clerk: Arranges for Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, prepares the agenda, distributes reports, and attends to the “sense of the Meeting” during decision-making (Barbara)
Recording Clerk: takes minutes at Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business (Penni)
Statistical Clerk: submits yearly reports to Canadian Yearly Meeting regarding membership and minutes (Marilyn)
Treasurer: keeps track of donations, prepares the budget, and manages our bank account. (Marilyn)
Meeting of Ministry and Counsel: strengthens the spiritual life of the Meeting, including arranging for support for individuals in times of need, encouraging participation in spoken ministry as well as silent communion, and arranging for marriages and memorial meetings (Members: Barbara, Marilyn).
Location Co-ordinator: finds people willing to host Meeting for Worship each week, and distributes notices about upcoming locations by email (Carol)
Representative to Atlantic Friends Gathering: coordinates with New Brunswick and Halifax Monthly Meeting for the annual gathering during the May long weekend (vacant)
Here’s how Quakers in Scotland describe Quaker business process:
“Friends’ business meetings are quite unlike other business meetings you might have experienced …Perhaps a Friends’ business meeting can be described as an exercise in attentiveness, in listening to the promptings of the Spirit. The overriding need is to discern the will of God in the meeting… everything from the initial silence to the final handshake is to be regarded as worship.” (keep reading)
For those interested in learning more about Quaker decision-making process, the following articles may be of interest.
- Spiritual Responsibility in the Meeting for Business: A two-page pamphlet by Patricia Loring. If you like the pamphlet, consider reading her book Listening Spirituality, Volume 2: Corporate Spiritual Practice Among Friends. Our Meeting has a copy you can borrow; it is also available in Canada through the Quaker Book Service or online at quakerbooks.org
- Quaker Business Method: The Practice of Group Discernment. A detailed pamphlet from Australia Yearly Meeting
- Quaker Business Meetings: How Friends Make Decisons (from Scottish Friends). A more detailed version can be found on their web site
- CYM Organization and Procedure: The book of guidance on business process published by Canadian Yearly Meeting, the national Quaker organization we belong to