Letter from clerk identifies hopes for way forward
In a letter to the gathering at Eugene this last weekend, Doreen Crail, presiding clerk at West Hills, listed six “things I believe we would expect for any new yearly meeting or affiliation.” Four of the items address issues of inclusion and equality:
- It is of utmost importance that any and all members of WHF are allowed to fully participate and provide leadership in any affiliation level meetings, committees, etc.
- We have amazing released pastors who have many gifts. We would want to collaborate only with others who value and appreciate these individuals as much as we do.
- It is a priority for relationships to be respectful and communication transparent.
- It is important that diversity is respected and people are safe from the judgment of others.
- There would need to be a commitment to follow Quaker process and decision making.
- It seems we may not want to participate in an arrangement where an individual or committee has authority to tell our local meeting what we should or should not do, but WHF has not discussed this topic.
New group to use F&P for ‘reference and counsel’
The North Carolina Fellowship of Friends, formerly known as the Autonomy Group, approved in its April meeting for business “less organizational structure (including fewer committees) and more emphasis on fellowship and ministry.” The decision, minuted and approved by representatives from seven monthly meetings, illustrates a central concept for the structural principles approved in that same meeting.
Joshua Brown (Springfield) published the list on his blog:
- We are a Christ-centered fellowship of Quaker meetings. We affirm the autonomy of each meeting in Quaker faith and practice.
- We will operate using the 2012 version of North Carolina Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, as printed, for reference and counsel.
- We will worship and serve our local community without interference from other meetings or a higher level organization.
- We will respect the right of other meetings to do the same.
- We will focus on common ministries rather than theological nuances.
- We will closely resemble North Carolina Yearly Meeting in its most peaceful form.
- We agree that we will have differences, but they will not stay us from our common, Christ-centered fellowship.
The new Fellowship plans to accept both individuals and monthly meetings as members. There is also a plan for dual affiliation for monthly meetings that want to stay connected with both the Authority Group and NCFF, though the former may not allow affiliation from those affiliated with the latter.
The Fellowship is still in the process of incorporating and at this point has just five committees: stewardship & finance, communication & outreach, education, peace & mission, and nominating.
The next NFCC meeting is scheduled for May 20. Click here for minutes from the April 8 meeting.