Meeting for Business
Officially known as Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, this is a monthly meeting where Quakers gather to conduct business by seeking God’s will in the decisions that are to be made. Meeting for Business always starts and ends with a short period of silent worship, which connects individuals to Spirit and prompts them to be sensitive and grounded in the love that binds the Meeting. Quakers seek to find unity when making decisions, rather than taking votes carried by a majority. Because of that tradition, Meetings for Business take care to listen to all and try to find a solution all can support, even if it takes time or needs to be “seasoned” over a series of Meetings for Business. A clerk manages the Business Meeting discussion, sometimes even taking the group back into silence to allow ideas and thoughts to settle. Minutes are recorded and reviewed, and later shared with all members and attenders. Meetings for Business are open to everyone and can be a powerful opportunity to learn about Quaker process, even if someone is only occasionally attending Silent Worship. Understanding how the Quakers reach their collective decisions is central to understanding Quakers and their testimonies.
Important Committees at Reno Friends Meeting
Ministry & Oversight Committee
Ministry & Oversight’s role is to take a special responsibility for the spiritual and physical welfare of each member/attender of the Meeting, and to oversees the Meeting for Worship, keeping it under constant review, prayer and care. Ministry & Oversight at Reno Friends helps coordinate “pastoral” visits, keeps in touch with members and attenders, organizes adult classes and spiritual discussions, and oversees hospitality, such as potlucks and coffee hour. Ministry & Oversight also coordinates and works with the Worship Clerks.
Each Meeting for Worship on Sunday morning is conducted by a clerk, who signals the start of Silent Worship and ends it after an hour by leading the group through After Thoughts, Joys and Concerns, Announcements and Introductions. The Worship Clerks usually volunteer to clerk worship one Sunday a month for the year (i.e., First Sunday or Second Sunday). The head Worship Clerk makes sure each Meeting for Worship has a clerk. When we conduct hybrid Worship, a separate tech clerk is needed to run the equipment.
Buildings & Grounds
This committee oversees all aspects of managing the Reno Friends property, including coordinating with outside groups that rent our space and organizing clean-up efforts as well as property improvements. When Buildings & Grounds has a big decision to make, it brings a plan forward to Meeting for Business for a decision.
Reno Friends Meeting also has two Meeting Clerks who facilitate Meeting for Business, two Co-Treasurers, a Correspondence Clerk, and Newsletter/Website Editor, as well as people who serve as our representatives to other Quaker organizations, such as our College Park Quarterly Meeting and Pacific Yearly Meeting, the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the American Friends Service Committee.
All RFM Committees conduct business in the same manner as a Meeting for Business, waiting on the Spirit to find direction in their operation and unity in their decisions.