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.
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.
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.
Peace & Social Concerns Committee
The Peace and Social Concerns (P&SC) Committee identifies and facilitates activities that will generate awareness of issues, and encourage Meeting Friends to participate in peace and social concerns that relate to their own interests and life. The Committee provides the seasoning process to prioritize education and action programs for the Meeting, including support requested by Meeting Friends with individual leadings. P&SC welcomes additional members who share our interests and goals to be part of our committee. The links in the newsletter, below, connect to each organization.
Here is the March 2023 News Roundup from the P&SC Committee:
A Quaker Call to Action: A group of Friends across the United States has initiated a project growing out of their concern for threats to our democracy. At the core of this project is the “Quaker Call to Action,” a document that individuals and organizations are invited to read and, if they feel so led, to sign; it can be found at www.quakercall.net under the link “Read the Call.” The Call asks “What, if anything, is the Light Within calling Friends to do in response to the unprecedented rise of domestic extremism, white supremacy, and authoritarianism that is threatening the destruction of our democracy at home and abroad?”
Friendly Water for the World: A Quaker non-profit that seeks to provide clean water, health education, and more in vulnerable communities around the world; their initial focus has been Kenya and they are now expanding to Zambia. Their mission is to expand global access to low-cost clean water technologies and information about health and sanitation through knowledge-sharing, training, community-building, peacemaking, and sustainability. Take a virtual visit to their work in Africa from their website with its frequently updated blogs that contain lots of photos of the people and places where they work and their Youtube videos of past chats on such topics as sustainable brick making, perma-gardens, table banking, and sustainable development. Learn why many development programs don’t last and what Friendly Water is doing to change that.
Quaker Earthcare Witness has regular webinars. Current events featured on their website quakerearthcare.org include a workshop on Quaker Ecology with author Cherice Bock, Tues. Mar. 14 at 4 pm PST.
American Friends Service Committee (afsc.org) has regular webinars, which you can register with on their website under the “Get Involved” tab. They are featuring their Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival and Forum Zoom webinars, which are dedicated to Quakers of Color. The webinars run every other Saturday through April 8, at 10 am PST. Mar. 4 is “Sisters of Freedom: Sarah Mapps Douglass & Women of the Abolition Struggle Against Slavery.” Mar. 18 is “Benjamin Banneker: The Man Who Loved the Stars.”
Friends Committee on National Legislation (fcnl.org) holds Virtual Witness Silent Reflections on Wednesdays, 3 pm PST. You can register at fcnl.org.
Ongoing Local Volunteer Opportunities for Reno Friends
Here are some suggested volunteer opportunities that Friends may be interested in:
Down to Earth Composting: Composting is a win-win-win for your family, your community and for the environment. When you sign up for a Down to Earth bin, you are supporting a community wide effort to reduce unnecessary waste in landfills, prevent groundwater pollution and reduce our carbon footprint. Compost puts your food waste to good use and nourishes your plants, which leads to bigger, healthier yields. Neighborhood composting is an amazing way to connect with your community and complete the natural cycle from garden to table and back again.
Community Supported Agriculture: How to support local farms in the Northern Nevada area.
Washoe County Parks and Open Space: Volunteer in the parks!
Donations to support those experiencing homelessness:
- Northern Nevada Food Bank
- St. Vincent’s Food Pantry
- The Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE)
Places to donate clothes beyond the RFM food and clothing drive facilitated by Peg:
- The Domestic Violence Resource Center
- SPCA of Northern Nevada
- Laundry to the People
- Junkee Clothing Exchange
- Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows
Citizens’ Climate Lobby: As a volunteer, you’ll be a member of the fastest growing and most effective climate advocacy group. You will work with concerned Nevada citizens to slow the effects of climate change. Let’s work together to protect our beautiful ecosystems, livelihoods and way of life. Activities include:
- Meet with Congressional leaders.
- Write letters to the editors and op-eds.
- Meet with local media.
- Educate your community about global warming and legislative solutions.
The CCL will provide:
- Monthly national conference calls with expert guest speakers.
- Weekly skill building sessions.
- On-line network with CCL volunteers across the U.S.
- National conference and lobby week in D.C.
Volunteers commit to an average of 4-6 hours a month. Some of CCL’s volunteers dedicate more time than that. We hold no upper limit on your dedication to a stable climate and livable world.
Want to know more about CCL? Please join the CCL’s weekly Introductory Conference Call. The next one is on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. Pacific/6:00 p.m. Mountain/7:00 p.m. Central/8:00 p.m. Eastern. It is a live call, about an hour long, and there will be opportunities to ask questions. Please register for the call at this link so that CCL can follow up with you. https://citizensclimatelobby.org/join-weekly-intro-call/