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Nourishment for Clerks and Committee Convenors

Led by Bev Polzin, Anna Wilkinson, Julian Robertson, Sheila Keane

Nourishment for Clerks and Committee Conveners

This course is open to all. For those who are relatively new to Friends, it will help to deepen your understanding of Quaker ways, and the course will be a real help for Friends who are newly appointed to a leadership role. We also encourage those who are experienced in the Quaker business process to come and participate in what feels relevant, enjoying the company of others and sharing your experience.

While the topics can be serious, the approach will be playful as well as informative.

This is a team-led course, with sessions on

Discerning the sense of the meeting (led by Julian Robertson): How is the sense of the meeting different from consensus? How are formal and informal (e.g. committee) meetings different and yet similar in their aim for discernment?

Clerking facilitation skills – (led by Anna Wilkinson & Julian Robertson) How is clerking a meeting for worship for business different from chairing a meeting in a secular context? How can conveners encourage a commitment to discernment, not solely achieving outcomes? How do you prepare for meetings? What additional skills are needed for convening online meetings?

Responsibilities of the members of the meeting – (led by Bev Polzin & Sheila Keane) What can participants do to enhance the effectiveness of Quaker business & committee meetings? What does it mean to prayerfully uphold the process? What are the expectations about preparation, speaking and listening? Can we honour the dissenter as someone who might be calling us back from going off track? How can we find the courage to dissent if needed?

Strategies to address difficulties – (led by Anna Wilkinson & Bev Polzin) How can we support clerks & conveners to prevent them from becoming responsible to action everything the meeting decides? What do we do when a weighty Friend is “out of the Life”? How do we avoid over-complicated committee structures and over-stretched lives? How do we determine if a person is being ‘disruptive’ or actually speaking an important truth?

The weekend will also include lots of free time to enjoy the land and companionship available at Silver Wattle, and will conclude with a simulated Meeting for Worship for Business sure to draw upon things learned through the earlier sessions, with a bit of fun thrown in too just to shake things up.

Bev Polzin, Anna Wilkinson, Julian Roberston, and Sheila Keane are all longstanding members of the Religious Society of Friends and have experienced clerking and eldering roles in a number of settings. Bev is a former AYM Secretary and respected elder; Anna is the currently clerk of Northern Suburbs Local Meeting in Melbourne. Julian has served as clerk of Regional and Yearly Meetings. Sheila brings long experience in the Quaker business process and is clerking for the first time in her local meeting. 

Course Cost: $256 Single $236 Double/Twin including accommodation and meals  Register here

To Register with a Meeting Pass, Register here. Please note Meeting Passes are issued by your Regional Meeting and must be applied for before registering.

Earlier Event: October 20
Indigenous Spirituality
Later Event: November 3
Speak Peace