Meeting for Business and Committees
Attending to Business
The Meeting holds a monthly Meeting for Business (therefore
the term "Monthly Meeting" for the working unit
of Friends) on the second First Day (Sunday) morning of each
month, following the meeting for worship. Worship begins at
10:00a.m. and flows directly into Meeting for Business as
led by the Clerk - approximately 10:45 a.m.
It receives and records members, cares for members and the
property of the Meeting, and provides material aid for persons
in need in the community and elsewhere. Ideally, the Meeting
for Business is a Meeting for Worship in which business is
In searching for truth in the conduct of Meeting for Business,
Friends reach decisions by agreement through discernment by
the Clerk of what is agreed to by the group and confirmed
by those present (a "sense of the Meeting"). Decisions
are not made by majority vote, nor do they require unanimity,
but other opinions must be sought and thoroughly considered.
This business practice is democratic action where all participants
are equal in their right and obligation to contribute in a
spirit of reasonableness and forbearance. The Monthly Meeting
appoints the Clerk, who organizes the business agenda, presides
at business sessions, prepares minutes of the proceedings
(with the help of the Recording Clerk) and oversees much of
the work of the Monthly Meeting.
Committees carry out much of the work of the Monthly Meeting,
including the following:
- Advisory Committee assists
in the orderly conduct of Monthly Meeting for Business by
providing background information and recommendations
- Aid Committee extends financial
aid to Meeting members as needed
- Budget and Finance Committee
which proposes the yearly budget for the Meeting and collects
funds to meet the budget
- Committee on the Care of Members
cares for the spiritual and temporal welfare of members and
are responsible for consideration of applications for membership,
marriages, or changes in status of members
- Funeral Committee
- Meeting/School Liaison Committee
arranges for social events between the Meeting and Wilmington
Friends School and deals with issues of mutual concern
- Meeting Trustees are the
legal representatives of the corporate body of the Monthly
Meeting and have the principal fiduciary responsibility of
- Nominating Committee nominates
the officers of the Monthly Meeting (other than the treasurers)
and members of the various committees
- Committee on Paid Personnel
provides oversight and guidance for paid employees of the
- Property Committee carries
responsibility for the care and maintenance of Meeting properties
at Fourth and West Streets (Wilmington), Stanton Burial Grounds,
Corbit Burial Grounds (Odessa), and, as requested, with care
of the Appoquinimink Preparative Meeting property in Odessa.
- Religious Education Committee
which is responsible for the operation of the First Day School
- School Trustee Selection Committee
(a joint committee with Wilmington Friends School) nominates
members of the Board of Trustees of Wilmington Friends School
- Social Committee fosters
sociability and fellowship, supervising and assisting with
coffees and other social affairs while encouraging cooperation
from all members
- Spiritual Life Committee
discussions are open to everyone. The group meets at 9 a.m.
on the first and third First Day of every month. "The
Spiritual Life Committee is an informal group of members and
attenders who come together to explore candidly their thoughts
on everything from What is Quakerism? and Is There a God?
to How Can I Talk to Others About Spirituality?"
- Tuition Aid Committee awards
tuition aid to children of Meeting members to attend Wilmington
Friends School and other Quaker schools
- Wilmington Friends Service Committee,
which raises funds for humanitarian purposes
- Worship and Ministry provides
oversight and guidance for the conducting of worship in the
Other committees and appointees are established as necessary.
Officer positions include a Clerk or Co-Clerks,
Recording Clerk(s), Recorder
and Assistant Recorder, Historian(s), Librarian, Treasurer,
The Secretary/Coordinator, under
the direction of the Personnel Committee, performs the clerical
and public relations work of WMM, including preparation and
mailing of the monthly newsletter. He/she is available to
assist visitors, attenders, and members in matters dealing
with the Meeting.
The Assistant to the Treasurer deals
with all day-to-day finances of WMM.
The Custodian, under the direction
of the Property Committee, is responsible for the regular
care of the Meeting house and grounds.
The Religious Education Coordinator
develops and organizes the First Day School curriculum and
Wilmington Monthly Meeting – Part of a Larger Connection
Wilmington Friends Meeting is a "Monthly Meeting" even though we generally hold weekly Meetings for Worship. Local congregations are referred to as "Monthly Meetings" because they usually meet at least once a month to make decisions about issues and concerns that affect the local group. There are usually committees in these groups that bring forward recommendations and take care of work that the Meeting is undertaking. This is our monthly Business Meeting held on the second Sunday of each month.
Quarterly Meetings gather several times a year (most four times thus the name "Quarter") of members and attenders of local Meetings in a designated region. Some Quarters are more organized than others, having committees like local Meetings. Others gather simply for fellowship. Some have paid staff, some do not. Wilmington Friends Meeting is a member of the Concord Quarter, along with Appoquinimink Preparative Meeting, Birmingham Monthly Meeting, Chichester Meeting, Concord Monthly Meeting, Goshen Monthly Meeting, Middletown Monthly Meeting, West Chester Monthly Meeting, Westtown Monthly Meeting and Willistown Monthly Meeting.
Wilmington and all the other members of the Concord Quarter are members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Yearly Meeting is an annual gathering of people from all the Quarters with in its region as well as visitors from other Yearly Meetings. This includes a year round organization of volunteers and paid staff. Standing Committees and working groups of volunteers work with the staff to implement programs through out the year.