Meeting for Business and Committees

Friends 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 conducted.
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

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 the Meeting
  • 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 Meeting
  • 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 Meeting

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, Assistant Treasurer.


Staff

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 service projects.


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.

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