The committee should be composed of 12 seasoned members from Providence Monthly Meeting, with care that some of that number represent worshippers at Saylesville Preparative Meeting. Members are nominated for 3 years and may be asked to serve up to 3 more years. No one may serve on Ministry and Counsel for more than 6 consecutive years.
Members of Ministry and Counsel are chosen for this service to the community as serious, discreet, judicious, and experienced Friends. New members are approved by the current committee before being forwarded to Nominating Committee. Outgoing Clerks of the Meeting may be asked to serve on Ministry and Counsel. In addition, the Clerk of Providence Monthly Meeting and the Clerk of Saylesville Preparative Meeting are also members of this committee ex officio.
The committee’s main responsibility is the oversight and advancement of the spiritual development of the Meeting.
Ministry and Counsel is also responsible for:
- Caring for the overall health and strength of the Meeting. Included in this responsibility is an ongoing executive responsibility for the affairs of the Meeting.
- Being available to advise and counsel any member or attender on personal or spiritual matters and specifically on the faith and practice of the Society of Friends.
- Making all arrangements for Meeting for Worship. Ministry and Counsel members will rotate the responsibility for sitting on the facing bench and closing Meeting for Worship during the fall, winter, and spring months. July and August will be unscheduled, with members filling in as needed. Asking for announcements, for the introduction of visitors or returning worshippers, encouraging financial donations, and welcoming all to coffee hour are part of the facing bench responsibility at the rise of Meeting.
- Receiving and considering all membership applications and transfers and appointing a Clearness Committee from within Ministry and Counsel to meet with prospective members and with transfer members when appropriate. Upon the advice of that committee, recommending these names to Monthly Meeting for approval.
- Preparing the annual State of Society Report, which is presented to Monthly Meeting for approval.
- Assisting members or attenders in times of personal need in whatever way seems appropriate.
- Giving consideration to young adults, their membership, and their participation in the life of the Meeting.
- To respect and protect the confidences and trust of all matters brought before the committee.
- To maintain open communications with Pastoral Care Committee and keep it informed about matters before the committee.
- To recognize the importance of nourishing its members’ own health and well being.
- The Deborah Jenks Fund is available to Ministry and Counsel for use without prior approval of Monthly Meeting.
More information may be obtained by contacting the Ministry and Counsel Committee.