Preparing Minutes

  • Minutes for Religious Service. Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting has prepared detailed guidelines for a meeting to consider in responding to a member who feels called to religious service. The three sections of this pamphlet deal with discernment of the call, oversight and support of the person who is called, and funding guidelines. One of the responsibilities assigned to the monthly meeting is to prepare a minute for religious service, or traveling minute. Such a minute should identify the nature of the proposed religious service, the kinds of support undertaking that service might entail, the formation of a support/oversight committee to work with the person involved, and a statement of the anticipated duration of the ministry.
  • Minutes of Concern. Monthly meetings may be asked to consider minutes of concern relating to current issues regarding peace and social justice. Such minutes may come from an individual with a leading, or from a committee such as the peace and social concerns committee. It is helpful if a minute of concern includes a set of one or more action steps: for instance, that the minute, if approved at a meeting for business of the meeting be submitted to the appropriate quarterly meeting and then, after seasoning and approval, submitted to the yearly meeting for consideration and approval. There should also be a clear statement of what each body—the monthly, quarterly and yearly meeting—is being asked to do in order to support those seeking to address a concern. It is also expected that the minute will include a statement of the concern itself, the origin of the concern, and the person or committee which is seeking approval of the minute and support for whatever action steps are involved.
  • Memorial Minutes. Some meetings continue the practice of preparing a memorial minute on the death of a member or attender. Such minutes are focused on the contributions of that person to the life of the meeting, and perhaps to the quarterly and yearly meeting and to other Quaker organizations. If the person offered vocal ministry during meetings for worship, the minute might indicate the nature of that ministry and its impact on the meeting. If the person served on committees of the meeting, or as an officer, this would be noted. Though a memorial minute might indicate the surviving members of the person’s family, it is not an obituary and usually does not include statements relating to the person’s profession or activities outside the meeting.