Members of the Quaker Life Council undertake a solemn responsibility to help provide the yearly meeting community with humble leadership in Quaker faith and practice. With divine assistance and in relationship with other council members, Friends on the Quaker Life Council maintain the health and integrity of the community, support spiritual depth, and cultivate relationships within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. They watch over the programs and activities of yearly meeting Friends, including nurturing monthly and quarterly meetings, supporting Friends’ work for peace and justice, and bringing together members across meetings to collaborate on projects of common interest.
Council members also engage their work with a sense of fun and joy. In partnership with relevant PYM staff, council members provide direction for all programs under its care, and thus empower other Friends to carry out the mission of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. They work together to provide direction, make decisions, raise up, nurture, and lay down substructures, create an inclusive environment, and ensure that resources are in place.
- With other council members, design dynamic support structures and processes that support the ministries under its care.
- Review and supervise the committees and other bodies under its charge. Maintain intimate awareness of and provide encouragement, direction and oversight to all the substructures (such as committees, collaboratives, sprints, etc.). This includes the care of some budgeting processes.
- Serve on committees or task forces and take on special assignments, completing them thoroughly and on time. Prepare well for meetings, and review and comment on minutes and reports.
- Help to empower many other Friends to carry out the work of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in innovative ways.
- Work actively for a spiritual revitalization of PYM by nurturing and supporting the spiritual life of all Friends, meetings, and communities of the yearly meeting, including religious education of children youth and adults. Bring together members across PYM to build a strong and vibrant community. Prioritize and plan inspiring goals and programs for PYM religious life.
- Work to ensure that yearly meeting programs operate in partnership with our local Quaker communities, including, but not limited to: Friends schools, sister Quaker organizations, worship groups, preparative meetings, monthly meetings, and quarterly meetings.
- Look for opportunities to bring our testimonies to the world in faithful and transformative ways.
- Stay informed about PYM matters and understand the scope of activity and work of the yearly meeting community. Council members will:
- Strive to be informed and maintain a presence throughout the yearly meeting. Identify themselves as they attend other monthly, quarterly, and yearly meeting events.
- Attend and report to all annual and continuing sessions.
- Read PYM communications and review and generate stories and information on the website.
- Attend as many meetings as possible in person, and if unable to meet in person, attend electronically.
- Hold responsibility for, and ensure the effective planning and execution of Annual sessions and Continuing Sessions, with the exception of the business agenda.
- Convey the mission, strategic directions, and activity of the yearly meeting to PYM Friends and communities.
- Other duties as assigned.
Members will be:
- Knowledgeable of Quaker principles and practice.
- Active in a PYM meeting or local community of Friends and a member of a Monthly Meeting.
- Spiritually centered and grounded, demonstrate a commitment to their own spiritual deepening, show a strong interest in and curiosity about spirituality and religion, and able to speak adeptly about it.
- Comfortable with basic electronic communications.
- Understand the potential of collaborations between monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings.
- Able to deal with healthy conflict and to collaborate with others.
- Able to make hard decisions, to say “no” when necessary.
- Understand the roles and responsibilities and authorities as defined within PYM.
These are the areas of expertise needed by some in the Council:
- nurturing individual and corporate ministry
- developing or providing effective programs & events
- youth development and community
- pastoral care
- effective social justice and change
- experience with basic budgeting processes
- strong organizational skills including record keeping and ability to meet deadlines
- strong communication skills, able to communicate complex spiritual and programmatic information clearly and with joy