Ann Arbor Friends Meeting
•1420 Hill Street Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104 •
•(734) 761-7435 • aafmoffice@sbcglobal.net •
Meeting for Worship: Sundays
9am (7:45am 3rd Sundays), 11am;
5th Sundays, 10am only
Meeting for Worship for Business:
3rd Sundays, 9am
Office: M-F, 9am - Noon
Clerks' Contact: aafmclerks@gmail.com or
734 668-8063 (c/o Jeff Cooper)             



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Activities at Ann Arbor Meeting
   Calendar
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   Activities for Children/
     First Day School
     Teacher Job Descriptions
     Policy for Protection and
       Safety of Children and
       Youth

   Financial Handbook (pdf, 157 kb)
   Financial Assistance (pdf, 12 kb)
   Middle East Travel Fund (pdf, 107 kb)
   Potluck Ingredients Form (pdf, 12 kb)
   Final Affairs Plan (pdf, 92 kb)

Quaker House Residential Community (QHRC)
   Description
   FAQs (pdf, 453 kb)
   Application for QHRC (Google form)
   QHRC Handbook (pdf, 509 kb)

Readings
   Current Reading for Reflection
   Past Readings for Reflection
   Query for this month
   Environment & Social Concerns


Links Outside of AAFM
   Quaker.org
   QuakerFinder.org
   Friends General Conference
   Lake Erie Yearly Meeting
   American Friends Service
     Committee
   AFSC Michigan Area Office
     Prisoner Advocacy Program
   Michigan Friends Center
   Friends Lake Cooperative
     Community
   Friends Committee on
     National Legislation
   Pendle Hill
   Detroit Friends Meeting
   Friends for Lesbian, Gay,
     Bisexual, Transgender and
     Queer Concerns
   www.gaychurch.org
      (Welcoming Church Directory)




Meeting Committees

Standing committees are formed by approval of the Meeting and report to it. The Nominating Committee takes the major responsibility for selecting conveners and recruiting committee membership. In general, committee slates are approved in time to allow members and attenders to join committees by September 1, though interested persons may join most committees at any time throughout the year. All committee positions save those of the Nominating Committee and the Committee on Ministry and Counsel are open to non­members; all committees except Ministry and Counsel, Nominating, Care and Visitation, and Personnel are open to volunteers.

Each standing committee has a convener (or co-conveners). In many meetings this position is called “committee clerk.” The convener is responsible for facilitating the work of the committee, both at its meetings and between meetings, and usually represents the committee at meetings for business.

With approval of the Meeting, subcommittees or action groups may be formed as subgroups of Meeting committees. Such groups must communicate regularly with the committee of which they are a part. Committees are responsible for initiating the laying down of subcommittees or action groups when their work is done.
Ad hoc committees are formed by the Meeting to undertake projects of limited duration. Interest groups are approved by the Meeting in order to be affiliated with it; their membership generally comprises interested volunteers.


Committee for Children and Families

The principal function of this Committee is to supervise the First Day School program, which includes children from infancy through the high school years. The Committee oversees planning the curriculum, acquiring materials, securing teachers, supervising and coordinating the teaching program, and encouraging the carrying out of service projects. The Committee works to nourish and support First Day School teachers and coordinators, helping them to make the experience of teaching an enriching part of their spiritual life.

The Committee also supervises the nursery care program on Sunday mornings. On request, the Committee facilitates childcare during other Meeting events.

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders


Contributions Committee

Within guidelines adopted by the Meeting, and from an annual budget approved by the Meeting, this Committee allocates money to particular outside organizations. Meeting as needed throughout the year, the Committee gathers information to develop and maintain expertise about these organizations. It presents the list of proposed annual contributions at the September Meeting for Business; the final list is presented for approval at the October Meeting for Business. Following Meeting approval, the Committee provides the Treasurer with the list of organizations to receive contributions, the amounts, and the organizations’ addresses.

The outside organizations supported by the Meeting are generally limited to: 1) Friends organizations; 2) pacifist organizations; 3) organizations of which the Meeting is a member or for which it appoints an official representative; 4) organizations in which members or attenders have significant leadership or voluntary service roles; and 5) organizations that reflect continuing concerns of the Meeting. Proposals for additional deserving organizations should be presented to the Committee for consideration. The Committee also welcomes information that Meeting members and attenders have about organizations on the proposed list of recipients. Up to ten percent of the annual contributions expense budget may be spent at the Committee’s discretion on special requests that arise during the year; this budget need not be spent in its entirety within the year, but may be carried over to the next fiscal year.

Term: Three-year overlapping for members and attenders


Environment and Social Concerns Committee

Members of the Environment and Social Concerns Committee believe that sustaining the Earth, its resources, and all life upon it is a spiritual, moral, ethical, and social concern. Therefore, the Committee’s mission is (1) to strive to raise the awareness of environmental issues within our Meeting and among larger circles of Friends and (2) to inform Friends about ways to take action regarding environmental concerns and to restore and sustain the Earth. The Committee works with Property Committee to implement conservation practices on Meeting property.

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders


Finance Committee

The Finance Committee meets monthly to scrutinize the income and expenses of the Meeting. It sees that careful, accurate records are kept, that bills are paid, and that spending is consistent with the bud­get. It also accounts for contributions from Friends and payments for use of facilities (from the Quaker House residential community, organizations with offices, and hourly users).

A monthly report on income and spending is submitted to the Finance Committee by the Bookkeeper. This financial report, as approved by the Committee, is made available to members and its contents are reported at meeting for business. The Committee also presents an Annual Financial Report at the February Meeting for Business.

After soliciting input from Meeting committees, the Finance Committee prepares an annual budget; a draft version is presented at the October Meeting for Business, and the final budget is ap­proved during the November Meeting, in time for the start of the fiscal year (January 1 to December 31).

The Committee offers guidance to the Meeting on funding large expenditures, transferring funds, and making investments, as needed. It also has responsibility for educating members and attenders about Meeting finances and encouraging contributions.

A Financial Handbook outlines details of financial procedures; the Committee reviews and updates this periodically.

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders.


Furnishings Committee

This small working committee is responsible for acquiring and installing furniture, carpets, and drapes, and applying interior paint and wall coverings in public spaces in Quaker House and the Meetinghouse. The Committee conducts an annual review of these public spaces, and considers where new or replacement furnishings are needed. Consultation with house residents is requested when changes in Quaker House are being considered. Expenditures exceeding a set limit ($400 at this writing) and potentially controversial changes should be brought to business meeting for approval.

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders


Membership and Outreach Committee

This Committee handles applications for membership, maintains contact with absent members, and coordinates greeting at the door and other activities to welcome newcomers. It also takes responsibility for public­ity and outreach, and for the Newcomers' Library. The Committee works with campus organizations to reach out to university students.

The Committee is provided with accurate and current records of membership by the Meeting Worker. All applications for membership are referred to this Committee. On receiving a membership application from the Clerk, the Commit­tee arranges a clearness committee to meet with the applicant, and appoints a convener for this committee. Clearness committees should ensure that applicants have informed religious organizations with which they have been affiliated of their intent to ter­minate membership there. The Committee should also be informed of requests for change in membership status (resignation, transfer), but does not take action on these. The Committee is responsible for encouraging young adults who retain their junior membership to consider whether they wish to apply for full membership.

To maintain and nurture a spiritual relationship as well as to discern each individual's intentions and needs regarding that relationship, the Committee contacts absent local Friends periodically—by phone, mail, email, or in person. Tact and a gentle, loving manner are important in any communications with Friends who have become inactive in our Meeting. The Committee communicates in a similar manner with mem­bers who have moved away from Ann Arbor. Where a Friends meeting or church exists in the area in which a non-resident member of Ann Arbor Meeting has moved, our Clerk, with the assistance of the Committee, will make contact to encourage that meeting or church to extend a welcome and invitation to our member there. The Committee will not assume that this correspondence results in a compatible association, and will continue to maintain periodic contact with our member as long as there remains a membership tie. Correspondence from out-of-town Friends should be placed in their membership file and shared with the Meeting in an appropriate manner. Because the monthly meeting is primarily a faith community for worship, Friends who have become active in a meeting or church near their new home should consider whether the time has come to transfer their membership there. In like manner, the Committee can invite members of other meetings who are now active in Ann Arbor Meeting to consider transferring their membership here.

The Committee schedules greeters for meeting for worship and coordinates activities for newcomers and those in­terested in learning more about Friends; these include a series called “Understanding Quakerism: Information Series for Seekers.” It also oversees outreach beyond the Meeting. Members of the Committee are available to discuss ques­tions about Quakerism, the Meeting, and membership. Finally, the Commit­tee initiates special events or procedures to increase the fellow­ship and sense of community within the Meeting.

Term: One-year renewable. Both members and attenders are welcome, but at least some persons on the Committee should be members of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting.


Committee on Ministry and Counsel

The spiritual welfare of Meeting members and general welfare of the Meeting as a whole are primary responsibilities of this Committee. These responsibilities include three main areas: care of the meeting for worship; a concern for the state of the Meeting as a community; and pastoral care of individuals who are a part of the Meeting.

A central concern of the Committee is the quality of the meeting for worship. The Committee considers and responds to such questions as: How can the Meeting help attenders understand Quaker worship? How can the spirit of worship be deepened? Are there those who should be encouraged to speak more often, or those who would do well to consider their messages more carefully? The preparation and revision of advices, queries, and statements on the ministry and the meeting for worship are in the hands of the Committee, as is the selection of persons to close meeting for worship and to read aloud the monthly query. Readings for Reflection, which the Committee provides for the monthly newsletter, often address aspects of meeting for worship or other topics explored in the queries.

The Committee encourages a sense of community within the Meeting by organizing small groups for worship sharing, fellowship, or study. The Committee may attempt to find ways of easing or re­solving conflicts or difficulties arising in the Meeting. Ministry and Counsel names clearness committees for marriages, reports to the Meeting on such marriages, and shares responsibility with the Clerk for the oversight of wed­dings and the proper keeping of marriage records. It recognizes births and adoptions (sometimes with a ceremony) and presents a pledge of support to the new parents. Finally, the Committee has responsibility for contacting family after the death of a member or attender and offering sympathy and assistance, especially with arranging a memorial meeting. The Committee, in consultation with the family, should designate someone to write a memorial minute for members and others who have been significantly involved in the Meeting community.

The Committee is also concerned with the pastoral care of Meeting members and attenders, trying to be aware of those in particular need. Duties may include visiting, encouragement, coun­seling, and assistance or referral for those who are ill, in financial straits, or otherwise in difficult circumstances. Some of this pastoral work may be referred to the Care and Visitation Committee (see below). Counseling may be handled through clearness committees, committees of care, or an individual named by the Com­mittee. Friends may ask the Committee for assistance in clarifying a situation, working on solutions to problems, or testing a leading or concern.

The Committee nominates Friends to serve on Nominating Committee, and nominates a Meeting representative to the LEYM Ministry and Nurture Committee.

Term: Three-year overlapping. Mem­bers of the Committee are members of the Society of Friends.


Care and Visitation Committee, a subcommittee of Ministry and Counsel, helps facilitate services to members and attenders of our Meeting in times of crisis, such as illness or a death in the family. The Committee develops a resource file of services that people are willing to offer and then matches requests for help with volunteers who can meet these needs. For example, the Committee coordinates meals when a family member is in the hospital or recovering at home, assists in arrangements when there is a death in the family, and arranges for transportation to Meeting or to medical appointments.

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders (nominated by Nominating Committee)


Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee is charged with the long-range task of planning for the leadership needs of the Meeting, and the annual task of recruiting personnel to serve the Meeting. It provides a slate of officers and representatives for the Meeting, as well as proposing conveners and members for standing committees. The slate of officers should be discussed with the Committee on Ministry and Counsel before going to the meeting for business. The Committee provides a draft report for the business meeting in April; approval of the final Nominating Committee report is requested in June. Filling vacancies in leadership that occur during the year is another responsibility of the Nominating Committee.

In recruiting members for committees, the Nominating Committee contacts all officers, representatives, and committee conveners about their current position; conveners and the Clerk(s) can be asked about the needs of specific committees, the participation of current members, and suggestions of others who might be approached to serve. The Committee then tries to contact everyone in the Meeting Directory to inquire about their wishes and to encourage wide participation in the life of the Meeting. General announcements can also be made in the newsletter and elsewhere. For individual committees, Nominating Committee strives to propose both new members with fresh insights and continuing members with institutional memory.

Term: Three-year overlapping appointments made by the Committee on Ministry and Counsel. Members of the Committee are members of the Society of Friends.


Peace and Social Concerns Committee

Members of the Religious Society of Friends have historically and consistently rejected war and violence as contrary to our understanding and experience of God's love. Over the years Friends have sought to alleviate the suffering caused by war, promote justice in the larger society, and encourage the development of cooperation and harmony among all peoples.

On the basis of this experience, the Peace and Social Concerns Committee educates itself and the Meeting on a variety of peace and social consciousness issues of concern to Friends. The Committee transmits information to the Meeting community to allow for informed decision making. Social action requests that come to the Meeting are referred to the Committee, which evaluates them and, for those considered feasible and worthy, suggests that the Meeting take action on an issue or help sponsor a community effort. The Committee also oversees the work of subcommittees and interest groups organized around a specific peace or social justice issue (such as the advisors on Conscientious Objection).

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders


The Palestine-Israel Action Group (PIAG) is a subcommittee of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee. The Group's goals are to study the Israel/Palestine conflict, to promote dialogue among the Quaker community and the wider public about its economic, social, psychological, and political costs, and to work actively toward a solution in which both sides recognize and respect the other's needs for peace, security, and identity. PIAG maintains its own website and a blog. PIAG also has a connection with QuakerPI.org, a website for Friends with a concern for Israel-Palestine, operated by PIAG member Anne Remley and Friends in Washington State and Massachusetts.

Term: None; volunteer membership, with the exception of the convener, who is chosen by the Peace and Social Concerns Committee


Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee has two major functions involving Meeting employees. The first is to serve as the nucleus of a larger, specially-called, recruitment and hiring committee responsible for identifying and considering candidates to fill open, permanent positions with Ann Arbor Friends Meeting. When the need to hire a new Meeting employee arises, the Personnel Committee asks the Meeting to name this ad hoc committee, which also includes the Clerk of the Meeting and other members or attenders as appropriate to the position. The ad hoc committee then recommends a candidate for the Meeting’s approval.

The second function of the Personnel Committee is to oversee all aspects of personnel management for the Meeting and its employees, among them administering salary and benefits; attending to the work environment and the welfare of the employees; conducting annual performance reviews; and being available to the Meeting and its employees in a liaison and support role on personnel matters.

Working with the Treasurer (and the Finance Committee as necessary) in the fall of the year, the Committee develops preliminary and final personnel budgets which include recommended staff wage/salary increases for the coming year as well as other adjustments to the existing personnel budget. The Committee may also, at any time, make recommendations to the Finance Committee and to the Meeting on specific salary/benefit issues having financial implications for the Meeting.

The Personnel Committee conducts annual performance reviews of the Meeting’s permanent staff in June-July of each year. These reviews are based on input received from the officers and committee conveners as well as from the employees and Personnel Committee members themselves. The reviews are intended to be open and frank, two-way, constructive discussions supportive of the employees and of the needs of the Meeting. Follow-up is initiated on any issues of concern, and copies of final evaluations are produced for the staff and for the Meeting’s employee files. The Personnel Committee, while available to employees and to the Meeting at any time, also schedules a mid-year “progress check” with staff in January as an opportunity to discuss any work-related matter, identify issues or problems that require Committee attention, and lay out plans for the resolution of such issues.

Finally, as the Meeting has need for temporary or substitute employees, the Personnel Committee determines the wages rate for such employees and is available on an as-needed basis to work with regular staff or committee conveners on personnel-related issues involving such temporary or substitute employees.

Term: Three-year overlapping, for members and attenders; one person in each term


Property Committee

The Property Committee is responsible for the care of the buildings and grounds at Ann Arbor Friends Center. It works closely with the Furnishings Committee, the Quaker House Committee, the Environment and Social Concerns Committee, the residential community, and the Meeting Worker. Tasks of the Committee include the following: carrying out regular seasonal maintenance and minor repairs, construction, and painting/staining, or finding volunteers to do so; organizing and participating in work parties; landscaping and trimming the grass and shrubbery; keeping the parking lots free of excessive snow; maintaining tools and supplies; communicating with the Meeting about maintenance, repairs, and building projects; seeking bids for major jobs and informing the Meeting, so as to allow members to make suggestions or volunteer for specific jobs; approving contractors or volunteers, and evaluating written estimates and contracts as necessary; approving completed work and initiating payment; keeping a log of major projects and the names of contractors or members who undertook them; and developing long-range plans to ensure that the facilities meet the needs of the Meeting. The Committee also seeks ways to facilitate access and participation for the physically disabled, and promotes fire safety through installing and maintaining items ranging from smoke alarms to fire escapes, and encouraging safe practices. The Committee recommends Maintenance and Major Maintenance budgets to the Finance Committee; it can approve expenses from the Maintenance budget, but expenses from Major Maintenance and any expense exceeding $1000 (at this writing) must be approved by the Meeting.

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders


Quaker House Committee

The Quaker House Committee is charged with the planning and oversight for three aspects of Ann Arbor Friends Center: 1) the Quaker House residential community; 2) the use of the guest room; and 3) the use of the Meetinghouse and Quaker House by Friends and outside groups.

The Quaker House Committee determines general residential community responsibilities and is active in the selection of new residents and annual reviews of current residents. Residential staff serve ex-officio on the Committee. The Resident Host is expected to attend meetings of the Committee, and all residents are encouraged to participate in Committee business. The Committee promotes communication between the residential community and the wider Quaker community, while respecting the autonomy of residents and their community life. It meets with the residents for fellowship and business, and provides support in times of need within the House. It maintains a Quaker House Handbook with current House policies and guidelines and sets contribution levels for residents.

The Committee reviews use of the guest room, sets fees for such use, and addresses problems that arise from offering this accommodation. The Committee also recommends policies for outside groups that meet at Friends Center. Communication and interaction with these groups are carried out by the Meeting Worker and Resident Host.

Term: one-year renewable for members and attenders


Refreshments and Potluck Committee

The Refreshments and Potluck Committee oversees the volunteers who provide snacks following Meeting for worship each week and organizes set-up and clean-up for the monthly potluck. Committee members inform volunteers about supplies, equipment, reimbursement for expenses, and expectations for clean-up, and may fill in when no one has volunteered to provide refreshments. The Committee purchases sufficient supplies (coffee, tea, creamer, sugar, back-up snack foods) and equipment to keep the Fellowship Room kitchen and Quaker House dining room independently stocked. Periodically, the Committee cleans the cupboards, stove, and refrigerator in the Fellowship Room kitchen. The Committee’s responsibilities do not extend to special events such as weddings or memorial meetings.

Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders




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