Query 4 of our Faith and Practice asks, “Do we regard our time, our talents, and our possessions as given us in trust, and do we use them freely for the needs of others?”

It is through the work of our committees that the important work of Virginia Beach Friends Meeting is accomplished.

We have developed a general process that defines how all our committees operate, report to Business Meeting, and annually review and possibly modify responsibilities. You can review our Committee Process here.

Below are descriptions of each committee, and the different positions that individuals serve.

Committees

Mission

The Building and Grounds committees’ mission is to do what is necessary to have a meeting house and grounds that are suitable for our worship and the various activities that use the building, while maintaining compliance with jurisdictional requirements.

Specifics

The B&G committee:

  • defines and carries out projects to keep the building and grounds properly maintained e.g. painting, cleaning, mowing, raking, organize materials and
  • supplies kept inside, housekeeping
  • schedules work days to accomplish such projects
  • hires contractors when appropriate e.g. repair electrical systems, regularly mow the yard
  • develops capital improvement plans to upgrade the facility as needed e.g. install new windows, remodel parts of the building
  • develops financing for the work, either via the Meeting’s annual budget or special appropriations
  • manages a long-term maintenance program so that infrequent items are not forgotten e.g. 5 year roof inspection
  • reviews property insurance to be sure we have what is needed without it being excessive
  • ensures that work meets applicable building codes and is inspected when needed
  • responds to any maintenance emergencies e.g. water leaks
  • holds committee meetings as needed to develop plans and review accomplishments
  • coordinates with other committees to ensure that their needs related to the building and grounds are considered
  • coordinates with the School via the joint School / Meeting property task force or other such group
  • regularly report to Business Meeting
  • keep adequate records, especially so that frequent unplanned maintenance can be evaluated
  • coordinates with the Meetinghouse scheduler on Meetinghouse usage

Mission

Our mission is to provide vehicles of communication to be used by the VBFM Friends Community.

Responsibilities

  • Facilitate communication within the community
  • Community Mailings
  • VBFriends.org website
  • Meetinghouse Scheduling
  • Manage Meeting’s phone

Mission

The Faith and Practice (F&P) committee will coordinate between our Monthly Meeting (MM) and the Yearly Meeting to consider proposed new material and revisions to F&P, and lead our MM considering those proposed changes per the committee procedure. This committee will meet as needed vs. on a fixed schedule.


Links:


Recommended Revision Process:

  • Works with and provides oversight in formulating the Meeting budget of income and expenses.
  • Manages the Meeting’s financial affairs and investments.
  • Assists the Treasurer and oversees the annual review of the finance records.
  • Manages the Rita Wass grant program.
  • Makes quarterly and / or annual reports to Business Meeting on financial status and / or issues.

Purpose

Receive, consider and act upon requests for financial assistance, as appropriate, from members and attenders of Meeting and the larger Friends community.

Process

A written or verbal request is made to Financial Aid/Sufferings.

The person(s) making the request will be held in confidence by members of this committee.

Financial Aid/Sufferings Committee consists of three members from Worship and Community Committee.

Funds for Financial Aid/Sufferings Committee are allocated in the annual budget approved by Meeting for Business.

Financial Aid/Sufferings Committee has a budget that is separate from Worship and Community’s budget.

The Treasurer keeps track of expenditures approved by this committee and they are included in the Treasurer’s report without disclosing names of recipients.

Mission

The committee is responsible for consulting with other members of the Meeting to choose an appropriate booklet or item for study in Adult First Day School and is also responsible for obtaining or making copies of material available to all who would join us for study..

Projects

  • Share the duties of facilitating the group study, bringing in helpful or parallel material to stimulate discussion
  • Make sure that announcements are made both in the newsletter, VBFM emailer, and at rise of Meeting so that members and attenders are informed and welcomed

Mission Statement of Virginia Beach Friends School

At Virginia Beach Friends School (VBFS), we integrate the Quaker values of equality, integrity, simplicity, peace, and environmental stewardship in a nurturing community of academic excellence that encourages mutual respect, personal responsibility, and the fulfillment of each person’s potential, based on the Quaker belief that there is that of God in everyone.

Function

Virginia Beach Friends School is governed by a Board of Trustees that is composed of members of the Virginia Beach Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, parents of students at VBFS and members of the broader community.

  • The Board of Trustees provides support for all aspects of the school through policy development, fiscal oversight, strategic planning, and fundraising.
  • The Board of Trustees is not involved in the daily operation of the school.
  • The function of the Board of Trustees is to keep the Mission and serve as fiduciaries for the School.
  • As with every business, expertise is needed on the Board of Trustees in all aspects of governance.
  • The purpose of the Board of Trustees is to govern the school and to support the Head of School.
  • As a Board of Trustees member, awareness and love of the educational process is needed. At Friends School, a presence in the Spirit and constant desire to find that of God in students, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators is most essential.
  • There are several subcommittees within the Board of Trustees: Advancement, Spiritual Life, Budget and Finance, and Building and Grounds.
  • Those with skills in these areas who are led to support the School can be invited to serve on a subcommittee without having to be a member of Board of Trustees.
  • Members of the Board of Trustees are selected by the Board of Trustees.

Mission

Plan, develop and establish a means to collect, compile, track and maintain the history of our Meeting and its members through electronic, paper and memorabilia.

Projects

  • Update the written history of our Meeting
  • Develop and maintain a means of storing and displaying the Meeting’s historical document and memorabilia
  • Incorporate into our history current activities, events and happenings of our Meeting

Mission

To facilitate the use of the library holdings, and maintain in an electronic form the library holdings.

Projects/Responsibilities

  • Update library holdings and catalogue (in electronic form)
  • Assist others with locating books and materials of our library holdings and encourage use of sign-out
  • Purchase new library publications and literature as available, and/ or as requested by Meeting
  • Report to Meeting about missing or lost books
  • Maintain library room and holdings in neat order
  • Coordinate with Building and Grounds for room and space for the library holdings

Nominating committee is responsible for staffing the various positions and committees* of the Meeting with active members and attenders. Some individual positions such as Clerk, Recording Clerk and Treasurer and positions within committees such as Convener must be filled by members of the Meeting. Those in individual positions and those within committees are responsible for the work of the Meeting.

When proposing individuals who are members of Meeting to fill the positions of Clerk, Recording Clerk and Treasurer, nominating committee considers who has the talents, gifts and seasoning to serve and grow in these leadership roles. Individuals nominated for Clerk and Recording Clerk positions are encouraged to serve a term of two years. The Treasurer is encouraged to serve multiple terms.

Our Procedures:

  • Yearly we personally reach out to members and attenders with the objective of discovering who would like to serve or continue to serve on the various committees. We encourage individuals to develop new interests and capabilities by committee service. During this time of outreach, we update contact and other information for inclusion in the Meeting directory.
  • Nominating Committee submits the Committees and Positions List to Business Meeting in Fifth month for any discussion or changes. At the Sixth month Business Meeting, the recommendations should be approved. This timing is to align with the Yearly Meeting calendar.
  • As committees select their conveners, or when changes to committee membership happen during the year, Nominating Committee reports these events to Meeting for Business and updates the Committees and Positions list.

* Nominating Committee does not recommend individuals for Trustees, Sufferings, or Friends School Board of Trustees.

Mission

The Peace, Earthcare and Social Justice committee of VBFM is devoted to service as well as the development of peace programs in the region and throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and in the faith of the power of love to overcome violence and oppression.

In elaboration and pursuit of this mission, our committee provides leadership for Virginia Beach Friends on the following activities:

  • Members/attenders of the Peace Earthcare and Social Justice committee of VBFM seek to be effective advocates for peace and public policy change in our world, nation, state, and local community. We seek a world free of war and the threat of war, a society with equity and justice for all. We seek a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled. We seek an earth restored.
  • We aim to stay current with and engage national Peace Earthcare & Social Justice initiatives of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the American Friends Service Committee.
  • We seek to nurture, and whenever possible provide leadership for, statewide and regional coalitions with similar progressive missions, such as the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), and Virginia Organizing.
  • We seek ways to facilitate constructive engagement between public officials and those in our community who feel least empowered and most victimized.
  • We maintain supportive relationships with other organizations active in similar issues.
  • We serve as a resource for peace earthcare and social justice initiatives of the faculty and students of Friends School.
  • We encourage members/attenders of our Meeting to bear witness to their beliefs by writing letters to newspapers and public officials, helping organize programs that bring these issues to public attention, and participating in peace vigils with others of like mind.

Mission

With an attentive search for Divine guidance, we nurture the spiritual life of the Meeting community by discerning how to support and facilitate worship, education, communication and events. We come together with our hearts and minds centered on caring deeply and responsibly for one another. We seek to attend to those in our meeting community with personal concerns, interpersonal concerns, or financial concerns.

Responsibilities

Clearness and support committees: Convene clearness or support committees for those seeking help in dealing with a variety of concerns, issues, or plans. This includes clearness committees for membership, marriage, an individual’s request for discernment, or helping to resolve conflicts.

Meeting Community Care: Offer care and acts of kindness to meeting individuals and their families during times of hardship and celebration. Encourage engagement in the life of our meeting via announcements in person or in written form.

Education: Support the spiritual growth of our meeting community with activities and events centered on Quaker values.

Nurture: Support our meeting community with Spirit-led worship. Practice deep listening, acceptance and understanding under the direction of the Spirit. Nurture the spiritual gifts within our meeting community. Prayerfully and intentionally hold individuals in our community in the Light. Hold all worship sessions in the Light and Spirit of Quaker worship.

Outside the Meeting Community: Welcome all visitors and follow up on all inquiries to our meeting.

Young Friends (also referred to as Children’s First Day School or Sunday School) endeavors to guide the children of the Meeting in their spiritual understanding by conveying Quaker beliefs and practices in a loving and safe environment.

  • Request that parents kindly inform the Young Friends teacher team and vbfm.emailer@gmail.com when they plan to bring their children to Meeting and provide their children’s ages
  • Ensure that there are at least two adults each Sunday/First Day to lead the lessons and activities
  • Develop and implement curriculum that corresponds to the age range of participating children
  • Focus on the Quaker values of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship (SPICES)
  • Request and encourage Meeting members and attenders to co-lead with the Young Friends teacher team
  • Explore opportunities to expand and build the community of our children to include Friends School and local neighborhoods

Positions

Function

  • Attend local meetings
  • Report to business meetings dates and times of meetings where others are encouraged to attend
  • Report to business meeting items needing action or items of interest to meeting

CHURCH WOMEN UNITED, VIRGINIA BEACH UNIT

MISSION STATEMENT

Church Women United is a racially, culturally and theologically inclusive Ecumenical Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for a world of peace and justice.

COMMON GOALS

  • To grow in our faith and to extend our vision of what it means to be Christian women of faith in society today
  • To strengthen visible ecumenical community
  • To work for a just, peaceful and caring society
  • To use responsibly and creatively the resources God has entrusted to us; our intelligence, our time, our energy, our money, as we carry our Christ’s mission through our Church Women United.

Building Blocks to CWU’s 2008 -2012 Quadrennial Priority:

  • Health: Promote the health and wellbeing of all peoples.
  • Environmental Care: Promote personal, communal and governmental decisions that express care of all God’s creation.
  • Peace: Promote the ways that make for peace.
  • Economic Justice: Promote the dignity, safety and economic opportunities of all peoples.

The Clerk’s major responsibility is to facilitate all business sessions – regular Monthly Meetings and special / called meetings – making sure all business matters are considered and minuted. There are many details of how to do that, which aren’t listed below, but several are:

  • Do what is helpful to facilitate a spiritually grounded and worshipful process.
  • Prepare and distribute an agenda.
  • Suggest the “sense of the meeting” when there has been adequate discussion.
  • Work with the Recording Clerk to ensure all minutes are accurate, complete, and promptly sent to be posted.
  • Ensure that old business is considered / not forgotten.
  • Keep the Meeting focused on the important priorities.

Other responsibilities:

  • Speak as the representative of the Meeting when the business meeting requests the clerk to represent the meeting.
  • Sign documents and prepare any official correspondence from the Clerk at the direction of business meeting.
  • Handle mail.
  • Prepare Yearly Meeting reports.
  • Ensure that the Yearly Meeting’s recommended Advices and Queries are addressed annually.

In every Monthly meeting, there is a vital and a continuing need for a nucleus of Friends who feel exceptional concern for the deeper spiritual life of the meeting. This care is the distinctive service of Eldership.
These are but the primary qualifications to be looked for in an Elder. Ideally, they need, in addition, insight into character, an alert spiritual discernment, discretion, and open friendliness. All these qualifications should be humbly dedicated to the spiritual growth of our Meeting.

  • Elders should feel a particular duty to give encouragement and nurturing to those who appear to have a gift in the vocal ministry.
  • When someone at Meeting is having any difficulty, Elders find a way to take the initiative and begin a conversation when it might appear difficult.
  • Elders usually will be proposed by, and become part of Worship and Community, but might be identified some other way.

There is no fixed number of people that should be named as an Elder. They are not “nominated” by the nominating committee. When a person has been suggested as having some of the qualities of an elder, their name may be suggested to business meeting to season. They may also seek additional support and participate in Worship and Community. After sufficient seasoning the business meeting is responsible for confirming the person as an Elder

They would then remain as an Elder until they find that the position is no longer a calling, or until the Meeting removes them.

The Meetinghouse Scheduler performs a variety of tasks related to usage of the Meetinghouse:

  • Maintains a Meetinghouse Scheduling Calendar.
  • Maintains contact information and tracks Meetinghouse usage for users of the Meetinghouse.
  • Works closely with the Buildings and Grounds committee and the Meetinghouse Caretaker on Meetinghouse usage issues.

Purpose: Maintain a list of all members and attenders of the Meeting.

  1. Maintain a list of all Meeting members and attenders and distribute to members and attender annually
  2. Serve as a member of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting Records Committee which archives meeting documents in the Guilford College Quaker Archives

Functions:

  • Maintain a list of all Meeting members and attenders and distribute to members and attender annually.
  • Work with the Communication and Nominating committees to ensure we are all working with the same list of members and attenders.
  • Prepare and deliver to the Yearly Meeting each 6th month the member/attender list in the format needed for the Yearly Meeting Directory.
  • Prepare meeting minutes and documents for archival on acid free paper and deliver to the Guilford College Quaker Archives.
  • The purpose of the Recording Clerk is to accurately record the sense of the Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.
  • The Recording Clerk records and reads each minute, in the face of the meeting, for Meeting approval. After the meeting is over, the Clerk of Meeting reviews and edits the minutes and sends them to the Communications committee for publication.

The treasurer:

  • is responsible for the custody and disbursement of the Meeting funds
  • prepares monthly reports for Business Meeting to ensure that the financial status is known
  • is a member of the Finance Committee
  • is selected by the Monthly Business Meeting
  • receives and deposits contributions promptly
  • pays bills promptly
  • keeps clear and complete records of these activities
  • prepares acknowledgement letters (normally annually) for donors
  • keeps records of investments and investment performance

Business Meeting must either modify the official budget or specifically authorize spending outside the budget. Disbursements within +/- $50 of the budgeted amount do not need separate approval.

The Treasurer is NOT responsible for soliciting money from members and others. Meeting attendees are notified of the Meeting financial situation, and are asked to donate as they believe is suitable.

The treasurer is automatically a member of the Yearly Meeting finance committee, and is expected to participate in their responsibilities.

Mission

Represent Meeting for all legal issues related to the meeting. All legal issues must be approved and minuted by the meeting before any action is initiated. (may require legal minutes). For any specific issue Meeting may encourage and appoint others to work with the trustees to research, review and make recommendations to the Meeting.

Responsibilities

  • Responsibilities
  • Sign legal documents on behalf of the meeting
  • Maintain legal documents in safe deposit box. (Copies kept in the Meetinghouse)
  • Monitor and track legal issues
  • Research, initiate and review Meeting legal issues
  • Recommend actions and respond to legal issues for the meeting
  • Trustees must follow Virginia Laws (Virginia state requirements – 55.1-317. Requirements for trustees)

Positions are reviewed annually by the Nominating Committee, with annual recommendations to the business meeting.

NOTE: Trustees are not legal until they are approved by the Virginia Beach city court.