Quaker A-Z: J is for Jumping Around

For the preservation of love, concord and a good decorum in this meeting, ’tis earnestly desired that all business that comes before it be managed with gravity and moderation, in much love and Amity, without reflections or retorting, which is but reasonable as well as comely, since we have no other obligation upon each other but love, which is the very bond of our society: and therein to serve the Truth and one another; having an eye single to it, ready to sacrifice every private interest to that of Truth, and the good of the whole community.

Jumping Around Between Subjects

There are times when I open up the neatly labelled email folder, ready to create an agenda, and I can feel the need for the preservation of love, concord and good decorum (mentioned above).
 
Trying to balance the differing needs and wants of everyone involved can be tricky. You may find yourself jumping from one subject (complete with a long email thread) to another, and then another…
As a clerk, you manage a wide variety of subjects. Collecting information and minutes from LM committees, AM and international groups. In addition, the special concerns of many individual Quakers. Often, people feel that it is vital or that those matters mentioned aren’t of interest and should be skipped.
  • hear a report from this body
  • discuss this concern
  • make a decision about this matter
  • agree to fund or offer support to this group
Plus the standard list of items that come up every time:
  • matters arising from previous meetings or minutes
  • membership
  • safeguarding
  • trustees
  • accounts
and many many more…
With input from members, other committees, and legal requirements, you need to decide what should be included for that period of time you’ve blocked out.
 
It is always good to remember that there will (hopefully!) be another Meeting for Worship for Business coming along as planned.

Woodbrooke have an excellent guide on how to collect items and create an agenda. Highly recommend reading through the entire guide produced by experienced clerks.

Preventing Whiplash & Slippage

You can download from our website, free versions of annual clerks’ templates. These are a yearly overview of what subjects are likely to come up and when. This prevents items from slipping off the agenda or getting lost in the files.

An annual overview can also help when you receive an ‘urgent matter’. A glance at the template shows the meeting is already full of essential business.

Being able to tell someone that their ‘urgent matter’ will be on a subsequent agenda can help your planning and their feelings.

It helps if there is trust that matters are recorded somewhere and won’t be lost – or have to be squeezed into an already full agenda without proper allowance for discernment.

It’s helpful to know where to look when asked, ‘When was the last time we did….’ that periodically needs to be an item.

At the end of a recent project, MBS completed, I was tickled to read a minute from a Trustee body that said:

'We discovered that xxx had not been done for a dozen or so years. We're not certain why it hadn't, but MBS has completed the work given and we have taken steps to ensure it isn't forgotten again!'

Picture of Wendrie Heywood

Wendrie Heywood

MBS Founder

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The webinar will cover: how it works, what is available to study, and importantly how it can benefit you as a role holder and/or your organisation

Join us for our FREE "Preventing Corporate Memory Loss" webinar...

Wednesday 31st May 2023 at 18.00 (GMT)

We invite you to join us on Zoom for our first MBS:C webinar. During the 90-minute session, we will share good practice on how your organisation prevents memory loss and deals with a changing group of volunteers and role holders.  We will share some of the resources used in our MBS:C online classroom, point out which are available for free, and introduce our new online training portal courses.

The webinar will cover: how it works, what is available to study, and importantly how it can benefit you as a role holder and/or your organisation

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