Tempe Friends Meeting
of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Meeting for Business and Committees
Friends Attend to Business
The Meeting holds a monthly Meeting for Business (therefore the term "Monthly Meeting" for the working unit of Friends) on the second First Day (Sunday) morning of each month, following the meeting for worship. Meeting for Business begins after Meeting for Worship, typically 11:30 or so, announced by the Clerk. This meeting receives and records members, cares for members and the property of the Meeting, and provides material aid for persons in need in the community and elsewhere. Ideally, the Meeting for Business is a Meeting for Worship in which business is conducted.
In searching for truth in the conduct of Meeting for Business, Friends reach decisions by agreement through discernment by the Clerk of what is agreed to by the group and confirmed by those present (a "sense of the Meeting"). Decisions are not made by vote, nor do they require unanimity, but other opinions must be sought and thoroughly considered. This business practice is democratic action where all participants are equal in their right and obligation to contribute in a spirit of reasonableness and forbearance. The Monthly Meeting appoints the Clerk, who organizes the business agenda, presides at business sessions, prepares minutes of the proceedings (with the help of the Recording Clerk) and oversees much of the work of the Monthly Meeting..
Committees carry out much of the work of the Monthly Meeting, including the following:
• Adult Religious Education Committee plans and coordinates the curriculum for adult study sessions or discussion groups.
• Auditors examine annually all financial records of the Meeting to ascertain their condition and orderliness.
• Building and Grounds Committee carries responsibility for the care and maintenance of Meeting properties at 318 E. 15th Street in Tempe.
• Children’s Religious Education Committee is responsible for the operation of the First Day School
• Counsel and Oversight Committee is responsible for the care of the membership and of the corporate life of the Meeting.
• Finance Committee proposes the yearly budget for the Meeting.
• Hospitality Committee fosters sociability and fellowship, supervising and assisting with coffees and other social affairs while encouraging cooperation from all members
• Library Committee manages the library and orders new books and pamphlets as needed.
• Nominating Committee nominates the officers of the Monthly Meeting and members of the various committees
• Outreach Committee facilitates sharing of information about Tempe Meeting with the general public, and oversees the website and bulletin boards.
• Peace and Social Concerns Committee plans activities that promote peace and social service in which Friends can participate.
• Tempe Friends Meetinghouse Corporation Directors hold legal title for the meetinghouse and its property, and periodically review the Corporation’s financial condition
• Worship and Ministry works to foster and strengthen the spiritual life of the Meeting by nurturing the Meeting for Worship and the spiritual growth of individuals in the Meeting.
Other committees and appointees are established as necessary.
Officer positions include a Clerk, Minute Clerk, Records Clerk, Directory Editor, Historian, Librarian, Treasurer.
Tempe Monthly Meeting – Part of a Larger Connection
Tempe Friends Meeting is a "Monthly Meeting" even though we generally hold weekly Meetings for Worship. Local congregations are referred to as "Monthly Meetings" because they usually meet at least once a month to make decisions about issues and concerns that affect the local group. There are usually committees in these groups that bring forward recommendations and take care of work that the Meeting is undertaking. This is our monthly Business Meeting held on the second Sunday of each month.
Arizona Half-Yearly Meeting (AHYM) gathers twice a year the members and attenders of local Meetings in Arizona. Half-Yearly Meeting has committees like local Meetings. Some come to this gathering simply for fellowship. Sharing in the Arizona Half-Yearly Meeting are also Pima Meeting (Tucson) and Flagstaff Meeting. AHYM appoints representatives to AHYM’s Nominating Committee from each Monthly Meeting, representatives to AHYM’s Continuing Committee, and representatives to Intermountain Yearly Meeting’s Continuing Committee.
Tempe and all the other members of the Arizona Half-Yearly Meeting are members of the Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM). Yearly Meeting is an annual gathering of people from all the regional Meetings as well as visitors from other Yearly Meetings. This includes a year round organization of volunteers. Standing Committees and working groups of volunteers who work with the staff to implement programs through out the year. Tempe Meeting has a number of members who serve on these.