Bellingham Friends Meeting

Bellingham Quakers – The Religious Society of Friends

Committee and Job Descriptions

Note: This page is mostly up to date. Most current job descriptions have links. Old job descriptions are below for reference or historical purposes. The Nominating Committee is nominated by  Ministry and Counsel Committee and approved by the Meeting at our monthly Meeting for Business. Other committees, positions, representatives and liaisons are nominated by Nominating Committee and approved at Meeting for Business. Sign-up resonpsibilities are available to anyone who signs up with the exception of the Key Holders.

Guidelines for Communication within Committees and Between Committees and our Monthly Meeting




Weekly sign-up responsibilities

  • Key Holder/Setup
  • Setup Helper
  • Greeter
  • Snack
  • Kitchen setup
  • Kitchen setup helper
  • Children’s teacher
  • Care of Meeting
  • Kitchen cleanup
  • Kitchen cleanup help

Old job descriptions (For updated descriptions, see links above.)

Children’s Program Committee


  • Nurture the spiritual lives of our children
  • Explore with them the history, practices, and values of the Society of Friends
  • Provide care and meaningful activities during Second Hour activities, including Meeting for Worship for Business
  • Encourage intergenerational activities
  • Foster children as they mature, helping them to participate in the process of Meeting, leading to the development of a Children’s Business Meeting


  • Ongoing
    • Keep minutes and Report to Business Meeting monthly
    • Supervise child care workers
    • Schedule pre-school and infant care
    • Schedule teachers for school-age classes
    • Provide snacks
    • Oversee clean-up
    • Provide logistical, organizational, material and creative support for  teachers
    • Provide names of coordinators and paid childcare workers to Ministry and Counsel for them to run criminal background checks
  • Twice yearly second hour progress report on the state of the program
  • Annual Children’s Program Committee Retreat to evaluate the past year and plan the next
  • Specific jobs within the Committee
    • Coordinator to provide a consistent presence for the children and act as a resource for teachers in the school-age classroom
    • Coordinator to provide a consistent presence for pre-schoolers and to train and supervise childcare staff and volunteers
    • Recording Clerk
    • Clerk
  • Note that committee members are not under any greater expectation to teach than anyone else in Meeting.

Time Requirement

  • Monthly meetings for 2+ hours, more for the two coordinators
  • Telephoning and e-mailing to coordinate with teachers and one another, 1 hour a month
  • 24 hour retreat once a year

Constitution of the committee

4-6 people, including (insofar as possible)

  • Male and Female
  • Parents of young children and people who don’t have children in their homes
  • Ages ranging from teens to elders

Reviewed/revised July 2007

Communications Committee


To facilitate communications and information exchange within the Meeting and within the community-at-large, and to facilitate outreach for the Meeting.


  • Create a monthly newsletter (Metamorphosis).  This includes a calendar of upcoming events, business meeting minutes and information from the current signup sheet for meeting tasks.
  • Produce a Meeting directory, with updates as needed (at least annually).
  • Maintain a database of phone numbers, postal and email addresses and other information  concerning members, attenders and others interested in the Meeting.  This database is used to generate lists for newsletter distribution (by email and post) and an email list used to send out general communications concerning the Meeting, and to publish a Meeting directory.
  • Check voice mail at least weekly.
  • Check the post office box weekly and distribute mail appropriately.
  • Facilitate outreach within the local community and beyond.
  • Maintain a Meeting website.
  • Publicize Meeting events in local newspapers, radio and other media, as requested, including special events and 2nd hours.
  • Maintain an updated list of media contacts.
  • Submit an annual budget and request supplemental funds as necessary to further the communications needs of the Meeting.

The Committee meets as led, at least twice annually.  The Committee consists of 3 or more members who communicate mostly one on one, by email or phone, primarily to ensure that the above responsibilities are met.  Individuals who help with the above responsibilities are under the care and oversight of the Communications Committee, but are not required to attend all meetings of the Committee.

Revised and approved by BFM, 8/8/2010.

Finance Committee Description, Policies, Practices and Guidelines


Finance Committee provides a structure that supports the life and work of the Meeting through right use of the Meeting’s financial resources.  The Committee oversees responsible use of the Meeting’s finances, facilitates the creation of a financial vision for the Meeting, and implements the Meeting’s financial plans.  The Committee also encourages Friends to be financially responsible.


The Treasurer is an integral part of the Finance Committee and helps make the work of the committee possible.  The Finance Committee consists of two to three people in addition to the Treasurer.  The Committee usually meets monthly for one to two hours, with additional consultation and coordination as needed particularly during the annual budget process.

Minutes of Committee proceedings are recorded, and monthly and/or quarterly reports are presented to Meeting for Worship for Business, with prior notification to the Meeting’s Clerk.


  • Study, recommend and maintain financial policies, practices and guidelines for the Meeting.
  • Develop and recommend the annual budget, with input from committees and interested individuals, and monitor budget status and cash flow throughout the year.
  • Raise awareness of the necessary funds to support the life and work of the Meeting, and facilitate contributions.
  • Maintain the status of the Meeting as a not-for-profit religious group.
  • Support the work of the Treasurer, and act as a backup to the Treasurer when needed.
  • Oversee and review all financial accounts, and monitor the inflow and outflow of funds.
  • Make recommendations and reports regarding the appropriate and beneficial investment of Meeting funds, and maintain updated information on all investments.
  • Monitor and report financial activity toward acquiring a future permanent home for the Meeting.
  • Oversee payroll process.

Policies, Practices and Guidelines:

  • If a contribution to the Meeting is made and the contributor requests that the contribution be used exclusively as a donation to an organization that is currently in the Meeting’s budget, the donation is gratefully accepted and acknowledged.  If the designated donation is for an organization not currently supported by the Meeting, the donation is accepted and the matter is referred to Meeting for Business to determine if the donation is appropriate.  The donor is then acknowledged or donation is graciously returned.
  • Scholarship Funds are distributed by the Treasurer at the request of Ministry and Counsel Committee, or if necessary by Meeting for Business. (May 6, 2007)
  • The Finance Committee shall see that a 3 month reserve in the operating budget (25% of the annual budget) is maintained in the combined savings and checking accounts.   In an effort to better match income to expenditures, this policy is flexible so that the reserve can be as low as 15%.  If the reserve drops below that, discretionary items will be delayed until funds are available. At intervals (usually annually) when the reserve is greater than 25%, representing a surplus, the Committee will propose a transfer of $500.00 or more, to the Meetinghouse Fund (MHF).  This would be in keeping with a past practice of transferring some year-end funds to the MHF. (February 11, 2007)


  • Monthly:  Childcare payroll including report to employees on withholding.
  • Monthly:  The Treasurer’s report is the main substance of the monthly Finance Committee report.  Relevant current information is also presented.
  • Monthly (as appropriate): When the operating budget reserve is greater than 25%, the Committee will propose to the Meeting a transfer of $500.00 or more to the MHF.
  • Quarterly: Report to Meeting for Business all Meeting House Fund assets.
  • Annually (January): The Treasurer reports donation amount to donors exceeding 200.00/yr.
  • Annual Budget Process :

September Meeting for Business: Begin budget process for following year requesting submissions that include an explanation or rationale for the request.

October Meeting for Business: Continue budget process by collecting committee data.  Request pledges from Members and attenders for the following year requested to be returned in 2 weeks to Treasurer or any other Finance Committee member.

November Meeting for Business: Continue budget process: Report Draft Budget and request feedback.

DecemberMeeting for Business:Continue budget process: Report Final Draft Budget and pending year end data.

January Meeting for Business:  Approve final seasoned budget.

  • Annually and as appropriate:  Being mindful of our policy of maintaining a reserve  of 25% of the annual operating budget, write, record and mail checks for Donations Out,.
  • Annually (January): File Form 944 for employees FICA (due January 31st).
  • Annually (January): Reallocate Meeting House funds to balance if deemed necessary.
  • Annually (February-March):  Prepare Finance Committee report for the State of the Society and forward to Ministry and Counsel.

Written May 9, 2007

Revised March, 2008

Revised February, 2009 (minor wording changes for clarity)

Friends Earthcare Committee

Friends Earthcare Committee mission statement:

Friends Earthcare Committee seeks to encourage the natural sense of wonder we feel in the presence of God’s Creation. We want to bring understanding that we are united biologically and spiritually with the natural world, and that we need to look for “that of God” in every part and aspect of the sacred Earth.

We bring a wider meaning to Friends’ historic testimonies. Peace involves living harmoniously with our Earth.  Simplicity commits us to reducing material demands on Earth’s limited resources.  Social justice means compassionate sharing of world resources, witnessing for the rights to livelihood and fulfillment for humans and all species.  Integrity implies a life more fully integrated into the living ecosystems of which we are a part, recognizing “that of God” in every living thing.

We encourage Friends’ awareness that we need to move beyond stewardship of planet Earth to understanding that Creation has intrinsic value, not only because of its usefulness to human beings; trees, animals, forests, streams, mountains have rights, too – the right to be and to function as they were made to do.

We strive to help Bellingham Friends remain in awareness of the Divine Spirit all around us.

Job Description:

  • Friends Earthcare Committee is open to all Friends who feel led to engage more fully with the Divine as expressed in the natural world.
  • We meet monthly in homes, to enrich and support one another and to plan programs and other ways of involving Bellingham Friends Meeting in awareness of our responsibilities to this sacred Earth. There is no limit on the number of individuals, and terms of membership in this committee are renewable.
  • We provide Metamorphosis, our monthly newsletter, an Ecological Suggestion of the Month and a Speak Truth to Power every other month. We sometimes make suggestions to Meeting such as encouraging Hospitality Committee to purchase Fair Trade items.  Finally, we periodically organize education and outings for the Meeting.

(Revised April 2010)

Hospitality Committee

Purpose:  To open, set up and close the meetinghouse for Quaker Worship and events.

To encourage community building with the provision of refreshments following Meeting for Worship.

Specific Responsibilities:  Kitchen

1.  To oversee the provision of refreshments donated by attenders.

2.  To supervise and organize set up and clean up on potluck Sundays.

3.  To maintain a clean and safe environment at Explorations  Academy, particularly in the kitchen area.

Responsibilities: Key holder.

1.  To follow the opening and closing procedures of the site.

2.  To supervise the set up of chairs, tables, signs, and literature.

3.  To have oversight of the sign up sheet for volunteer tasks of greeter and snack.

4.  To train greeters.

Intermittent Responsibilities:

1.  Report to the Meetinghouse Liaison any concerns that should be shared with the Explorations Academy Director or existing building proprietor.

2.  In cooperation with other committees, or with the meeting as a whole, to assist in celebrations.

3.  to provide a portable lunch during Meeting for Worship for Business.

4.  In case Meeting for Worship is cancelled or moved, to place a sign on the door stating what to do.

Meetings:  As need arises.  Committee size – 4 for kitchen duties, 3 for key person.

Revised May 2008, reviewed in 2010

Ministry & Counsel Committee


To Nurture the spiritual life of the Meeting.

To maintain a sensitive response to the needs of members and attenders.

To oversee the process of membership, clearness and marriage under the care of the Meeting.

To support the spiritual life of our local and extended communities.

Monthly responsibilities:

  • Provide a query based on the Meeting’s current needs and concerns.
  • Take minutes at monthly committee meetings and archive. Write up a report to Meeting for Worship for Business based on the relevant portions of the minutes.
  • Circulate the report via email to the clerk, co-clerk, and recording clerk who it goes to the week before Meeting for Worship for business when possible.
  • Submit written and oral report to Meeting for Business. Provide a list of agenda items to the clerk of the Meeting prior to Business Meeting, giving time estimates and a brief description of each item (information, discussion, or action.)
  • Be sensitive to unmet needs and special gifts within the meeting and find the resources to respond to those needs and gifts.
  • Create opportunities to build community.
  • Support the clerk(s) of the meeting.
  • Schedule the second hour programs for each Sunday of the month.  These normally include: first Sunday: potluck; second Sunday: Meeting for Worship for Business; third Sunday: a program coordinated by Ministry & Counsel; fourth and, if needed, fifth Sunday: Intergenerational programs.

Annual responsibilities:

By September, recommend members to serve on the Nominating Committee.

In January, initiate the process of writing a State of the Meeting Report by asking committee clerks to send input and finding a member of the Meeting to write the report. When completed, send it to the Spring Quarterly Meeting.

Inform Friends Bulletin and/or Friends Journal by e-mail, as appropriate, of marriages, births, and deaths.

Initiate the process for writing memorial minutes and inform the yearly meeting of all memorial minutes.

Occasional responsibilities:

Respond to membership and marriage requests by creating a process of Clearness Committees.

Respond to personal concern requests by either Clearness or Care Committees.

Respond to conflicts within the meeting by taking under the care of the Committee.

Respond to requests for scholarship funds and consult with the Treasurer as to the amount to be authorized.

M&C has monthly meetings lasting approximately 2-3 hours.

Optimum committee size is 5 members. The committee presently has five members, including the co-clerks of the meeting. Five members allows for enough representation to gather members’ concerns but still small enough to schedule. It has been helpful for members of the M&C committee to bring representation from other committees as needed.

Nominating Committee

Nominating Committee has a central role in the life of the Meeting. It builds the spiritual life of the Meeting by thoughtfully discerning the needs of the Meeting and the talents of the people in the Meeting. By best fitting positions that need to be filled with the talents and interests of members and attenders, we support the smooth running and growth of the Meeting and its members.

Purpose: To recommend names of specific Friends for Monthly Meeting to consider for all vacant positions in the Meeting and the Sponsored FGC Gathering Attender.


In the months prior to the March Meeting for Business, the Nominating Committee:

  • Reviews all committees and positions of responsibility for vacancies.
  • Responds to new needs in the Meeting by recommending changes in Meeting structure.
  • Checks in with people already serving the Meeting regarding their leadings.
  • Finds people willing and able to serve in positions that become open either by completion of term or otherwise.
  • Checks with people about their willingness to continue in their current positions.
  • Recommends a slate of names to the March Meeting for Business.
  • Responds to concerns that may arise as to how new committees or subcommittees are formed.
  • Nominates a Friend as Sponsored Attender to the annual FGC Gathering.
  • Provide information to potential applicants and encourage application.
  • Inform applicants of their responsibilities related to the sponsorship.

Nominating Committee meets about five times a year, for about 1 ½ to 2 hours, beginning in the fall. We report the slate to the March business meeting; the slate is then seasoned until April.

A committee size of four works nicely to allow wider representation as to knowledge of members, yet small enough to allow ease of scheduling meetings. Most of the work occurs in the first quarter of the calendar year.

All committees are encouraged to schedule an overlap meeting that includes outgoing and incoming new committee members as a way to facilitate smooth transitions.

Nominating Committee does not nominate its own members. That is the responsibility of Ministry and Counsel.

Revised: Jan. 20, 2010



Description: Bellingham Friends Meeting owns a collection of books, pamphlets, periodicals and audiovisuals, collected and available to meeting members and attenders.

Purpose:  To maintain and care for library holdings of BFM and make these available for use by members/attenders.


1.  Catalogue all holdings and store in an easily accessible way for use by members and attenders.

2.  Create and maintain a catalog record of holdings and record the signing in and out of materials.

3.  Coordinate with  Meetinghouse liaison regarding care and storage of materials.

4.  Encourage use of materials through various means of communication i.e. book reviews, information in newsletter about available resources, etc.

5.  Encourage ways of utilizing resources through newcomer packets, focused  reference  materials, e.g. subject materials collected as appropriate for a 2nd Hour.


1.  Provide a process for deciding which  resources are appropriate for BFM library.

2.  Provide information to meeting members/attenders about which books are available in the BFM library.

3.  Accept donations from members/attenders and provide criteria of suitable resources in terms of condition, quality, age, usefulness.

4.  Develop policies for disposal of outdated materials and/or books.

5.  Store pamphlets in an accessible way.


Review need for budget allocation annually during meeting budget process.

Revised  January 2010

Sponsored FGC Gathering Attender

A Sponsored FGC Gathering Attender shall be appointed each year following recruitment and recommendation by the Nominating Committee and approval by the Meeting for Business, preferably in March.

Qualifications: The Friend appointed to this position shall be either an adult or a young Friend of high-school age, and shall be someone whose participation in the meeting has been substantial and reasonably regular for a minimum of six months prior to appointment.  Preference shall be given to a Friend who has never attended the Gathering or who has not attended during the last five years, but this is not an absolute criterion.  More important is the Nominating Committee’s discernment that the Friend to be recommended is someone who will definitely follow through by registering for and attending the Gathering, will benefit from the experience of participating in the Gathering, and will bring his or her enrichment from that experience back to the Meeting in the form of both the expected report and his or her better grounding as a Friend.  A Friend who has held this position may not be recommended again within five years unless there are no other willing and qualified candidates avail­able.

Expectations: The Sponsored Gathering Attender is expected to (1)notify the Nominating Committee Clerk immediately if a conflict arises that will prevent him/her from attending the Gathering in the year of appointment; or otherwise, (2)register to attend the Gathering within 30 days of appointment and make appropriate travel arrangements; (3)request reimbursement of Gathering fees and travel costs from the BFM Treasurer, accompanied by reasonable written documentation of the amounts paid or expected to be paid; (4)attend the FGC Gathering of Friends and participate in a substantial portion of the program, including a morning workshop; and (5)present a report to the meeting during a Second Hour opportunity scheduled with the Ministry and Counsel Committee, which Second Hour may be shared with other Friends (such as other Gathering attenders and/or Friends who attended NPYM’s Annual Session that year).  A written report, for publication in Metamorphosis, is also strongly encouraged.

Reimbursement: The Sponsored Gathering Attender may request and shall receive reimbursement for Gathering fees and/or travel costs involved in attending the Gathering, both for him/herself and for other family members who also attend the same Gathering, up to a maximum of $1000.  (Any excep­tion to this maximum must be approved in advance by the Finance Committee.)  If payment is needed before the expenses have been paid by the Sponsored Gathering Attender (or other family member, if applicable), that Friend shall provide the Treasurer with appropriate documentation of the amount(s), such as an invoice or quotation.  Otherwise, the Treasurer shall be given copies of appropriate receipts.

The Sponsored Gathering Attender may choose whether or not to also request financial aid from FGC.  The likelihood of FGC granting such aid is enhanced by (1)the fact of BFM’s also providing financial assistance, and (2)registration for the Gathering during the first 10 days after registration opens, normally April 1.  Receipt of such additional financial aid may enable the Attender to bring additional family members to the Gathering, and/or possibly to request reimbursement from BFM for less than the annual maximum, thus leaving more funds available for use by others in the future.

Assistance with information concerning the Gathering in general, financial aid available from FGC, workshop and housing choices, and other aspects of the Gathering program, is available upon request from the FGC Contact Person in the Meeting.  Such information is also available online at

Created 2010


Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)


To relate to members/attenders of Bellingham Meeting pending legislation, important to Quaker values.

To encourage Friends to act on beliefs to foster peace, tolerance, and kindness and move toward those in need.



Report to Meeting relevant information weekly/monthly from FCNL.

NB Important for information to be succinct.  A longer session at intervals (annually) to review the nature of the organization, its history and mission could be helpful to Friends.

One to two people could share this opportunity.

Reviewed March 2010

Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy (FCWPP)

Purpose:   Support FCWPP to build a strong Quaker voice in Washington State legislation.


Attend meeting of FCWPP, and communicate between BFM and FCWPP.

Encourage involvement in activities with concerns of FCWPP.

Develop a list of BFM members/attenders to provide specific expertise.

Announce and publicize to BFM the contents of each FCWPP “Alert”.


Meetings occur in November and January, commonly in Seattle and at Quarterly and Yearly Meeting.

Term: Two years.

Members: Ideally 2 individuals.

Reviewed March 2010

Meetinghouse Liaison

The Meetinghouse Liaison is the primary point of contact between the Meeting (individually and collectively) and the landlord, leasing agent, facility manager or site contact.

The Meetinghouse Liaison will:

–          Convey landlord concerns, requests, and other information to the appropriate parties in the Meeting.

–          Convey Meeting concerns, requests, and other information to the site contact.

–          Create arrangements, rules, and expectations, financial considerations for use of the facility with site contact.

–          Facilitate communication and cooperation between the landlord/contact and members of BFM and/or the Meeting as a whole.

–          Have regular contact (monthly to quarterly as needed) with the facility manager or site contact.

–          Create problem-solving opportunities and report to Meeting for Worship for Business monthly or as appropriate.

Revised 6/22/10

Meetinghouse Scout

Ongoing:  Keep a lookout for available purchase or rental opportunities that would meet the needs of the Meeting.

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