<< PYM home

Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

Search provided by

Contents page

v: procedures

< previous page

next page >

Friends Process for Making Decisions

pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.


deferring decisions

 Many decisions are of a routine nature and can be handled during one Meeting for Business. Business Meeting accomplishes much of its work by trusting standing and ad hoc committees to have adequately seasoned matters beforehand. Some matters are better served by, and deserve, longer periods of deliberation. It is standard practice to hold over decisions in matters of membership, marriage and nominations for at least one month before a final decision. The extra time of seasoning allows Friends to labor together in an orderly exploration of unexpected objections and thus better to discern God’s will. This is characteristic of Friends’ sense of “good order.”

 Items may be held over for later consideration, as committees or the Clerk deem necessary. It is generally helpful to name the date when it will be reconsidered. The absence of Friends with a specific interest from Business Meeting (after notice has been given) should seldom be a factor in delaying a decision.

 It is the responsibility of the Clerk to discern when it is appropriate to delay a decision or refer a matter back to a committee for further seasoning. If the Clerk has decided in advance that no decision will be made at a given session, he or she should inform the Business Meeting before discussion begins. The Clerk should also indicate the possible consequences of a delayed decision.