We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted
us to use material for this Faith and Practice.
the monthly meeting
should be correct, accessible records of what occurred during a Meeting.
Because Friends believe every offering in a
Meeting for Business comes from God, the idea is recorded but not
the names of the persons who speak. Items may be attributed to “one
Friend” or “some Friends.” Names of persons appear
when necessary — such as to identify who presented a report or
who was charged with a task.
the Monthly Meeting for Business, the recording clerk and the Presiding
Clerk act as a team in preparing the two types of minutes:
minutes of action and of exercise (see below). Narrative passages
are helpful as well in recording how a decision was reached. <See
Appendix 1c for useful practices for preparing Meeting minutes.>
of Action – Numbered
Minutes: When the Meeting arrives
at a decision, it needs to be clearly and correctly recorded in
minute of action.” Such a minute should be read aloud, modified
if necessary, and approved at that Meeting. Once approved, it
should not be changed other than for authorized editorial
modifications that do not alter the meaning. When finding the
precise wording appears both difficult and important, the Presiding
Clerk should name a few Friends to retire and work out language
to present for approval later in the Meeting. Describing the issues
that were considered, and how they were resolved, can contribute
understanding of how the decision was reached.
of Exercise: When discussion of a matter produces important considerations,
but no decision, it may be useful to
record salient points in a minute of exercise, capturing the sense
recording the process of the session. What is the Meeting’s
dilemma? How was it addressed? What were the conclusions? Even
matters such as whether a committee should be laid down or if the
Meeting is to support a Friend’s leading may require time
than one Meeting for Business. A minute of exercise is especially
useful to avoid unnecessary repetition and strengthen the basis for
further discussion. It is the prerogative of the clerk to discern
why the Meeting could not unite.