a Meeting, we accept a degree of responsibility and concern for one
another.We would not wish to turn aside from those
of us in need.
Overseers we wish to ensure that each member of our community is able
to draw upon the Meeting’s care and
concern. Useful ways to give support will necessarily vary
from one situation to another. As we offer help we strive to be
sensitive to one another’s spiritual, emotional, and material
condition, and to the need of each of us to maintain our
personal dignity and protect our privacy.
should seek not to act beyond their competence or beyond the limits
of their proper responsibility. Clear
discernment of proper responsibility comes when caring
arises from the heart of compassion and when people are held
firmly in the light.
feelings and motivations necessarily color our decisions and discussions
about individuals. We need to be especially
aware of our feelings about a person and that these may
overcome our ability to discern God’s will. We should be
prayerful in maintaining this awareness and, as necessary in
our Meetings, remaining silent.
we reach out to ensure that contact is maintained with all of our Meeting
community? Do we make clear that we are
available to offer mutual support — spiritual, emotional, and
material? Are all encouraged to seek and accept the support of
we take care that each member of our community is held in sensitive
awareness, with respect for personal dignity and
privacy? Are we tender of one another’s feelings? Do we
maintain confidentiality, avoid gossip and refrain from
unnecessary and inappropriate exchange of information?
we offer pastoral care, do we each maintain awareness of our own needs
and motivations and the effect these may have
on our own care giving? Are we careful to distinguish personal
feelings about individuals — positive or negative — from
charge to care for them? In striving to help others, do we seek
the Spirit through prayer and silence?
we sensitive to the limits of our capacities and the limits of our
responsibilities? Do we, in our caring, hold those to
whom we minister firmly in the light? Do we as Overseers
hold ourselves mutually accountable to the spirit of these
from material developed by Strawberry Creek Meeting.]