WORSHIP AT YEARLY MEETING SESSIONS COMMITTEE (2009)
Purpose & Objectives
Responsible for oversight of worship at Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions.
Functions & Activities
The committee takes a servant leadership role in nurturing worship at Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions.
Organization & Method of Appointment
The New York Yearly Meeting appoints three at-large members to the committee, to serve staggered three-year terms. Efforts are made to ensure representation from the different regions of the Yearly Meeting.
Meeting Times & Places
Committee members meet informally during Yearly Meeting Sessions, outside of normal committee times. The committee conducts business by e-mail and phone between Sessions.
The committee does not foresee having any expenses.
Skills & Capabilities Needed by Committee Members
- Knowledge of individuals with gifts for ministry and eldering.
- Respect for different manners of worship within the diverse communities making up the Yearly Meeting.
- Willingness to communicate by e-mail, to work independently when necessary, to delegate.
General committee functions
- See below for details regarding oversight of worship at Summer, Fall, and Spring Sessions.
- Liaise/work with person coordinating elders for Meetings for Discernment on raising up new elders (identifying, nurturing).
- Report to Ministry Coordinating Committee (MCC) once/year. Discern with MCC when/whether to report to Yearly Meeting Sessions.
- Bring ideas about what would enhance our worship at sessions (business worship or regular meetings for worship) to MCC, Liaison, and Sessions.
Worship at Fall & Spring Sessions
Opening & Closing Meeting for Worship & Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business
Find a Friend to coordinate the following (usually someone from the host committee for the region/quarter):
- Ask Friends to sit on the facing bench for Meeting for Worship (on floor in front if in auditorium with a stage, or to the side of the clerks’ table).
- Ask a local Friend to break Meeting for Worship (or designate someone from Ministry and Counsel).
- Ask three or four Friends to sit on the facing bench during each business session (on floor in front if in auditorium with a stage, or to the side of the clerks’ table).
Worship at Summer Sessions (Silver Bay)
- Recruit/discern/otherwise find a Friend to bring a very brief opening message for Friends of all ages (the current model). Note: this is NOT a keynote opening message, but more of a family-oriented “thought for the week.”
- Find a coordinator who will:
- Coordinate with Yearly Meeting clerk about schedule for opening session, location of facing bench, any transitions into worship/who will introduce the order of events (usually Yearly Meeting clerk).
- Coordinate with the person bringing message about their needs—where does he/she want to stand (on stage, on floor level—latter is usually preferred), are any special props needed beyond microphone (lectern, etc.), arrange for glass of water, make sure person knows when to speak in order of events.
- Ask approximately ten Friends to sit on facing bench—this usually is set up on the floor level in front of stage, but should be on stage if that is where speaker will be.
- Arrange for someone to break meeting (coordinate with Yearly Meeting clerk).
Special Meetings for Worship
- Appoint a coordinator/liaison for each group—someone who is going to attend the group.
- Groups are: boathouse, FISOC, FLGBTQC, healing, programmed.
- Ask each coordinator to check in with you during the week at Silver Bay, even if there are not, but especially if there are, any difficulties with the group or physical space.
- Confirm or arrange with the New York Yearly Meeting liaison to Silver Bay for meeting spaces and requirements for chairs, etc. (These requests are pretty standard by now.)
- Appoint two coordinators to recruit worship sharing leaders and create groups once registrations are received. Works best if coordinators serve for staggered two-year terms.
- Coordinators are responsible for providing materials to leaders, holding a training on the first afternoon at Silver Bay, and coordinating w/Silver Bay liaison about meeting spaces.
- Be in touch with coordinators during the week to be aware of any difficulties.
Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business
Find a Friend to coordinate three or four Friends to sit on the facing bench during each business session.
- One to two weeks before sessions, get schedule of committee reports from Yearly Meeting clerk.
- Ask elders whether and when they would be available to serve by e-mail/phone.
- Assign times (two–three hours max) for individuals to serve.
- Make sure there are chairs (on floor in front of stage, unless Yearly Meeting clerk requests elders sit elsewhere).
Programmed Meeting for Worship
- Choose a Friend to bring a message for programmed meeting, work with that person to decide on an “order of worship,” hymns, other music, and any other “props” needed.
- Recruit a coordinator for this who will:
- Recruit Friends to sit on the facing bench (four to six?).
- Find a piano player for hymn-singing.
- Ask/decide if there is going to be any choir/choral music.
Closing Meeting for Worship
Find a Friend to coordinate the following:
- Ask Friends to sit on the facing bench (on floor in front of stage if in auditorium).
- Place an article in Minute to encourage Friends to attend and that childcare is available.
- Arrange for simple childcare on lawn or Inn porch if rainy—two teenagers or adults (in the past there have been two to seven children, ages baby–8 yrs). Sitters or coordinator need to provide a bag full of simple materials to entertain kids (e.g., several kids books, markers and paper, a simple board game, deck of cards, some Tinker toys, or Lego blocks, etc.).
- Confirm who is to break meeting (Yearly Meeting clerk or designate someone from Ministry and Counsel).