Committees and Groups

In our Society [of Friends], the committee structure is necessary, right, and good…. We could not operate without our committees and we rarely express our appreciation to them adequately.

——Merrilie McAfee Towl

Make Friends While Serving Friends

Committees

Serving on committees is crucial to the life and welfare of our meeting — for many of us as central as meeting for worship. In a large meeting like ours, committee service (performed by over 130 of us) is also an excellent way to plant roots, develop friendships, and become more integrated in the community.

Each year the Nominating Committee matches the interests and abilities of members and attenders with the needs of meeting committees. Committee terms begin in July and usually are for three years (they can be shorter). How can you serve? How can committee participation nourish your Quaker practice?

We encourage you to look over this list of committee descriptions. Committee meeting times may be adjustable. Membership on committees marked with a * are generally limited to members of the Religious Society of Friends.

For more information about a particular committee or to learn if it is open for visits, please contact one of us.

Groups

Groups are informal associations open to all who are interested in the work of the group. Some groups are temporary and some are long standing, and the interests are wide spread. Meeting times for groups are posted in the weekly announcement sheet on our home page and in the monthly calendar.

Committees

Avison Fund

The Avison Fund provides recommendations to Meeting for Business on the disbursement of foundation funds to organizations that submit proposals for projects designed to improve the lives of children. We meet on the first Monday of each month at 7 pm, September to June.

Care and Support*

Care and Support works to coordinate and facilitate pastoral care within the Meeting, which is an expression of deep tradition among Friends. They see themselves as co-workers with members of the Meeting that all may be more available to one another in times of trouble and joy, celebration and sorrow. Currently inactive as the committee’s function and structure are being redesigned.

CFS Board of Trustees*

The Cambridge Friends School (CFS) Board of Trustees contributes skills and expertise to support the school’s philosophy and mission. Trustees are responsible for hiring and actively supporting the Head. They assume fiduciary responsibility and oversee and participate in fundraising. We meet monthly on assorted Mondays at 6:30 pm.

Cambridge Quaker Earthcare Witness

Cambridge Quaker Earthcare Witness (CQEW) works as led to deepen awareness of our spiritual and physical unity with nature through a ministry of education, activities, and nurturing the leadings of its members or community, such as with its “affiliate” – New Story Group and members frequently participate in non-violent witnessing related to the environment. They are currently led to concentrate their efforts on forming a network — Mass Quaker Legislative Action Network (MAQLAN) — with the purpose of assisting MA Quakers to actively lobby their elected officials for State-level legislation. Current efforts are aimed at curbing CO2 emissions through carbon pricing. Visitors welcome. We meet monthly on first Mondays at 7:00 pm

Exhibits

Exhibits is responsible for arranging and hanging art shows every two months in the Friends Room. We consider this to be a venue for the Meeting community to get to know one another better. The works on the walls bear witness to how we each interface with the world, the divine, and the ineffable through our chosen form of artistic expression. Themes are often selected in keeping with Quaker precepts. We meet infrequently, usually twice a year. At a meeting we typically plan about six months worth of shows. Duties of committee members include showing up once every two months (usually on Monday during the day) to help hang a new show. One Sunday afternoon every two months we have an opening reception for a new show. This involves food contributions along with participating in setup and cleanup

Fellowship and Outreach

Fellowship and Outreach encourages community fellowship, welcomes visitors, and reaches out to new attenders. Examples of their activities include greeting people at the door on First Day, developing outreach materials, arranging social gatherings (newcomers’ breakfasts, an annual meeting-wide retreat) and corresponding with newcomers. Visitors are welcome. We meet monthly on first Mondays at 7:00 pm.

First Day School

The First Day School (FDS) works with the Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator to plan and refine the curriculum from preschool through high school, to recruit and support FDS teachers, and to maintain a caring nursery staff. The committee has care of the religious education and spiritual growth of the infants, children, and youth of the Meeting, manages the Children’s Library, and supports parents in raising Quaker children and nurturing family spirituality. FDS seeks to help children and adults have meaningful worship experiences, and to raise awareness and concern for children and families in the Meeting as a whole. We meet monthly on first Sundays at 12:15 pm.

Friends for Racial Justice

Friends for Racial Justice (FORJ) offers workshops and book and video discussion groups on institutional racism, white privilege, and other racial issues at Cambridge Meeting, in the Society of Friends, and in the world at large. They are willing to assist other committees in understanding how institutional racism affects their work. We meet monthly on second Tuesdays at 6:30 pm.

Fundraising

Fundraising seeks to raise funds for the Meeting, and works to engage with members and attenders in ongoing ways that cultivate a culture of abundance, and promote giving in all ways, as Friends are able.

Gardening

Gardening and Landscaping plans and coordinates the maintenance of the Meeting’s flower gardens. They facilitate project days and welcome everyone who enjoys gardening, learning about plants, meeting other Friends, and cultivating the soil. Meetings TBA.

Grants

Grants makes recommendations to Business Meeting regarding distribution of the Meeting monies which are available for financial support of Quaker programs and other projects compatible with our concerns and testimonies. They also recommend small grants to individuals for partial-funding of educational or travel expenses related to their Quaker faith. Meetings are not open to visitors except by special arrangement. We meet monthly on second Mondays at 7:00 pm.

Library

Library takes care of the selection, cataloging, and circulation of the Meeting’s books and audiovisual materials as well as digitizing the oral history cassettes. They also seek ways to encourage more people to use the library for enrichment of the life of the Meeting. They collaborate on types of and specific books to recommend that Quaker Press publish, FGC Bookstore stock, or FMC obtain and circulate. Visitors welcome. Oral History subcommittee meets monthly on second Saturdays at 10:00 am; Library Business subcommittee meets monthly.

Marrige and Family Life

Marriage and Family Life seeks ways to nurture and support marriages and families in our Meeting community. They do this in a number of ways, including conducting forums and workshops on topics related to Quaker couples and families, providing clearness and oversight for marriages, and providing clearness and support for couples and families in distress. We meet monthly on third Thursdays at 7:00 pm.

Membership*

Membership engages with attenders about their spiritual journeys and where membership at FMC might fit. The committee considers applications for memberships; requests for sojourning, transfers, resignations; and transition of adult membership for juniors. It also makes appropriate recommendations to the Meeting for Business and arranges introduction and welcoming of members new to the Meeting. We meet monthly on fourth Mondays at 7:00 pm.

Memorial Meetings

Memorial Meetings, with support from the wider Meeting community, facilitates memorial meetings. Although each memorial is unique, all are held in “reverent simplicity” in the manner of Friends. We meet periodically as needed.

Ministry and Counsel*

Ministry and Counsel has the care of Meetings for Worship. The quality of ministry is their continual concern. They have responsibility for the spiritual life of the Meeting’s membership and help to provide individual members with counsel and support. We meet twice monthly on first and third Tuesdays at 7:00 pm.

Nominating*

Nominating submits to Business Meeting the names of members and attenders to serve as officers, committee members, and representatives of the Meeting. They take into account the talents, abilities and interests of these people and the needs of the committees. Meetings are not open to visitors. We meet on one Monday a month at 10:30 am, with extra meetings as needed.

Office Operations

Office Operations assists the Resident Friend and the Office Manager in establishing office operating policies and procedures (and reviewing their effectiveness) aimed at providing an efficient secure office, while maintaining a welcoming (“Friendly”) Quaker environment. Meets periodically.

Peace and Social Concerns

Peace and Social Concerns helps put our Quaker principles into action in the areas of peace and justice. Peace and Social Concerns also supports the leadings of individuals: for example, some among us have been led to visit prisons, while others have traveled to areas of international conflict. Recent activities of the Committee include co-sponsorship with other religious communities of International Day of Peace activities on Boston Common; holding a monthly Meeting for Worship at Textron Industries, maker of cluster bombs; organizing the yearly Good Friday Witness for Peace on Boston Common; holding informational gatherings with guest speakers; and organizing fundraising events for special projects. We meet monthly on first Tuesdays at 7:00 pm.

Personnel

Personnel serves as a resource for the Resident Friend on personnel related issues, develops personnel policies, considers relevant trends in the wider community for application within the Meeting (such as the minimum wage), and maintains personnel manual. We meet monthly on fourth Thursdays at 7:00 pm.

Trustees*

Trustees take care of the property of the Meeting, both buildings and grounds and invested funds. They manage the maintenance of the physical facility (including center furnishings), and schedule its use. They also supervise the facility’s insurance program and oversee the financial operations. They work with the Treasurer in creating the proposed annual budget for FMC for consideration by the monthly meeting in the spring. They have care of the Ebenezer Pope Fund (financial assistance for persons in FMC and other area meetings facing emergency situations) and the Fund for the Support of Conscience (financial assistance for persons in need for reasons of conscience). We meet monthly on second Tuesdays at 7:00 pm.

Youth Programs

Youth Programs organizes activities, service projects and retreats for the junior and senior high groups in order to foster community and Quaker identity for our young people. We meet monthly on first Sundays at 9:30 am.

Groups

Artists and Writers

This group gathers monthly for mutual support and guidance in our respective artistic endeavors. We not only share, discuss and respond to each other’s work, but often informally discuss ways that artistic expression delights us and draws us deeper into the experience of life. All are welcome.

Beneficial Cycle Coordinating Group

The Beneficial Cycle Coordinating Group (BCCG) administers Beneficial Cycle Grants and makes recommendations to Meeting. The Group keeps the Meeting informed about BC expenditures and trends, and tries to help the Meeting evaluate the success of its Beneficial Cycle efforts. Perhaps most importantly, the group collaborates on a variety of Beneficial Cycle projects to maximize the impact that good ideas will have on the vitality of the FMC community. The eight members, appointed by the Presiding Clerk, include the Friend in Residence and one of the Meeting’s co-clerks. We meet on fourth Sundays at 8:30 am.

Bolivian Quaker Education Fund

The Bolivian Quaker Education Fund, active in 2014-15, supports the education of a Quaker youth in Bolivia.

Communications Umbrella Group

This group works on all aspects of communication: publications, website, advertisements, brochures, bumper stickers, ad words, social media, and oral history. As an umbrella group, members are volunteers from other committees and groups–Publications, Fellowship and Outreach, Library, Ministry and Counsel, Beneficial Cycle Coordinating Group–and other volunteers. They have the support of a staff person, the FMC Communications Coordinator, who can be reached at communications@fmcquaker.org.

Deepening Spirituality

This group arose out of Ministry and Counsel and the Beneficial Cycle work of the Meeting. We work on designing ways to help Friends and the FMC community as a whole to deepen their spiritual experience. We have helped form small groups for the purpose of study, discussion, worship and socializing. We have designed educational experiences as well, especially for the spring all-Meeting retreats. The Sunday Simple Lunches came out of our early meetings. We work closely with Ministry and Counsel, which is more concerned with day-to-day issues of the quality of worship at FMC. We welcome ideas, and especially willingness to work on and take the lead on ideas.

Family Worship

The Family Worship Planning Group plans the Family Worship intergenerational meeting that takes place at 10:30 am on the first Sunday of the month.

Jewish Quakers

An informal group that sponsors observances of the Jewish holy days.

New Story Group

The New Story Group is an ecumenical group of seekers searching for spiritual answers to the crises of the modern world. We seek to integrate the wisdom of the past found in Quaker and other faith traditions with the truths found in the scientific age.

LGBTQ+ Community

The LGBTQ+ Community at Friends Meeting at Cambridge has been on a journey of including, celebrating and advocating for LGBTQ+ individuals for many years. We use “LGBTQ+” here as shorthand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities (such as intersex, asexual, questioning and others) that do not fit into a gender binary or heterosexual sexual orientation.

Prayer Circle

What happens after you put a request in the “Prayers and Praise” box? A small group meets on the fourth Sunday of the month in the Selleck Room (Friends Center, second floor, rear) to hold these requests in the Light. We welcome anyone who is in need of prayers or who is moved to pray for others.

Prison Fellowship

This group provides support and encouragement for those who are engaged in prison work.

Publications

This group produces the weekly announcement sheet, the monthly newsletter and Minutes and Reports. We also administer the FMC database. We are always looking for enthusiastic people with skills in writing, editing, layout and formatting in WORD, and FileMaker Pro skills. We are also seeking a Features Editor. If you are interested, contact the Publications Team at fmcbulletin@hotmail.com.

Quaker Voluntary Service

The Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) Boston Local Support Committee works in cooperation with Beacon Hill, Framingham, Fresh Pond and Wellesley Friends Meetings to support QVS fellows volunteer service in the Boston area. This entails providing housing, placements, and spiritual nurture during their year of service. QVS is a national Quaker organization.

Sharing Circle

The Wednesday evening sharing circle is comprised of the formerly incarcerated and those who care about them. Following a format specifically designed for “returning citizens,” the evening begins at 6:00 pm with a home-cooked meal accompanied by informal conversation. At about 7:00 pm, we sit around lit candles in a safe, non-threatening forum in which each participant can express his or her current concerns, to be listened to patiently and without judgment, and to offer the same in return to others. This simple yet profoundly affirming process is based on mutual respect, equality and love for one another. Although many Friends might find the Sharing Circle to be meaningful to them, we have limited capacity and it is important to remember for whom the Circle was created.

Small Groups

As part of the efforts of the Deepening Spirituality group, FMC has been working toward organizing a variety of small groups to enhance fellowship, deeper spiritual sharing, and exploration of areas of shared interest. We are grateful to those who are willing to help facilitate; some exciting initial opportunities are now meeting. We encourage you to take advantage of a new small group to get to know others in our FMC community, and hope that through the experience you will find a deeper connection to Spirit and to each other. Watch the announcement sheet for meetings of “Small Groups.”

Small Groups--Tea and Worship Sharing on Aging

This group is under the care of the Deepening Spirituality Group. All who regard themselves as elders, seniors or old Friends are welcome. We will be worship sharing on the topic(s) of aging. Tea and cookies provided. We meet at 10:45 am every second Wednesday in the Library.

Work Transitions Support Group

The Work Transitions Support Group welcomes new members. Please contact Gail Rogers gailrogers76@gmailcom, if you are interested in attending. We meet every Monday at 10:00 am in the Selleck Room.

Young Adult Friends

Young Adult Friends (YAFs) are between 18 and 35(ish) years old. You are welcome to join our monthly potluck, where we’ll enjoy food and fellowship. We meet fourth Sundays at 6:15 pm.