Request for Applications — Resident Friend for Friends Meeting at Cambridge

Applications by April 15, 2014
Start date between July 1 and September 1, 2014
Contact ResidentFriendSearch@fmcquaker.org


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Friends Meeting at Cambridge is seeking a gifted Friend (or couple to share position) to serve in residence for an expected period of 3-6 years.

Friends Meeting at Cambridge is a large (400 members, 150+ at worship) un-programmed urban Meeting. The Meeting is blessed with the presence of many seasoned Friends, a sound physical facility, and adequate financial reserves for at least the time being. Friends Meeting at Cambridge is also blessed with a natural flow of inquirers from the greater Boston area, including, students at local colleges and adults relocating to the area.

During the past three years Friends Meeting at Cambridge (FMC) has undergone considerable discernment about not being as successful as we would like in attracting and integrating young people, young families, and a greater diversity of class and race. We would also like to be an institution in which one can more reliably count on effective task completion and thorough communication. In addition, the FMC Community is concerned about remaining faithful to—and augmenting—our largely successful work of being a welcoming spiritual home for LGBT and differently-abled participants.

Our discernment has brought us to a place where the Meeting has committed to a concept of vitalization that we call “The Beneficial Cycle”. As an important part of our Beneficial Cycle implementation, the Resident Friend will work with committees, volunteers, and staff to coordinate FMC’s Beneficial Cycle focus during the next several years.

The Beneficial Cycle proposes:

Deepening Worship: That a community that intentionally works hard to continue to deepen its spiritual understandings and practices will naturally be enabled to bring increasing spiritual reach to the welcoming and integration of newcomers (and present participants) and will naturally practice more effective service in the world.

Strengthening Community: That a community that more effectively welcomes and integrates newcomers (and effectively nourishes all community members) will naturally find itself with more participants for doing service in the world and will find itself with a larger reservoir of fresh viewpoints and deepening spiritual souls to participate in the entire work of the Meeting.

Increasing Witness and Service: That a community that does service in the world more often, and more completely together, will naturally receive additional enriching spiritual experience, will naturally increase the effectiveness of its service in the world, will achieve more visibility in the world (attracting some to Quakerism), and will deepen personal relationships by knowing one another in the work of the Spirit.

While there is a high degree of responsibility and authority involved in the newly re-defined position of Resident Friend at FMC, we do not see ourselves as placing anyone at the “head” of Meeting — instead we mean to place an able person, gifted in attentive relationship, at the “core” of Meeting life. The Resident Friend should thus have a collaborative personal style that fosters cooperation and that nurtures the skills, talents, and creativity of others.

Expectations

FMC sees our next Resident Friend as having responsibility for caring about and facilitating the functioning of the whole Meeting. With input from appropriate committees and individuals, the Resident Friend will be charged with oversight responsibility for 7–10 staff members (full-time equivalent of approximately five staff). With appropriate consultation, the Resident Friend will also exercise significant oversight of communication, pastoral care, spiritual education, outreach, and other programmatic activities. Some examples of our expectations follow. The Resident Friend will/will be:

Personal Qualifications

  • An experienced Friend, spiritually grounded and led by personal faith to live by the values held by our Religious Society.
  • Someone who serves as one of the public faces of the Meeting and as someone who will be known as a person that anyone can go to with any question about the Meeting.
  • A welcoming presence to visitors and will help with the orientation of inquirers.
  • Gifted and motivated to incorporate young people fully into the life of the Meeting.
  • Well grounded in Quaker history, as well as with Quaker life today, and knowledgeable about the Bible and other religious literature.
  • Able to establish and maintain personal boundaries and limits (e.g. no 65 hour weeks).

Pastoral Care

  • Understand the importance of pastoral care in a Meeting community and will be charged with working with the Care and Support committee to coordinate FMC volunteers, committees, and staff in responding to community needs. The Resident Friend will ideally also be gifted at providing pastoral care because there will be times when only immediate seasoned response to need is adequate.

Meeting Committees

  • Regularly attend Care & Support, Ministry & Counsel and committees that have direct relationship with staff (Advisory, First Day School, Office, Trustees and Youth & Family Programs). The Resident Friend will be expected to attend monthly Business Meeting and annual sessions of New England Yearly Meeting.
  • Receive and read available minutes of all committees, check-in periodically with all committee clerks, and will occasionally attend meetings of all FMC committees and groups. In this way the Resident Friend will know what each committee and group is hoping to accomplish, will recognize when there is overlap in responsibilities or potential conflict, and will know when something is not working as intended or is getting lost in the shuffle. The Resident Friend will thus be able to bring such matters to proper attention in a timely enough manner to make a difference. Overall we expect that roughly 50 hours per month of our Resident Friends’ working time will involve attending various FMC meetings.

Follow Through

  • Keep track of what committees and volunteers and staff have agreed to accomplish for Monthly Meeting and Committees. When something significant is not accomplished within the expected time frame, the Resident Friend will be responsible for sensitively and dependably inquiring about the work and will assist in finding solutions for anything that may be impeding completion of the task (e.g. simple reminder, helpful suggestion, assignment of additional resources/staff, facilitating transfer of responsibility for the task).

Staff

  • Supervise all staff on a day-to-day basis and lead the process of annual staff evaluation. The processes of supervision and evaluation will include ongoing consultation about staff matters with appropriate FMC standing committees and the FMC Presiding Clerk. Mindfulness about ‘expecting too much’ and ‘expecting too little’ from staff will be important. Similarly, an ability to facilitate resolution of differences/conflicts will be important, as will the ability to make balanced adjustments of staff workloads and priorities according to programmatic needs and in response to Meeting decisions. After appropriate consultation with FMC standing committees, the Resident Friend will make recommendations to Meeting for Business regarding hiring, continuation, and termination of all principal staff.

We strongly encourage gifted adult Friends of all ages and backgrounds to apply for this position. While we intend to place significant weight on successful past spiritual, administrative, and supervisory experience, we have not designed our selection process to formally require such experience, because we also want to be open in the Spirit to applicants (e.g. younger applicants) whose examples of competence and giftedness may need a different kind of presentation. Much more detailed documentation about the Beneficial Cycle and recent community process regarding the Beneficial Cycle will be sent to all who express interest. We welcome questions at any time in the process.

Compensation includes a two-bedroom apartment (all utilities included) at Friends Center (valued at roughly $26,000 annually). The housing part of compensation is exempt from federal and state income tax because living at Friends Center is a required part of the position. Compensation also includes a cash salary of ~$35,000, full coverage for individual and family healthcare, and a 10%-of-salary contribution to a 403(b) retirement fund.

Resumes and communication expressing interest in exploring the possibility of becoming the Resident Friend at FMC must be received in final form by FMC no later than April 15, 2014. We hope for a start date of between July 1 and September 1, 2014. Contact: ResidentFriendSearch@fmcquaker.org