“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
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 asterisk “*” 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 the Nominating Committee at Nominating@fmcquaker.org
Ad Hoc and Consultative Committees, Concern Groups and FMC Reps to other organizations
In addition to committees appointed by a nominating process there are several Ad Hoc and Consultative Groups appointed by the clerks. The current (2020) contacts for these groups as well as Concern Groups and FMC representatives to other organizations are listed here.
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 the weekly calendar on front page and in the calendar section of the website
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 7pm, September to June.
Pastoral care at FMC is facilitated by group of meeting members who have been trained in the Community of Hope method of pastoral care. They provide the following types of care and support to individuals within our community:
Friendly visits to someone’s home or a visit to someone in a hospital or nursing home
Accompaniment to a medical appointment
Prepare and/or deliver meals
Conversations to assist to determine the need for a Support or a Clearness Committee
Supportive visits and listening presence during a challenging life experience
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 6:30pm.
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. New efforts are aimed at curbing CO2 emissions through carbon pricing. Visitors are welcome. We meet monthly on first Mondays at 7pm
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 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 7pm.
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 12:15pm.
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 6:30pm.
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 and Landscape 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 and outside on the grounds.
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 7pm.
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 10am; Library Business subcommittee meets monthly.
Marriage, Family Life, and Relationships 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 7pm.
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 7pm.
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 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 7pm.
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 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 Justice helps put our Quaker principles into action in the areas of peace and justice. Peace and Social Justice 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 7pm.
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 7pm.
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 7pm.
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 9:30am.