Worship with Attention to Business
The Work of the Meeting
Birmingham Friends Meeting is known as an “unprogrammed meeting” because we have no pastor. There are other branches of Quakers in this country and around the world who worship in a more conventional, programmed format. The work and ministry of an unprogrammed Quaker meeting, such as Birmingham Friends, is the responsibility of its members. We are also called a “monthly meeting” because our community meets monthly to attend to business and make decisions.
The Monthly Meeting for Business
Birmingham’s monthly meeting for worship with concern for business is held virtually on Zoom the first Sunday of the month. It is presided over by the clerk of the meeting, whose responsibilities include setting the agenda and listening for how God is working in the meeting community. The recording clerk records the decisions the meeting makes. These notes are called minutes, which, when approved by those in attendance, become part of the permanent record of the meeting.
When Friends make a decision, we use a process unique to Quakers that includes deep listening to all voices. We are not seeking a consensus of our membership. We are discerning how God is leading us in a particular matter. We seek unity by being open to being led together by God. When everyone listens with an open heart the meeting has the opportunity to come to decisions in harmony with the Spirit.
Want to Learn More?
Watch this video of Quakers explaining the Quaker Business Method . . .