Models of peace and social order committees

Today College Park Quarterly Meeting had its one-day winter quarterly meeting at the Berkeley Friends Meeting. (The meetinghouse is conveniently located kitty-corner from the original Peet's Coffee. Many of our activities happened in the Mormon church on a third corner of the intersection, which does not allow caffeinated beverages inside. So that led to some sidewalk conversations while we Quakers consumed our verboten beverages.)

Jim Anderson led an interest group discussion on various ways meetings can and do structure their peace and social order committees. Here's the handout:

Peace and Social Order Committees: Three Models -- Plus Another Idea
(Presented by Jim Anderson at College Park Quarterly Meeting, 1/14/2006)

A. The standing committee of Friends who regularly bring before the meeting the call to become involved in local and other peace and social order work. Often a collection of “activists,” these Friends also represent the meeting’s social witness in their own active engagements.

B. An “empty” committee which has no standing members, but which forms when an individual Friend brings before the meeting a matter of concern, and invites others to join in an active response to it. The group then constitutes an informal committee for the duration of the work.

C. A standing committee who focus on encouraging and supporting peace and social order witness among Friends in the meeting, as individuals and as committees. Such a committee may bring opportunities for action to the attention of the meeting, but its main focus is on calling Friends to find their own way into social witness as part of a full Quaker life.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of these models as expressions of our Quaker faith?
What is your own experience of the corporate expression of our social testimonies in your own meeting?
Is a Peace and Social Order Committee necessary in a meeting?

Here endeth the handout from Jim. I want to add this suggestion made by a Friend during the interest group for a fourth model:

D. The committee for continuing revelation, to sit in expectant meeting for worship, awaiting the promptings of the Spirit, allowing divinely inspired action to spring forth authentically. (So, I’m embellishing the words a bit.)

What does your meeting or church do? I'd be interested in other perspectives.

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