Chapter 3 » 3.23

Nominations and appointments

Much of the work of meetings for church affairs and committees will be undertaken by Friends especially appointed by the meeting or committee responsible for the work, most often on the recommendation of a nominations committee. The process of appointment starts when the meeting identifies the need for a task to be performed. It is good practice for a meeting to have a clear view of the tasks that need to be accomplished on its behalf and to fix the length of service required so that both the meeting and the Friend appointed understand the commitment.

Many of our gifts are latent. A particular appointment may enable one Friend to exercise unsuspected abilities. Other Friends may find themselves overburdened by being appointed to service beyond their capacity and experience. It requires great discernment to know the right moment to ask a particular Friend to undertake or lay down a particular task.

Most appointments should be for either one or three years. It is generally undesirable for someone to hold an appointment for more than six years continuously although there may be exceptions. Meetings should give thought to the training of replacements for existing officers and it will help in this process if those appointed try to give the meeting some notice of wishing to be released from service.

Meetings will differ widely in the appointments they need to make. In some meetings, there may be a shortage of people willing to undertake the work that is needed. In others there may be many who are anxious to serve and some may feel excluded from the busy life of the meeting if not offered appointment. It is important that the whole process be open and clearly understood by all who attend.

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