The roles and responsibilities of AM reps to NFPB

A paper for Area Meeting Nominations Committees and for appointed Representatives

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Preamble

The Northern Friends Peace Board was founded in 1913 to “advise and encourage Friends in the North, and through them their fellow Christians and citizens generally in the active promotion of peace in all its height and breadth.”

The work of the Board grows out of the peace testimony of the Religious Society of Friends. Its activities will vary according to the changing needs of the times – covering peace from the levels of the personal to the international – but this spiritual basis remains at its root.

1) The Board meets four times a year for Board Meetings, which are both meetings for worship for business and a forum for Friends in the north of Britain. These are held on Saturdays, (sometimes with one weekend residential meeting a year) and venues can be anywhere within the Board’s area (‘north of the Trent’). The Board also occasionally arranges a weekend Retreat for its members. Board members are encouraged to attend all Board Meetings, as far as it is possible; some Monthly Meetings also appoint a deputy or alternate Representative. Meetings of sub-committees and working groups (see point [3] below) will often take place between Board meetings.

2) We hope that all Board members will be involved in, and aware of, peace concerns in their own local area. The Board will offer support and encouragement to them in this work, and also the chance to enlarge and enhance their skills and understanding of peace work.

3) The Board encourages participation of all Board members. This can be in many ways:

  • In the decision-making and discernment of the Board, which is the foundation of our other activities
  • As members of Board working groups, sub-committees or project groups
  • As representatives to other bodies and delegates to conferences, and in any of the activities organised by the Board.
    We hope that all members will have a chance to offer their particular interests and skills to the service of the Board during their period of membership.

4) We ask Board members to be a conduit of information on issues of peace – both from the Board to their Monthly Meetings, and from their areas to the Board, to bring local peace concerns to the Board’s attention.

5) Although Board membership does require a time commitment, it also offers help and inspiration to Friends already involved in peace work. Many actively involved Friends find that a period of Board membership is a source of strength to them in their work.

6) We are aware of the special gifts that Friends of a more contemplative nature have to offer us. The presence of such a Friends on the Board might bring us spiritual enrichment.

7) We hope that Board members will be open to new ways forward, interested in new directions for Quaker peace work, and supportive of new activities undertaken by the Board.

8) We welcome the appointment of young Friends and we are anxious that we do not overlook Friends who have much to offer us, but who have other responsibilities such as young families. We value the special insights they could bring us, and will do what we can to make their full participation possible.

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