BY-LAWS OF NORTH PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING OF THE RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS
APPROVED BY Steering Committee 1-09 and Coordinating Committee 4-09
Members and Membership Meetings
Section 1: Membership
The North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM or Yearly Meeting)of the Religious Society of Friends is composed of the members of its Monthly Meetings (MM), including those in Preparative Meetings (PM), and Worship Groups (WG), in the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, whose privilege and responsibility it is to participate in and support the Yearly Meeting and its Annual Session.
Section 2: Assessments (Dues)
Assessments shall be solicited from the Monthly Meetings based upon the number of adults listed in each Meeting's Statistical Report of June 1, for whom it will contribute an annual assessment. Each Meeting may decide for how many of its adult members and active attenders it wishes to contribute to the annual assessment. Contributions and assessments to the Yearly Meeting made by Preparative Meetings and Worship Groups should be sent to their parent Monthly Meetings or may be forwarded directly to the Treasurer of the Yearly Meeting.
Section 3: Annual Meetings
The annual meeting of this Yearly Meeting shall be held on the same date as the Annual Session, during the plenary sessions. The plenary sessions are occasions for dealing with appropriate business and concerns, for providing opportunities for spiritual growth and for considering reports from Friends' organizations, the Coordinating Committee, and other committees. Decisions of the Yearly Meeting may be made either in plenary sessions of the Annual Session or by the Coordinating Committee which has been established by the Yearly Meeting.
Section 4: Place of Meetings
This corporation shall hold its annual meeting (Annual Session) in Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington during the summer, and at such locations as the board of directors (Yearly Meeting Coordinating Committee) shall determine.
Section 5: Notices
The Presiding Clerk of the Annual Session, together with the Clerk of the Coordinating Committee, is responsible for a welcoming "Call to Yearly Meeting" in the June WESTERN FRIEND. Notices of the Annual Session will state the time and place of the Session and notices of special meetings shall state the time, place, and purpose of these meetings.
Section 6: Conduct of Meetings
At the time of the Annual Session, the Presiding Clerk shall conduct the Annual Session with the assistance of the Annual Session Recording Clerk.
Section 7: Quorum of Yearly Meeting
The members personally present at an Annual Session shall constitute a quorum.
Section 8: Decision-making Process
Decisions of the Yearly Meeting may be made either in plenary sessions of the Annual Session or by the Coordinating Committee. A sense of unity constitutes a decision by Friends.
Attenders as well as members are generally encouraged participate in business meetings. Final responsibility for decisions, however, remains with members of the Yearly Meeting and the Coordinating Committee.
When there are differences of opinion and it is not possible to reach unanimity, and some Friends choose not to stand aside, the matter shall be minuted as "not in unity". Further consultation with the persons involved, and with the Monthly Meetings, if necessary, shall precede any action of those present at the Plenary Session of the Annual Session or at the Coordinating Committee meetings.
Section 1: Purpose
The Coordinating Committee supports and enriches the life of NPYM. It is the venue where the standing committees and Monthly Meetings share about their work and inspiration. The committee identifies and links converging and emerging issues, and offers support to groups within NPYM. In addition, the committee provides support and oversight to NPYM standing committees. CC meetings are meetings for worship with a concern for business, and members participate in discernment and decision-making according to the good order of Friends, under the leading of the Spirit. All members of CC bring their experience from their committees and Monthly Meetings as they share together in the work on behalf of NPYM.
Section 2: Scope of Activity
(a) Number and Positions -- The Coordinating Committee (CC) is composed of one member from each Monthly Meeting, one member from each Preparative Meeting, (if the PM wishes and after consultation with their overseeing Monthly Meeting and the CC clerk), the CC clerk, CC recording clerk, CC associate clerk, Annual Session presiding clerk, and treasurer
(b) Selection – All members of the CC should be members of the Religious Society of Friends or long time attenders, well grounded in Quaker practice and experienced in Quaker discernment and decision-making. They shall be appointed as follows:
1. Monthly Meeting appointed – Each MM in NPYM names one members of the Coordinating Committee.
2. Preparative Meeting appointed – PMs may name one member, after consultation with their overseeing MM and the CC clerk.
3. Standing committee appointed – Standing committee clerks are on the CC by default; if a clerk wishes to have another committee member serve in his or her place on CC, s/he should consult with his or her committee to select a CC member.
4. NPYM appointed – CC clerk, CC recording clerk, CC associate clerk, Annual Session presiding clerk, treasurer (The NPYM Officers).
(c) When Appointed –
1. Monthly Meeting appointed members – when the MM wants, but a member does not start his/her term until October 1.
2. Preparative Meeting appointed members – when the PM wants, but the member does not start his/her term until October 1.
3. Standing Committee clerks – clerks are appointed at NPYM Annual Session and are on CC by default; if they wish to have another members serve on CC in their place (for a one year term) they should consult with their committee to select a CC member prior to October 1, which is when the term starts.
4. NPYM officers and committees – NPYM Annual Session.
(d) Term Length – All terms begin on October 1, for the following periods:
1. MM and PM appointed members – 2 years, with a recommendation for no more that 2 consecutive terms (4 years total).
2. Standing committee appointed members – 1 year, reappointment possible while on the committee.
3. NPYM officers – for the duration of term of office.
(e) Responsibilities – CC works primarily with MMs, PMs, WGs, and with NPYM standing committees. It may also work closely with Quarterly Meetings, NPYM ad hoc committees, Junior Friends, Young Friends, worship groups not under the care of a meeting, and isolated Friends. In carrying out its work, it shall –
1. Identify issues in the yearly meeting, paying particular attention to emerging and converging concerns. Refer issues and concerns to appropriate standing committees and/or to Meetings and Worship Groups and/or Annual Session after appropriate seasoning. Emerging issues are ones that may arise from a Monthly Meeting, Preparative Meeting, Worship Group, Isolated Friend, Quarterly Meeting, Annual Session or Standing Committee. Converging issues are ones that are being dealt with by more than one committee, Meeting, etc., particularly when Friends do not know that others are working on this and that there might be valuable connections.
2. Facilitate networking and communication among Standing Committees, among Meetings and Worship Groups and between all groups.
3. Ensure ongoing contact with Isolated Friends and Worship Groups not under the care of a Meeting, recognizing that the Outreach and Visitation Committee will do much of this work.
4. Nurture standing committees and hold them accountable to their charges.
5. Ensure that newly identified tasks are assigned appropriately and equitably.
6. Report to annual session.
7. Support the presiding clerk in making sure that matters for annual session consideration have been seasoned.
8. Encourage, facilitate, and help publicize YM-wide activities.
9. Oversee relationships with the wider family of Friends. This includes:
a) receive reports from our representatives to Quaker Organizations annually:
b) set up ad hoc committees on affiliations as needed pursuant to YM policy
10. Appoint Pre-Nominating Committee at spring CC meeting.
11. Approve nominations of NPYM officers and committee members as necessary between Annual Sessions.
12. Approve expenditures beyond the framework of the budget.
13. Ask committees and officers to review their job descriptions and report back to CC. If changes are suggested, CC shall decide who will approve the job description, or, refer it to annual session for approval, if it involves major changes. All descriptions shall be reviewed on a 3-year cycle.
14. Handle other decisions that do not involve changes to policy that are necessary to carry out the work of the yearly meeting and that do not require full NPYM attention at Annual Session. Its first inquiry shall be to determine if the decision should be referred elsewhere. Discernment is necessary to identify which decisions can be handled at Coordinating Committee and which rightly belong at AS, in a Standing Committee, Monthly or Quarterly Meeting.
15. Ensure evaluation of NPYM structure.
16. Ask standing committees, including CC, to regularly self-evaluate, and follow up on any issues identified.
17. Fill any vacancy in a Yearly Meeting office.
18. Function as the corporate board of directors.
Section 3: Meetings and Quorum
(a) Quorum — The Coordinating Committee members present at any properly convened meeting as further described in the Discipline shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, provided adequate notice has been given. Those present may agree to recess the meeting from time to time. Action may be taken by a sense of the meeting of the Coordinating Committee members present, pursuant to the good order of Friends as provided in the Faith and Practice or other discipline of NPYM.
(b) Meetings — The CC will normally meet once in the fall and once in the spring and at least once at Annual Session. Meetings other than at Annual Session shall regularly take place in either Portland or Seattle.
Section 4: Reporting -- The Coordinating Committee shall report to NPYM at the annual session. MM-appointed members shall communicate and report between CC and their Monthly Meetings and all groups under the Monthly Meeting's care. Standing Committee-appointed members shall communicate and report between the CC and the standing committee.
Section 1: Number and Tenure
Except for Coordinating Committee members, Yearly Meeting officers are nominated by the Nominating Committee and are appointed by the Annual Session for terms which begin October 1, following the Annual Session.
The Yearly Meeting officers shall consist of a Presiding Clerk of the Annual Session, a Recording Clerk of the Annual Session Meeting, a Clerk of the Coordinating Committee, a Recording Clerk of the Coordinating Committee, a Treasurer, an Archivist, and four Junior Friends' Advisors. The duties of these officers are more particularly described in the Discipline.
Section 2: Presiding Clerk of the Annual Session
The Presiding Clerk of the Annual Session manages and presides at plenary sessions during the Annual Session and shall serve a term of two years.
Section 3: Recording Clerk for the Annual Session
The Recording Clerk for the Annual Session of the Yearly Meeting serves a term of two years, shall give such notices of the Annual Session as required by these By Laws and the Discipline, and shall keep a record of the proceedings of such sessions.
Section 4: Clerk of the Coordinating Committee
The Clerk of the Coordinating Committee serves a term of two years, and shall have general and active responsibility for the business and management of the Yearly Meeting with the concurrence of the Coordinating Committee. When present, he or she shall guide all meetings of the Coordinating Committee. The Clerk of the Coordinating Committee, with the concurrence of the Coordinating Committee, shall appoint and discharge agents and employees. The Clerk of the Coordinating Committee is authorized to sign all deeds, notes, mortgages, and contracts including those in any way affecting property or interests therein, and shall function as the corporate president.
Section 5: Associate Clerk of the Coordinating Committee
The Associate Clerk of the Coordinating Committee serves a term of two years, shall perform the services of the Clerk of the Coordinating Committee in the absence of the Clerk, and shall serve as the corporate vice-president.
Section 6: Recording Clerk of the Coordinating Committee
The Recording Clerk of the Coordinating Committee serves a term of two years, shall give such notices of meetings of the Coordinating Committee as are required by these By laws and the Discipline, and shall keep a record of the proceedings of all such meetings. The Recording Clerk of the Coordinating Committee assists the Clerk of the Committee in the conduct of the meetings of the Coordinating Committee and in the formation of the minutes of these meetings, recording their spirit as well as their meetings. The Recording Clerk is authorized to sign with the Coordinating Committee Clerk or Assistant Clerk, if one be appointed by the Coordinating Committee, in the name of the Yearly Meeting all deeds, notes, mortgages, and contracts including those in any way affecting property or interests therein.
Section 7: Treasurer
The Treasurer serves a term of three years, shall account for all the monies of the Yearly Meeting received or disbursed, and shall deposit all the monies in the name and to the credit of the Yearly Meeting in such banks and depositories as the Coordinating Committee shall designate, subject to withdrawal in the manner to be determined by the Coordinating Committee, and, subject to the Coordinating Committee, shall safely keep all of the securities and valuables of the Yearly Meeting.
Section 8: Archivist of the Yearly Meeting
The Yearly Meeting Archivist serves a term of one year, shall gather and preserve materials relating to the development and history of the Yearly Meeting, and report to the Coordinating Committee or to the Annual Sessions as requested.
Section 9: Junior Friends Advisors
Four persons shall serve as Junior Friends advisors for the Yearly Meeting. The nominating committee shall nominate the Junior Friends advisors for appointment by the Annual Session, after considering recommendations from Jr. Friends.
Section 10: Officers and Agents
The Coordinating Committee may also appoint one or more assistant clerks, one or more assistant recording clerks, one or more assistant treasurers, and such other officers or agents as it may deem necessary, with such authority and duties as from time to time may be prescribed by the Coordinating Committee.
Yearly Meeting Committees
In addition to the Coordinating Committee, there shall be an Executive Committee (EC) and several Standing Committees, including: Annual Session Planning, Discipline (Faith and Practice); Finance and Legal; Information and Technology; Ministry and Oversight (M&O); Nominating; Outreach and Visitation; Peace and Social Concerns; Site; and Youth. The Coordinating Committee or a plenary session of the Annual Session may set up other committees, including ad hoc committees, as the need arises.
Section 1: Executive Committee
(a) Members — The members of the Executive Committee shall be the Coordinating Committee Clerk, the Annual Session Presiding Clerk, Clerk of M&O, Treasurer, and Associate CC Clerk, who shall serve during their term of office.
(b) Responsibilities — The Executive Committee shall assist in the work of the Coordinating Committee between CC meetings, including timely decision-making necessary to carry out the work of the Yearly Meeting. This may include approval of nominations, the hiring of staff, and expenditures, within the framework of the YM budget. When requests are made of the CC between its meetings, the Clerk of CC may consult the Executive Committee to determine where to refer the matter or whether the Executive Committee needs to make a decision. In addition, the Executive Committee may be used for support and/or problem-solving by the CC clerk. The Executive Committee may consult with others as part of this process. All Executive Committee decisions shall be reported to the Coordinating Committee at its next meeting.
(c) Clerk and Meetings -- The Clerk of Coordinating Committee shall be the Clerk of the Executive Committee and shall call meetings of the Executive Committee on an as-needed basis, using telephone, email, and other means of communication as appropriate.
(d) Reports -- Decisions and actions of the EC shall be reported to the Coordinating Committee at its next meeting.
Section 2: Other Committees
The responsibilities of all others shall be as described in the Discipline, or as provided by action of the Annual Session or Coordinating Committee.
Any person made a party to any action, suit, or proceeding by reason of the fact that that person is or was an officer of the Yearly meeting, a Coordinating Committee member, an M&O Committee member, or an employee of the Yearly Meeting or of any corporation which that person served as such at the request of the Yearly Meeting shall be indemnified by North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends against the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, actually and necessarily incurred in connection with the defense of such action, suit, or proceeding and any appeals therein, except in relation to matters as to which it shall be adjudged in such action, suit, or proceeding, that such Yearly Meeting officer, Coordinating Committee member, M&O Committee member, agent, or employee is liable for negligence or misconduct in the performance of his or her duties.
The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be deemed exclusive of any other rights to which any Yearly Meeting officer, Coordinating Committee member, M&O Committee member, agent, or employee may be entitled apart from the provisions of this Article.
The amount of indemnity to which any Yearly Meeting officer, Coordinating Committee member, M&O Committee member, agent or employee may be entitled shall be fixed by the Coordinating Committee.
The North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends shall have no seal.
All bonds, deeds, contracts, notes, mortgages, checks, drafts or other obligations of the Yearly Meeting shall be signed by such Yearly Meeting officer, Coordinating Committee member or by such other person or persons as may be authorized by these By-Laws or by the Coordinating Committee.
These By-Laws may be amended either by the Yearly Meeting members in plenary session at the Annual Session, or by the Coordinating Committee.
The Yearly Meeting shall endeavor to follow faithfully the express provisions of devises, bequests, trusts or gifts which are conferred upon it. However, in the event that the Yearly Meeting determines after due and solemn deliberation that any such provisions cannot be carried out practically or in good conscience, the testator's or grantor's intent shall be followed as carefully and as closely as possible. Amendments of these By-Laws shall not be applied in a way which will controvert the express provisions of such devises, bequests, trusts or gifts to Yearly Meeting received or accepted prior to the By-Law Amendment, except as provided above. In the event of an amendment by the Coordinating Committee, the matter shall be placed on the agenda of the next Annual Session. Any action by the Annual Session shall be determinative.