Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church (NWYM) is a covenantal community
of evangelical Friends churches that make Jesus Christ known by:

Teaching and obeying the whole gospel as revealed by the
Holy Spirit and recorded in Scripture

Loving and mutually supporting each other

Equipping and releasing people to continue His mission in the world

Structure

The organization of Northwest Yearly Meeting is broken into the below areas. For information on individual sections please click on the appropriate section.

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This section is one part of the covenant that unites the Friends churches of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. This covenantal document is known as our “Faith and Practice,” and includes not only an outline of our governance, but our Doctrines, our Spiritual Queries, and our Witness Through Action as well. A complete version of our Faith and Practice is available as a PDF file with clickable links from the index and for cross-references.

The denomination of Friends consists of yearly meetings with their constituent branches and delegate structures around the world. The bond of union is maintained by annual correspondence between them, by issuing and receiving the credentials of ministers, by granting and receiving certificates of membership, by joint participation in various ministries, and by occasional gatherings. Each yearly meeting is independent from others in the declaration of its doctrinal covenant and the transaction of its business. Cooperation has resulted in groupings of yearly meetings and shared statements of faith, as described in the “Historical Statement.”

Friends recognize and emphasize that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, that He dwells in the midst of His people as well as in their hearts, and that He guides the understanding of believers, thus enabling them individually and corporately to obey His will. Friends believe that Christ confers upon each believer some special gift or gifts to be exercised faithfully according to ability. In the church, members have equal rights and privileges varying only in accordance with the nature of their gifts and their faithfulness in exercising them. There are no distinctions in the rights, privileges, or responsibilities of members because of gender, color, or race. Friends polity is connectional, rather than congregational or episcopal; therefore the yearly meeting represents the highest court of appeal in matters of faith and practice.

The business of the church is transacted in regular, announced sessions, in which every active member has a right to participate. Deliberations are aimed at determining the will of God rather than collecting majority opinions. It is expected, therefore, that worship shall surround business deliberations and that policies and practices shall reflect Christian unity.

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These are excerpts from our Faith and Practice.

Meetings for Worship

Sunday and midweek meetings for instruction, worship, evangelism, and discipleship are held as scheduled. Special meetings and changes of schedule should be given sufficient announcement.

Business Meetings

Regularly scheduled business sessions occur at intervals of not more than three months. If business must be continued at the call of the clerk, it shall be so announced in a regular Sunday morning meeting for worship prior to the session. A special business session may be called if it seems necessary in the judgment of the Presiding Clerk or the pastor and if similar provision is made for its advertisement. All active members are encouraged to participate in speaking to business and making decisions in these business meetings. A quorum consists of members in attendance at a regular meeting, or at a special meeting that has been properly called.

Responsibilities of the LocalChurch

The local church is a general policy‑making body. It has authority to call and contract pastoral services; to adopt the annual budget; to accept and dismiss members; to hold and administer real estate and other property for the use of the church; to initiate and sponsor an ministry point or mission congregation (see p. 27); to consider, adopt, and carry out measures in the interest of the church and of the community at large.

Incorporation

Local churches are encouraged to secure legal incorporation, in harmony with the Faith and Practice of Northwest Yearly Meeting and state laws (see p. 71).

Authority of the Yearly Meeting

As an affiliate of Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church, each local church acknowledges that the Yearly Meeting has complete authority in all matters affecting the Yearly Meeting and its affiliated churches.  See also “Organization of the Yearly Meeting” 1.01 “Composition and Powers,” p. 35).

Representation in the Area

Each local church is a member of an Area (see “Organization of Areas,” p. 33), and is encouraged to participate actively in the life of its Area by attending and hosting Area gatherings, assisting with the Area nominating process, and submitting matters for Yearly Meeting attention to the Area for consideration.

Representation in the Yearly Meeting Sessions

The local church makes annual appointments to the Council of Representatives. It may appoint one person for each fifty resident active members or major fraction thereof as of the previous Yearly Meeting statistical report. Each local church is entitled to at least two representatives; each ministry point is entitled to one. If the church has an Administrative Committee, at least one of these representatives shall serve on it. An additional representative may be appointed by a ministry point at the discretion of the mother church or the Yearly Meeting. Alternates may be appointed at the discretion of the church (see p. 39).

Officers of the LocalChurch

Clerks

A member of the church is appointed annually to preside over all business sessions. The Presiding Clerk, acting on behalf of the church, signs all of its official documents except those designated to the trustees. The clerk gives guidance to the committees and is an ex officio officer of them. Qualities desired in a clerk are sound judgment, spiritual discernment, and ability to determine the will of the body in business deliberations. The church also appoints annually a Recording Clerk to keep faithful records of all business proceedings and to provide copies to those authorized to request them. An Assistant Clerk and/or reading clerk also may be appointed.

Other Officers

Each church appoints one of its members to serve as treasurer; another person, perhaps the Recording Clerk, to serve as statistician for keeping accurate records of membership, births, deaths, marriages, and transfers; and other officers as needed. Each church selects a reporter to release items of interest to the NWYM Connection or Friends Voice and other media and to secure suitable memorials for deceased Friends and forward them to the Yearly Meeting sessions.

Qualifications

All officers, trustees, elders, and committee clerks, and all persons on the Nominating Committee and the Administrative Committee are to be resident active members of the church.

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These are all excerpts from our Faith and Practice.

Formation

The Yearly Meeting may authorize the grouping of new or existing local churches with their sponsored extension churches and mission points into administrative entities known as Areas. Division into Areas is made on the basis of geographical proximity or accessibility, with consideration given to local preferences.

Membership

An Area consists of all the local and extension churches and mission points within its limits and all their listed members.

Officers

The Area officers, active resident members appointed annually, are as follows: An Area Clerk, Recording Clerk, a representative to the Yearly Meeting Nominating Committee, and an Area Treasurer (if needed). All officers are nominated to the Area in business session by the official representatives of each church. The Representatives serve as the Area Nominating Committee. The Area superintendent convenes and instructs the Nominating Committee, presiding until a clerk is named.

Rallies and Conferences

Each Area holds rallies or gatherings twice a year: fall and spring. These rallies or gatherings are planned and supervised by the Area Clerk in cooperation with the other officers. The fall gathering will involve workshops led by different YM Boards. The spring gathering will focus on a business meeting to name officers and consider the business agenda for Yearly Meeting sessions. An Area can have a business session in the fall as well. The Areas also provide opportunity for public information and support of special programs of the Yearly Meeting. Worship and inspiration should be balanced with program promotion.

Business Meetings

Areas have at least one business session a year in the spring, to elect officers, hear any financial report, receive and approve an annual budget (if they have one), and consider and approve concerns to be forwarded to the churches or the Yearly Meeting. Adjourned sessions may be scheduled if ample notice is given to the churches. A special business session may be called by the Area clerk at the request of two or more clerks of local churches or the Yearly Meeting general superintendent. Notification and agenda are sent to the clerks of local and extension churches in time for announcement in a Sunday meeting for worship.

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This section is one part of the covenant that unites the Friends churches of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. This covenantal document is known as our “Faith and Practice,” and includes not only an outline of our governance, but our Doctrines, our Spiritual Queries, and our Witness Through Action as well. A complete version of our Faith and Practice is available as a PDF file with clickable links from the index and for cross-references.

The denomination of Friends consists of yearly meetings with their constituent branches and delegate structures around the world. The bond of union is maintained by annual correspondence between them, by issuing and receiving the credentials of ministers, by granting and receiving certificates of membership, by joint participation in various ministries, and by occasional gatherings. Each yearly meeting is independent from others in the declaration of its doctrinal covenant and the transaction of its business. Cooperation has resulted in groupings of yearly meetings and shared statements of faith, as described in the “Historical Statement.”

Friends recognize and emphasize that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, that He dwells in the midst of His people as well as in their hearts, and that He guides the understanding of believers, thus enabling them individually and corporately to obey His will. Friends believe that Christ confers upon each believer some special gift or gifts to be exercised faithfully according to ability. In the church, members have equal rights and privileges varying only in accordance with the nature of their gifts and their faithfulness in exercising them. There are no distinctions in the rights, privileges, or responsibilities of members because of gender, color, or race. Friends polity is connectional, rather than congregational or episcopal; therefore the yearly meeting represents the highest court of appeal in matters of faith and practice.

The business of the church is transacted in regular, announced sessions, in which every active member has a right to participate. Deliberations are aimed at determining the will of God rather than collecting majority opinions. It is expected, therefore, that worship shall surround business deliberations and that policies and practices shall reflect Christian unity.

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These are excerpts from our Faith and Practice.

Admission to Membership

The churches of Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends welcome into membership all who make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, whose lives testify to their union with him, and who accept Christian beliefs as held by Friends (see “What Friends Believe,” pp. 5-7).

A Friends Church

A congregation of Friends fully established is called a local church (or meeting). Its organization consists of all persons recorded on its list of members. Clerks, elders, and pastors provide spiritual and moral guidance. It is through official recognition of spiritual gifts and qualities in certain persons that positions of leadership in public ministry are filled. Appointments are made to other positions.

Purpose

Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends is committed to the spread of the Gospel through proclamation, fellowship, and service. The underlying purpose of each office, department, and activity of the local church and the Yearly Meeting is to exalt Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and to so witness the Gospel that persons will be converted and brought into Christ’s Kingdom.

Area Sessions

Local churches are organized into regional Areas, which sponsor rallies and conferences of various kinds for the common good of the churches. Business matters are minimal.

Yearly Meeting Sessions

Yearly Meeting sessions occur annually, providing opportunity for inspiration, fellowship, and edification, as well as for the transaction of business. Local churches send official representatives (see local church). Various boards and committees submit their reports and hold their meetings.

Leadership: nomenclature and terms of office

The word “clerk” is used uniformly to designate presiding officers of the Yearly Meeting, its constituent bodies, and its local churches. The term “secretary” especially for committees, may be an accepted alternative to “recording clerk.” Instead of “vice-chairman,” “assistant clerk” is used. Descriptively, the terms “preside over” and “presiding clerk” are appropriate. In case of absence or incapacity, leadership passes from presiding clerk to assistant clerk to recording clerk. For related organizations connected with Northwest Yearly Meeting, these terms need not apply. For them, “director” or “president” may be appropriate alternatives to “chairman” or “clerk.”

In order to develop spiritual and administrative leadership, it is recommended that local and Area appointments and the internal appointments of the Yearly Meeting generally should not extend beyond six to ten continuous years in any particular responsibility. At the Yearly Meeting level, where some organizations have representation named from different sources, a combined period of up to ten years continuous service may be considered adequate.

Only active members may serve the local church as officers, elders, ministers, trustees, or clerks of standing committees; only active members may serve on the Nominating Committee or as representatives to Yearly Meeting. Only active members may serve the Yearly Meeting as its officers or on its councils, boards, or commissions.

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Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends
200 N Meridian
Newberg, OR 97132
Office: 503.538.9419
FAX: 503.538.9410

Office Staff


Retha McCutchen
Interim NWYM Superintendent retha@nwfriends.org
Direct line: 503.476.9125

Tonya Comfort
Bookkeepertcomfort@nwfriends.org
503.538.9419 ext. 103

Angela Kantz
Office Manager akantz@nwfriends.org
Direct line: 503.538.9419

Shawn McConaughey
Assoc. Superintendent of Global Outreach and Pastoral Careshawn@nwfriends.org
Direct line: 503.476.3383

Rachelle Staley
Assoc. Superintendent of Youth and Young Adultsrachelle@nwfriends.org
Direct line: 503.476.9127

Roger Watson
Director of Finance and Developmentrwatson@nwfriends.org
Direct line: 503.476.9992

Other YM Staff


Leslie Murray
Friends Recruiter & Friends Center Director lmurray@nwfriends.org

Jamie Johnson
Friends Leadership Program Directorjejohnson@georgefox.edu

Brad Holton
Presiding Clerk bholton@nwfriends.org

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