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Representatives Information

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Representative Overview

Welcome to the NWYM Representatives’ website!

Being a Representative is one of the most important jobs in Northwest Yearly Meeting. Our Representatives are key to building a strong connectedness among our churches, and in helping develop and sustain our shared vision of God’s calling. Representatives “are chosen to capably represent your local meeting, but dedicated to joining a single yearly meeting body seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to God’s ministry for that total body.” (A.J. Ellis)

A few years ago we Representatives wrote a position description for ourselves that emphasizes these main responsibilities:

  • Promote effective two-way communication between the local church and the Yearly Meeting
  • Participate in discerning God’s voice in our Yearly Meeting
  • Assist actively in the Yearly Meeting nominating process
  • Support the cohesiveness and vitality of Areas
  • Support the spiritual robustness of Friends in NWYM

Fulfilling these tasks in a rewarding way requires staying well-informed and prayerful. We are all invited to pray for our churches, individually, and as connected together in NWYM. Our hope is that these pages will help you stay well informed about your roles and the important matters before us as a NWYM community. My prayer is that you will find joy and blessings as you grow into your calling as a Representative.

Ken Redford, NWYM Clerk

(From pg. 39 of the NWYM Faith and Practice)

4. Council of Representatives

4.01 Composition. The Council of Representatives is composed of members of local faith communities who have been chosen, prayerfully, on the basis of spiritual maturity, respected judgment, and acceptance of Friends beliefs and procedures as set forth in this book of Faith and Practice. At their first meeting, roll call is taken and representatives are seated. Alternates may be seated in place of representatives to fill allowable quotas. Those approved and seated are the official Representatives.

The Presiding Clerk and Recording Clerk of the Yearly Meeting also serve as Presiding Clerk and Recording Clerk of the Council of Representatives. The Superintendent is an ex officio member. The Representatives meet in open sessions to encourage wider understanding of church business. If a matter of seriously sensitive nature should arise, however, the Presiding Clerk with the concurrence of the Representatives may request other members and visitors to absent themselves.

4.02 Meetings. The Council of Representatives meets in conjunction with the annual sessions of the Yearly Meeting but may be called to meet at times between the annual sessions with the concurrence of the Presiding Clerk of the Yearly Meeting, and the Superintendent of the Yearly Meeting. The Council of Representatives meets prior to the first business meeting for the purposes of seating Representatives and approving the agenda for the business meeting. All other scheduled Council of Representatives meetings are held during Yearly Meeting business session. A quorum consists of members in attendance at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Council of Representatives, or at a special meeting that has been properly called.

4.03 Term of office. Their local church appoints representatives for a term of not less than two years
commencing with the start of the calendar year. Terms should last either two or three years, a proportionate number being replaced each year.

4.04 Duties. The Council of Representatives attends to any business that it initiates or that the Yearly Meeting organizations, Areas, or local churches refer to it. It is also specifically responsible to:

4.04.01 Serve as a primary link between the whole Yearly Meeting and the local church.

4.04.02 Communicate to the local church the work, decisions, concerns and vision of NWYM.

4.04.03 Convey concerns, actions, information and matters of business to the NWYM, either at the annual sessions, or through the Presiding Clerk at other times of the year.

4.04.04 Along with others gathered during Yearly Meeting, prayerfully discern matters of business.

4.04.05 Encourage the Presiding Clerk, when appropriate, to limit the discussion on the floor of the Yearly Meeting to representatives.

Representative Resources


Links require an email client.

NWYM Superintendent: Jim Le Shana

NWYM Clerk: Ken Redford

NWYM Assistant Clerk: Gary Farmer

Request to be on the NWYM Representatives e-mail listserve: Reps List Request

Forms & Resources

Representatives Position Description

YM Vision, Mission and core Values statements

How to be a Rep (by A. J. Ellis)

Representatives Position Description

(written collaboratively by representatives at their mid-year meeting 2010)

“Representatives are chosen to capably represent their local meetings, but dedicated to joining a single yearly meeting body seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to God’s ministry for that total body.”  (A.J. Ellis)

The job of a Representative in Northwest Yearly Meeting is vitally important for communication, discernment, and connectedness. This is work to be done with both joy and seriousness, as it involves nothing less than a close attention to Christ’s leading of his people.

NWYM Representatives will: 

Promote effective two-way communication between the local church and the Yearly Meeting by… 

  • actively informing congregational members about Yearly Meeting events, programs, and priorities
  • making effective use of available communication opportunities, such as bulletins, newsletters, monthly meetings, bulletin board, and committee meetings
  • reminding church members of Yearly Meeting media, such as “Connection”, “GO”, and the YM website
  • understanding the ministries, priorities, and concerns of the local church
  • communicating these matters to other churches and to the Yearly Meeting as appropriate
  • understanding the upcoming items of Yearly Meeting business in order to seek the discernment of the local church
  • working with the clerk of the local church to provide adequate opportunities to consider upcoming Yearly Meeting business
  • understanding the organization of the Yearly Meeting in order to direct questions and concerns
  • supporting the local church in its discernment about Yearly Meeting issues

Participate in discerning God’s voice in our Yearly Meeting by… 

  • attending meetings for worship and business (aka “business meetings”)
  • praying for our Yearly Meeting business before, during and after business meetings
  • studying advance information on matters of Yearly Meeting business
  • joining in the work of corporately discerning God’s will in our decision-making
  • carrying faithfully the views and concerns of their local churches…
  • …but holding these views lightly, with hearts and minds open to God’s leading in the decision
  • taking advantage of opportunities for training in personal and group discernment

Assist actively in the Yearly Meeting nominating process by… 

  • learning about Yearly Meeting boards and offices, and sharing that information with the local church 
  • becoming aware of vacancies in boards and offices
  • understanding the gifts and passions of local church members, consulting as appropriate with the church nominating committee, elders, and pastors
  • understanding the Yearly Meeting nominating process
  • nominating members, encouraging self-nomination, or referring suggestions to the Area member of the YM Nominating Committee
  • maintaining communication with the Area member of the Nominating Committee.

Support the cohesiveness and vitality of Areas by… 

  • maintaining frequent contact with the other Area representatives and the Area clerk
  • staying aware of future Area events
  • attending and encouraging other church members to attend Area events
  • sharing concerns that will be discussed at Area gatherings with the local church in advance of the meeting

Support the spiritual robustness of Friends in NWYM by… 

  • Praying for the Yearly Meeting, its ministries and its leaders
  • Waiting upon God for His leading for our Yearly Meeting
  • Supporting the aims of the Yearly Meeting vision statement
  • Working to build loving and supportive relationships among individuals, churches, regions and generations