Sunday, 6 May 2007

Serving the Society: the yellow form way

Walking through the corridors of Friends House, I bumped into Jonathan Hodgkin. Jonathan is a member of Witham Quaker Meeting and when I saw him, he was sitting by a central nominations table.

Upon the table were yellow forms and letters from Ethel Livermore, clerk of Meeting of Sufferings Nominations Committee on behalf of the central nominations committee.

If you can get beyond the long names, Ethel is asking for your (if you're a Quaker) help in making things happen at Britain Yearly Meeting (the body, rather than just the actual annual gathering).

In order to serve, she asks for 'a knowledge, understanding, and love of the Society, and an appreciation of its potential to make the world a better place'. In return, you can help be a part of a 'challenging, fun, occasionally frustrating, mostly rewarding, and above all valuable' part of the Society.

The reason that Ethel has written this letter and her chums have put together a yellow form, is that they simply can't know all of the 17,000 or so people eligible to serve and maybe willing to serve with them.

So, if you can complete a form of your interests, letting them know when you're available (for example, even if you're not available for 12 months, but are interested in being asked about doing something after that, then do let them know if you can). You don't have to say yes to something (I've made a career out of saying no to a lot of people!) if you do not feel able, in fact, you ought not to say yes until you're ready to do so...

There are all sorts of boxes to tick on the form about what you might be interested in. I filled one of these forms in several years ago and found myself ticking more boxes than I imagined that I might be interested in. I was then appointed to a central committee working on race equality. Unfortunately, within a few months, I got a job as a peaceworker for Quaker Peace and Social Witness and had to stand down from my committee role. I'm now 'cup-tied' as it were, for a certain period after I worked for QPSW, but maybe you're not.

You can get a form from the table in the corridor on the east side of the main Meeting room. You can complete it there and then, or, take it away with you and return it in the post.

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