[saymaListserv] Fwd: Re: Fwd: What should we call an Oversight Committee?

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Sun Mar 12 12:26:07 JEST 2006

From: Janet Minshall <jhminshall at comcast.net>
Subject: Re: Fwd: [saymaListserv] What should we call an Oversight Committee?
Cc: <morriskk at mindspring.com>

Dear David Clements,  I served on Ministry and Counsel (now Ministry 
and Worship) at Atlanta Meeting for  six or seven years, and as clerk 
of that committee for several years.  During that time we developed a 
guide for the conduct of marriages under the meeting's care.   We 
worked with the wording and the practice over a long period and the 
guidelines which were produced were filled with both love and with 
our perception of the tradition of Friends.  I think Karen Morris, 
the former clerk in Atlanta, might have a copy of the older version 
that I helped develop as well as a newer one that has evolved since then.

I believe "Caring Committee" or "Support Committee" would work well 
if you have a collective disinclination to use Oversight Committee. 
Since it is a new committee which is appointed to support each 
marriage under the meeting's care, the process of selection of that 
committee can easily be personalized to respond to both the spiritual 
and practical needs of the couple and the meeting as a community of 
Friends.  Janet Minshall

copy to <morriskk at mindspring.com>

At 09:31 PM 3/11/2006, you wrote:
Dear Friendly Attender of the ACFWG,

If you have any light to share, please contact David.



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>Dear SAYMA Friends,
>I thought some of you might have some ideas about this.
>I am on an ad hoc committee creating a procedure for marriage for 
>Asheville Friends Meeting.  Our Meeting has in the past made 
>marriage decisions on a case-by-case basis.  We have not had an 
>official procedure, but we have been aware of and sometimes cite 
>SAYMA's Faith and Practice for guidance without having agreed that 
>it will be "our procedure."
>Traditionally among friends the "Oversight Committee for marriage" 
>oversees the ceremony.  We are uncomfortable with the words 
>"overseer" and "oversight."  They describe well what is intended by 
>an "oversight committee," but, as Friends may be aware, they are 
>rejected by many African-American Friends because of their 
>connotation regarding slavery.
>I wish the slavemasters had appointed "supervisors" or "managers" or 
>"bosses" or "executive assistants" instead of "overseers."
>So what other words are there that we might use to describe the 
>Committee that carries out a marriage?  Supervision, Guidance, 
>Eldering, Steering, Support?  Sometimes we have used the phrase 
>"Support Committee" to describe a committee that should be giving 
>Guidance and Eldering to the person who is the focus of the 
>Committee.  But "Support" leaves out so much that is important to 
>Friends -- the sense that one is not acting alone, but with the 
>Guidance and Support of others who are seeking together to find the 
>will of God.
>I'd love to have any thoughts on this, whether privately or on this list.
>In Friendship,
>David Clements
>David Clements, Evan Richardson, Wesley Clements, Lila Richardson
>43 Vermont Court, #G24
>Asheville, NC 28806
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