Committees

The Religious Society of Friends of Pittsburgh
4836 Ellsworth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Map to Meeting House


There are many committees which do the work of the meeting, from teaching our children to paying the bills. 

Committees
Clearness & Care
Finance - Treasurer
First Day School
Library
Ministry
Communications
Outreach
Quaker Community Fund
Peace and Social Justice

Clearness and Care [Back to Top]

The Clearness and Care Committee seeks to build a Meeting community in which all members and attenders find acceptance, loving care, and the opportunity for service. As the name implies, it has the dual role of helping people to find clarity in their spiritual journey, as well as finding support and nurturance as needed.

One of the tools that the Clearness and Care Committee uses to help friends find clarity is a clearness committee, where a friend meets with a small group of other friends. The confidential discernment process is focused on listening to both the friend seeing clarity as well listening as we do in meeting, for the small still voice of the Spirit.

The caring role of the committee is demonstrated by promotion of community through social gatherings, activities, and visitations. The committee sponsors two annual social events each year; a picnic at Sherwood Oaks and a welcoming brunch for new members. The committee maintains contact with members and attenders who may be sick or unable to attend Meeting for Worship. It also composes and sends an end of the year review to distant members.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to talk with anyone on the committee.

Dolores Avner
Gina Godfrey
Robert Hanna
Kathie Hollingshead
Anya Moon
Ian Samways
Chuck Slayton
Roger Stoffregen
Jon Webb

Finance Committee  [Back to Top]
Pittsburgh Friends Meeting is sustained by its members and attenders; spiritually, physically and financially. Within the Meeting, financial contributions support a thriving First Day School and maintain the Meeting House for worship, committee use, and for the greater good of the community. The budget our Meeting has approved also enables us to contribute generously to the following organizations. Pittsburgh Friends Meeting is grateful for all of the support, financial and otherwise, which it receives.

Finance Committee prepares the budget each year, supports the treasurer, sets financial procedures with approval from business meeting, and reports to business meeting.

See LINKS for organizations the Finance Committee supports on behalf of the meeting.

First Day School Committee  [Back to Top]
First Day School Committee tends and teaches our children. There is a holiday program in December and a graduation in June each year.

Why is it "First Day School?"
"First Day School" is our name for Sunday School. The Religious Society of Friends decided more than 300 years ago not to honor the Sun ("Sunday") or Thor ("Thursday") but to simply number the days of the week. "Sunday" became "First Day" and "Thursday" became "Fifth Day."

Library Committee  [Back to Top]

The mission of the Pittsburgh Friends Meeting Library is to serve members and attenders of all ages, and to welcome and inform newcomers. Its goal is to educate and inspire by making available both printed and audiovisual materials on Quakers, Quakerism, and topics and concerns of interest to Quakers. The Library's collection emphasizes:
*Quaker history
*Quaker biography and autobiography
*Writings on spirituality and spiritual practices, including those of other faith traditions
*Resources relating to the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship
*Resources that examine current social issues in the larger society and in the world, and that inspire and recommend action regarding these issues
*Materials, both fiction and nonfiction, designed for children and young adults and their families

LibraryThing URL's are:
http://www.librarything.com/profile/PittsburghFriendsMtg  (profile)
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/PittsburghFriendsMtg  (library)

Ministry  [Back to Top]
It is the function of the Ministry Committee to foster and strengthen the spiritual life of the Meeting. The Committee is concerned for the quality of the Meeting for Worship, which depends upon the devotion and preparation of each individual. Thus it is the Committee's responsibility to provide opportunities for the inner growth of all persons in the Meeting toward faithfulness to the Light Within. The Committee assists members, especially young people and new members, to grow in their understanding of the principles and practices of Friends. It may, with discretion and humility, offer spiritual counsel when needed. At times tactful advice may be given concerning inappropriate speaking in Meeting for Worship.

The Committee arranges for the adult classes of the Meeting. It may set up retreats or special meetings and make use of devotional and other literature to increase spiritual depth and sensitivity within the Meeting. It is charged with stimulating interest in Friends' literature and periodicals, and it is responsible for maintaining the supply and display of pamphlets and free leaflets on the literature rack.

From Pittsburgh Friends Meeting's Faith and Practice

Communications Committee  [Back to Top]

Newsletter

Pittsburgh Friends Meeting produces a monthly newsletter, ordinarily appearing shortly before the 1st of the month. Submissions may be left in the Newsletter mailbox (by the time of Meeting for Business on the 2nd First Day of the preceding month) or sent electronically to pfmnews@gmail.com by Business Meeting. Articles and pictures are welcome. Business Meeting minutes are the only item we need to accept after Business Meeting, since they cannot be done before.

The purpose of the newsletter is to inform members, attenders, and other interested persons of Meeting news. Content may include member interviews, news of Friends, other Quaker-related subjects, news of Quaker organizations, information about upcoming events, Meeting-sponsored projects, book reviews, etc.

The committee's budget is mostly for the newsletter. Printing and mailing costs for newsletters and directories are falling as more people go to email versiion.

Calendar

The calendar in this website shows events scheduled. To change an entry, contact us at quaker@uncommongenius.net.

Newsgroup

The meeting newsgroup http://groups.google.com/group/pfmnewsletter distributes the monthly newsletter. You can choose how you want it -- passed on immediately, passed on in a digest, or not passed on (so you can sign in and browse). It sends you an individual copy -- without dozens of other peoples' addresses in the header.

You also receive the weekly Bulletin as a member of the newsgroup.

Directory

The meeting directory is kept by Communications Committee and can provide email addresses or sticky labels to committees. Please contact us quaker@uncommongenius.net for contact information on the meeting.

Web Page

This web page is maintained by Communications Committee. If your committee would like something posted or improved on your committee page or in general, please contact us quaker@uncommongenius.net.

Quaker Community Fund Committee  [Back to Top]
The Meeting has under its care a fund created through the sale of several properties in Point Breeze that were acquired with contributions from Meeting members. This fund was donated to the Meeting with the stipulation that it be used for programs of the Meeting.

The Committee has two tasks: to prepare for approval by Meeting for Business guidelines and procedures for the disbursement of funds, and to make recommendations to Meeting for Business for expenditures from the Fund.

Members of the Committee, whose names are proposed by the Nominating Committee, include at least one person also serving on the Finance Committee. Because of the nature of the Committee's responsibilities, continuity of membership is desirable.

(From Pittsburgh Faith & Practice)

QCF Form

Download the form, print it, fill in, and mail to:

Quaker Community Fund
Pittsburgh Friends Meeting
4836 Ellsworth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

More specifically, Outreach efforts include the following things:

Listing our Meeting in phonebooks and various directories
Coordinating the greeting and welcome process for new attenders
Displaying brochures and information about the Society of Friends
Providing and arranging for speakers to the wider community
Offering a Young Adult Friends (YAF) Group for fellowship
Facilitating community-building activities
If you are interested in finding out more about Quaker worship, please contact our webmaster with your address and the Outreach Committee will be happy to contact you.
Outreach Committee  [Back to Top]
As described in the Faith and Practice of the Pittsburgh Monthly Meeting, the Outreach Committee provides information to seekers, potential members, and the general public in order to promote understanding of the Religious Society of Friends and of the Pittsburgh Meeting. By sharing our spiritual values with others, the Committee bears public witness to our belief that there is that of God in every human being. While the witness of our personal lives will always be central, such witness is also made through special meetings, talks, leaflets, advertisements, letters, posters, and the like. The Committee sees to it that the bulletin boards in the Meeting House reflect the Society of Friends and are kept orderly and current.

The Committee also reaches out to Friends who live in our wider region. It invites scattered Friends to participate in the life of the Pittsburgh Meeting to the extent possible, and it organizes occasional gatherings in convenient locations, bringing these Friends together with members of the Meeting. It also encourages and facilitates intervisitation between meetings in our area.

Worship  [Back to Top]
Welcome to a Meeting for Worship of the Religious Society of Friends, Pittsburgh. Ours is an “unprogrammed” meeting. Rather than follow a pre-set order of service, we seek to be led by divine guidance as we worship.

Friends cherish the fundamental Quaker faith that the Inner Light, the light of Divine Truth, is in every human being. It is in our gathered worship, in the presence of the Spirit, that our common life is grounded.

Each Meeting for Worship begins as soon as the first person enters the meeting room. Please enter quietly right away and sit wherever you wish, as no places are reserved.

Each worshipper seeks an alert attentiveness as we wait together in silence upon the Spirit. Once the community has had sufficient time to “center,” the silent worship may be broken by someone offering a message. Before speaking, the person has first attempted to discern that the message is truly divinely inspired and that the message is intended for the gathered community and not just for the speaker. As we continue to wait in silent worship, it is expected that a period of silence will follow each message so that others may hear and reflect upon what has been said. Subsequent messages may explore more deeply the spiritual theme of the first message, or may be unrelated to it, as the Spirit leads.

Messages are not planned, but arise out of the silence as worshippers are moved by the spirit of God. On occasion, the worship hour may conclude without any spoken ministry being offered. It is customary to speak no more than once during any given meeting. If someone is speaking when you enter the meeting room, please stop at the door and wait until he or she has finished before finding a seat.

After approximately one hour, an individual appointed to end the meeting shakes hands with those nearby, at which point others do the same. At the 10:30 Meeting for Worship, the “queries” for personal reflection are read. Subsequently, you will be invited to introduce yourself; this provides us with an opportunity to welcome you. When you arrive at our Meeting House, you may fill out and wear a name tag provided at our Welcome Board.

After Meeting for Worship we invite you to join us for fellowship and light refreshments. Feel free to talk to us about our experiences as seekers and as a community, especially if you have any questions about Quakerism or Pittsburgh Meeting in general.

Please sign our guest book in the parlor (the large room to the left of our front entrance foyer). It gives us a record of your visit and helps us get in touch with you.

In addition to the booklets available on the welcome board, we offer a number of informational pamphlets on our literature racks that are free or for sale at a nominal price. We also encourage you to browse and read in our extensive library (immediately to the left of our front entrance). If you wish to borrow from the library, please ask a Friend for assistance.

Children are welcome to participate in our First Day School Program, which meets during the 10:30 Meeting for Worship. Usually, the young people go upstairs for class and then join us in the Meeting Room at about 11:20. Also, child care is provided for infants during the 10:30 Meeting for Worship.

We have a variety of other activities that we welcome you to attend. We conduct our business meetings on the second First Day of every month. We also offer a wide range of special events, such as classes, discussions, workshops and a Fall Retreat, which relate to different religious or social action topics. Child care is usually provided during these activities. For a listing of events, see our written weekly announcements or monthly newsletter, or ask a Friend.

Peace and Social Concerns  [Back to Top]

The Function of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee (P&SC) is to help the Meeting to understand and implement Friends’ testimonies and principles as they bear upon public issues. After studying an issue, it may bring information and recommendations for action to the Meeting. It may, with Meeting’s approval, act in the name of Meeting on specific matters.

Each year, P&SC defines the parameters in which the current committee will work. For example, one year’s focus was to highlight the peace and social action work of Pittsburgh Friends Meeting community members.

P & SCC acts as the core team for the Meeting's work with the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), of which the Meeting is a founding member. PIIN, a network of congregations and organizations committed to drawing together people of faith to act powerfully on local and regional issues of justice and fairness, takes action on issues such as gun violence, public transit, public education, and voting rights. Working with PIIN is a way of living out our Quaker testimonies in the larger community.