Monday, October 13, 2014
In light of predictions, well-founded, that Multnomah Meeting will continue having a Peace and Social Concerns Committee, and that for its part the Portland AFSC office will have its Area Program Committee (supporting staff and volunteer programs), overlapping membership should take care of any "liaison" needs. Having someone with such an important role sitting "ex oficio" (means what again?), redundantly with everyone else on both committees, is a misuse of world resources. Right sharing means dymaxion i.e. optimized at least a little (smile).
So to that end I'm proposing to enlarge my playing field to where I could be invited to address some Humanist and/or "Good without God" atheist conclave, and not have to worry about backlash from Orthodox Friends, who tend to run the show even in some ostensibly Liberal Friend (inheriting from Progressive Friend) meetings. "You schmooze with atheists you can't still be liaison" is a way of bossing some Quakers just assume, given the ancient org charts in the library ("out of date" is putting it mildly).
The Liaison Program is like a speakers bureau, so if the Liaison they send you the first time does not resonate with the group, the SurveyMonkey reports (or whatever) will reflect that and maybe next time the Liaison will be more pastor-like with a deeper more resonant "stained glass voice". Some congregants are uncomfortable without the "right mix" of hormones in the room (some people are finicky about the cocktail, the pheromones).
Having more than one Liaison per region is partly an antidote to that problem, and partly a way of challenging congregants to get out of their "comfort zone" from time to time, and meet and greet AFSC people outside their everyday experience. Like at the circus! Or a carnival!
Anyway, I for one think it's a good idea.
Quakers already have lots of ways to boss the AFSC, from the top down. At the top, their YMAs fill the Corporation and the Board with a mix of recorded members and "Walt Whitman Friends".
In the middle, Regional Executive Committees help chart strategies for the region.
At the area level, you may have an Area Program Committee if your office is big enough.
Portland's, with just two staff, is certainly big enough. We have a clerk, recording clerk, a Google Group, and a way for distant members to patch in at designated meeting times. I've been serving on this committee since its inception (AFSC reconfigured recently, which is why this structure might seem new).
Posted by Kirby Urner at 11:28 AM