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  COMMITTEE REPORT
 Committee on Oversight Report 2010

Our Mission

The Committee of Oversight provides pastoral care for the Meeting, following the guidance of Faith & Practice to “assume leadership in maintaining a caring community.” As such, overseers help members and attenders deal with mental and physical illnesses, disease, surgery and broken bones, housing needs, loneliness, personal/political disagreements, ailing parents, marital problems, funeral arrangements and weddings. In the spirit of “helping all members find their right roles as nurturers of others”, overseers also host dinners and lunches for their Care Circles, visit the ill and home-bound elderly Friends, and organize at-home Meetings for Worship. Some of us cook, some of us bake, some of us share music, some of us loan books, some send cards—our dedication and sharing of our talents takes a variety of forms.

Organization

This past year, we have been a 13-person committee, each of whom takes on the responsibility to care for a list of member and attenders. We also have a working relationship with the Outreach Committee which becomes acquainted with newcomers. When newcomers are ready for an overseer, Outreach refers them to Oversight along with notes on their interests, Meeting experience, etc..

New Initiatives

Recognizing that our seniors have less energy but much experience and knowledge, we asked the Nominating Committee to establish a “wisdom council” of elders for Committees to call upon.

In the Spring, we conducted an Opening Exercise to educate members and attenders about the Committee’s purpose and functions.

To promote bonding among overseers and afford us a few meetings less constrained by time, we initiated quarterly Eat & Meet sessions. These potluck dinners, held in the home of a committee member, have been well attended and productive.

This year we spent considerable time discussing the different degrees of connectedness in our community relative to the need for oversight. This exchange of ideas recently led to two significant administrative decisions:

(1) We pared down the lists of those in our Care Circles to 249 active members and attenders, including about 30 college-age Young Adult Friends (YAF) and 60 school-age youth. This approach will enable Overseers to:

•  focus on pastoral work with people who have relationships at Meeting, benefiting all concerned
•  spend more time with attenders who may need information and/or encouragement relative to becoming members

Relative to college-age YAF’s in these lists, the Committee recognizes that many of them appreciate their connection to Meeting. As such, the Committee will make a concerted effort to help them maintain their ties to the Meeting and Quakerism. For example, a discussion with Young Friends yielded the idea of a part live/part Skype interactive evening between YF’s and YAF’s to forge a network among young Meeting “alum’s.”

(2) We identified 180 inactive or “`dormant” individuals who once attended but now have nominal or no recent contact with Meeting. They no longer have an overseer. The Committee is considering ways to maintain contact with them through annual letters, our newsletter email distribution list, and our Meeting's Google Group.

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