Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
Since no one in the meeting holds special authority, decisions about the meeting’s positions, care for its members, finances, and work in the wider community are reached by a monthly Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business (MWB) which everyone is welcome to attend. Click here for a current schedule showing when MWB is held. The goal of MWB is to reach a “sense of the meeting,” which accounts for the inner leadings of all those present.
Friends strive to know and follow God’s will for our meeting life. They do not vote or use majority rule. Rather they seek the truth and unity of the Spirit. Discerning God’s leading is both an individual and a communal process in which the meeting listens to each Friend and each Friend listens to the meeting. They accept a decision when they sense it is the will of God. When they listen to God and to each other, and achieve unity in our sense of God’s leading, they are living in the Truth. They call this unity “the sense of the meeting.”
--Northern Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (learn more)
While Quaker decision making is often referred to as a “consensus” process, Quakers consider the process of MWB to be different from reaching a decision to which everyone can agree or to which no one particularly objects. Rather, the object is to discern how the Spirit is guiding the community, and every person at the meeting plays a role in that discernment. Even if all those gathered except for one person agree on a course of action, that one person might have an important measure of light to bring to the process.