Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Unable, unwilling, a game of Quaker nominations
I have written here before about my experience of Quaker nominations from the point of view of someone on a nominations committee. I am returning to the subject because something I was told recently has made me think about nominations from the other side of the fence and also about the vexed question of 'qualification' for a post.

A while ago I was asked to take on a Quaker role which seemed to me to fit my 'qualifications' perfectly. I thought that both my professional qualifications and my personal and professional experience were likely to be useful to the body on which I was being asked to serve. I was also convinced of that body's importance and hoped that my enthusiasm might be useful. In the end though, as I have written here, I was proved wrong and had to accept that others had a different view.

Having let go of that commitment I was at first a bit wary when asked if I might be willing to serve in another way here in Yorkshire. I hesitated but again I felt qualified by experience in both my professional and personal life and it seemed to me that I might fit and be of some use. I said yes and have just been appointed so I have yet to find out whether this is the case.

After the meeting at which my appointment was accepted one of the nominations committee thanked me for taking on the task. I replied that in the end I did not feel able to refuse as it felt as though the job had my name written on it. Perhaps I came across as too self-satisfied because he hastened to assure me that my name had in fact been at the bottom of the list and I was only asked when everyone else had refused! I had not in fact given a thought to who else had been asked but it was a salutary reminder that Quakers have to take what they can get!

I hope that I will find that I can fulfil my new role and that my qualifications of all kinds will be useful. I hope too that I will continue to learn and grow and become more qualified for whatever task (if any) I am asked to undertake in the future.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Thank you for expressing this Gil. I think being on Area Meeting Nominations committee is the hardest task I have taken on, and as a 'life-long' Friend there have been many! Yesterday I attended our first meeting since restructuring, and now we have fewer committees within our AM as it was becoming difficult to find people to serve. I came away feeling that I have an impossible job finding people to serve within our small Meeting, but your article has given me hope.