Care and Counsel Committee

Purpose: This committee cares for the needs of individual members and attenders and  encourages them to participate fully in the Meeting community. 

Common Purpose of Ministry and Worship and Care and Counsel 

These two committees have a common purpose—to help build and maintain a community which unites all in the Meeting in a shared spiritual life, and which inspires all to walk in the Light. Ministry and Worship is concerned primarily with what happens when the Meeting gathers for worship or business. Care and Counsel is concerned primarily with the nurturing of the Meeting’s individual members and their connection with the community. 

All in Meeting are called to care for one another and for the Meeting. The two committees described here foster and focus that caring in a spirit of commitment and love. Their common purpose is central to the life of the Meeting. These committees will maintain close contact, holding joint meetings as felt necessary to consider the spiritual health of the Meeting. 

Membership: Members and attenders of the Atlanta Friends Meeting. The committee has 6-8 members/attenders including the Clerk, and two members of the Committee nominated and approved by the Monthly Meeting. In the absence of the Clerk, either of the appointed members will serve as Clerk. 

Terms: Terms are nonconsecutive and usually for three years. 

Duties: 

1. Welcome newcomers and visitors to Meeting and be available to answer their questions after meeting for worship. 

2. The clerk or an appointed member of the committee will help to arrange clearness committees on matters not requiring action of the Meeting. 

3. Administer the Meeting’s discretionary fund in accordance with approved guidelines by making available grants or loans to members or regular attenders who are in financial distress. 

4. Minister to the health and welfare of the Meeting family. 

  • Send cards/notes at the time of illness, death, and birth. 
  • Make hospital visitations when needed. 
  • Hold a special meeting for healing if desired. 
  • Deliver the Quaker Care Quilt to those who wish it. 
  • If appropriate, include health and welfare personal information (“holding in the Light”) in the Newsletter or Announcement Sheet. 
  • Welcome all new members to the Meeting. 

5. Maintain a volunteer list to: 

  • fill Sunday responsibilities (Greeting, Set up and Clean Up refreshments, Set up and Clean Up for potluck, Nursery care), for which the Office Coordinator may assign specific dates 
  • provide food for families who are in the midst of stress, 
  • provide rides to doctor visits or run errands, 
  • visit those in the hospital, 
  • visit those confined at home, 
  • provide overnight hospitality. 

6. Coordinate a program of monthly Welcome Dinners for Meeting newcomers. 

7. Encourage visiting and community activities (such as Friendly 8 groups) among the Meeting’s members and attenders. 

8. Contact absent members and regular attenders. 

9. Give candles to members and regular attenders who are moving away from Atlanta. 

10. Maintain a file with emergency information, preferences for arrangements at the time of death and/or wills for interested members and attenders. Announces the availability of such a file periodically in the Newsletter. 

11. Conduct periodic workshops to discuss issues relating to death and end-of-life changes. 12. Assist with arrangements in time of death, working with Ministry and Worship to form a memorial committee when necessary. (see Memorial Committee)

Support from the Care and Counsel Committee

The AFM Care and Counsel Committee cares for the needs of individual members and attenders and encourages them to participate fully in the Meeting community. They often arrange help driving people to appointments, running errands, visiting those at home or in the hospital or checking in with those who may feel isolated. If you have other needs or would like to be held in the light, please let them know at afm.care.counsel@gmail.com.

This committee also maintains a fund for providing temporary assistance with financial emergencies.

Assistance Fund Description & Request Process (2020)
Assistance Fund Application Form (2020)

Care and Counsel also keeps the Last Wishes of members and attenders on file as a starting place when planning memorials. The form for this is available for download and printing here. The completed form can be delivered via email attachment to afm.care.counsel@gmail.com or delivered to the AFM office in person or by mail. If you need assistance using the form, please contact the Office Coordinator at 404-377-2474 or email to atlantaquakers@gmail.com.

We are all ministers and all responsible for the care of our community. If you can assist with driving people to appointments, running errands, visiting people, please contact the Care and Counsel Committee at afm.care.counsel@gmail.com.