Relationship - Bylaws 07

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YEARLY MEETING, LOCAL MEETINGS, AND MEMBERS

Friends value equality and freedom, and in their polity, embrace self-restraint, community, and elements of structural hierarchy. We seek to be open to prophetic witness. Institutional challenge and questions about who we are together frequently come from individual members and are sifted first in the local church. Final decisions about how we will act or move together are decided at the level of the yearly meeting, our largest deliberative body and the highest court of appeal in matters of these bylaws and our faith and practice.

Limited Authority of the Yearly Meeting. SCYMF retains authority to adopt and implement policies and procedures on matters of safety and risk management for its local meetings and individual members in all matters pertaining to the affairs of SCYMF.

Autonomy of the Local Meeting. Except as provided in these bylaws, the local meeting is its own complete spiritual and policy-making body: it has full authority to act legislatively, judicially, and administratively; to revise its bylaws or adopt statements of faith; to call and contract pastoral services; to adopt an annual budget; to accept and dismiss members; to hold and administer real estate and other property for the use of the meeting; to initiate and sponsor a church plant; to consider, adopt, and carry out measures in the interest of the meeting and of the community at large.

Uniform practices encouraged. SCYMF meetings are strongly encouraged to work together to develop and maintain uniform procedures and practices. Local meetings should consider forming multi-church committees that meet on a regular basis, such as at Quarterly (Regular) Meetings.

Limited Authority of the Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee has a limited power to be a policy-making body as described in these bylaws. See section on Coordinating Committee, Powers of the Coordinating Committee.