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The Elders of NW Yearly Meeting developed this process document, as a guide to their work. A copy of this document was given to West Hills Friends on July 25, 2013.


Process Document

A Draft Proposal for a Formal Process to Deal with Churches in Noncompliance with Faith and Practice

  1. The Board of Elders receives an allegation of noncompliance with Faith & Practice. An allegation most likely would come from the Superintendent, but it could come from anyone. Receipt of the allegation is minuted and a sub-committee is appointed to gather facts. The sub-committee has up to 2 years to bring its report to the Board of Elders.
  2. The Board of Elders receives the report from the sub-committee with supporting documents and testimony. The possible outcomes are:
    • The Board of Elders finds the allegation to be false. This finding is minuted and reported to appropriate parties.
    • The Board of Elders finds the allegation to be unsubstantiated but bearing continued watching. This finding is minuted and the sub-committee is charged to continued monitoring the situation.
    • The Board of Elders finds the allegation to be true. This finding is minuted and reported to appropriate parties.
  3. If the allegation is found to be true, the Board of Elders determines if the noncompliance rises to the level of being "shattering to the local church or to the YM" as required by Faith & Practice. The possible outcomes are:
    • The situation does not meet the Faith and Practice standard of "shattering." This determination is minuted and the sub-committee continues to work for future compliance.
    • The situation meets the Faith and Practice standard of "shattering." This determination is minuted and a Letter of Noncompliance is issued to the church, including the relevant Faith & Practice process leading to substantial compliance or to dissolution of the church's relationship to NWYM. The sub-committee has up to 2 years to effect reconciliation or to determine that reconciliation is not possible. If progress is being made, the 2 year requirement can be extended by approval of the Board of Elders.
    • The situation meets the Faith and Practice standard of "shattering," and in the judgment of the BoE, the noncompliance has rendered the church ineffective or unable to function. The BoE will take action to bring the church "Under the Care of the Elders" and a Local Church Care Committee will be established and will proceed according to F&P.
  4. If reconciliation is not possible, the Board of Elders issues a Declaration of Dissolution severing the church's relationship to NWYM, including membership and removing members who serve on YM Boards, committees, and commissions. Property issues are dealt with in consultation with the NWYM Trustees, and should be handled with grace, making every effort to send them away with our blessing. This decision and action is minuted and reported to the Presiding Clerk.
  5. The local church receiving the Declaration of Dissolution has the opportunity to appeal the decision of the Board of Elders to the Presiding Clerk, and this is noted in the Declaration.