COMMITTEE ON SUFFERINGS (2000)
Minute 74 of the 1971 Yearly Meeting sessions marked the initiation of the Fund for Sufferings under the Peace and Social Action Program. The Fund, raised through voluntary contributions, is meant to provide assistance to those who are suffering because of fidelity to Friends’ testimonies. In the sessions of 1975, a Committee on Sufferings was established to administer the Fund, and a budget appropriation was placed in the goals of the Sharing Fund to continue until the Fund reached $10,000.
Functions & Activities
- To administer the Fund for Sufferings to provide aid and assistance to those who are suffering because of fidelity to Friends’ testimonies.
- To determine that the witness to which the suffering is attributed speaks to Friends generally relative to a common heritage and tradition.
- To consider applications for assistance from a Yearly Meeting member wherever that person resides and from any who are faithful participants in worship and action in local meetings. Normally, an application will be forwarded by a local meeting with the anticipation that the Fund will supplement the meeting’s financial resources in the matter. In lieu of this, a Yearly Meeting committee may endorse and forward the application.
- The rendering of assistance rests on evidence that the applicant and any dependents have been diligent in self-help and in the search for alternate resources, particularly local meetings. Such assistance should be a decent level of support, especially when extended to the dependents of applicants.
- Where religious witness involves challenges to authority, legal support must be limited to modest defensive moves and should not include the payment of fines or other financial penalties.
Organization & Method of Appointment
The Committee on Sufferings consists of nine members serving for terms of three years. The Yearly Meeting appoints one-third of them each year upon the recommendation of the Nominating Committee. The committee selects its own clerk and treasurer and names a representative to the Coordinating Committee for Ministry and Counsel.
Meeting Times & Places
The committee meets at such times and places as are necessary to process applications for assistance, to oversee the Fund for Sufferings, and to report on its status each year.
Appropriations are received from the NYYM Trustees.