Minutes of Hospitality Meeting, Wednesday August 12, 2020
We had a very substantive meeting. Attending: Annette, Ben, Buzz, Chris, Evelyn,
Gordon, Quaker (and Jasmine stopped by on her way to Finance)
Buzz began the meeting by summarizing what Hospitality has been doing up to
now in welcoming visitors to our meeting. Chris then presented his proposal
which is as follows: (Please speak up if your understanding is different than
- Hospitality will continue (i.e., Hart) sending a welcome email to anyone
who leaves their email address in chat during zoom worship, and Buzz will
add the email address to the listserv.
- Messages sent to email@example.com will be
- Clerk of Meeting
- Clerk of Ministry and Worship
- Clerk of Care and Counsel
- Clerk of Hospitality
Clerk of Hospitality is new; Jan Hutton and Matt Dake (ex-Clerks who had
remained on the distribution list) will no longer receive.
- Hospitality is the designated first responder for messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explanation: It is imperative that such messages be responded
to promptly (within 48 hours or less). To ensure this, it is important that
it be clear who is responsible for responding so as to avoid the situation
where no one responds, thinking that someone else is going to. (Similarly,
it is important that not everyone respond, thinking that it is their responsibility.)
So, it will be the responsibility of the Hospitality Committee to respond
promptly, replying-all, to every message to email@example.com.
Replying-all means that the person who sent the email receives the response
as does everyone on the distribution list above. Clerks on the distribution
list who receive the reponse are thereby notified if further action is required
- The intention of this proposal is that meeting business be handled by committees
rather than by individuals acting from their own leading.
So, how will Hospitality respond to emails to firstname.lastname@example.org?
The following are my first thoughts. I propose that we discuss at our next Hospitality
meeting, and please respond beforehand with your own ideas.
- If the email is a simple request for information about our Meeting, Clerk
of Hospitality (Buzz) will forward the email to Hart who will reply-all
with a welcome email, and Buzz will add the sender's email address
to the listserv.
- If the email is something other, then Buzz will either:
- Draft a response and send it to all (some?) members of Hospitality for
suggestions within 24 hours, after which Buzz will reply-all to the email
with the amended response.
- Ask someone else on the Committee (or someone outside the Committee?)
to draft a response and send it to all (some) members of Hospitality for
suggestions within 24 hours, after which that person will reply-all to
the email with the amended response.
- The reply could be a Quaker equivalent to the generic email: "Thank
you for your inquiry. We value your interest and someone will repy to you
within 48 hours". But, hopefully, we will have something more helpful
such as "There is general information about marriage in the meeting here
on our website, but someone from Ministry and Worship will reply to you within
- In addition to replying-all, the person responding might also want to send
an email to one or all of the recipients of email@example.com
offering additional information (such as previous inquiries from the same
person or more information about the subject of inquiry).
- I think this is something new for Hospitality. In the past we have greeted
visitors and asked if they have attended Quaker Meeting before, offered information
and answered questions. But I am not aware of our ever having received inquiries
concerning e.g., marriage or memorial service within the Meeting. On the other
hand, I think this is something that we can do, and Hospitality has had little
to do since coronavirus, so this is an opportunity. However, what to do and
how to do it will require discernment and practice.
Thank you, Friends.