This is an email I recently sent to the list-serv for Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns (FLGBTQC):
It's been a little over a year since Nominating Committee approached me and asked if I'd be willing to consider serving as FLGBTQC Recording Clerk.
To say I was surprised is putting it mildly. Recording clerking is really, truly, absolutely Ministry That Would Not Have Occurred to Me.
Taking minutes by hand is painful for me. I didn't have a laptop until very recently. I am a terrible minute-taker in secular meetings. I had never been remotely interested in being a recording clerk, and had in fact actively avoided recording for committee meetings. It never occurred to me that I might have skills which are good for a recording clerk to have, or that I could be good as a recording clerk.
Well, when I carefully asked F/friends on Nominating if there were any particular reasons they'd thought of me (I'm sure my dubiousness was thinly cloaked), I got a lot of really good answers. The kind which sounded to me like Friends were listening to Spirit, and also like they know me pretty well, and were putting what they know of me together with things I hadn't thought of and the needs of the community. (Go, Nominating. This is a form of eldering: helping people recognize gifts of the Spirit they haven't recognized in themselves, and asking that those gifts be used in the service of the Spirit and the community.)
In Britain Yearly Meeting, Presiding Clerks record. If I wasn't willing to learn to record, that meant I was cutting myself off from the possibility of serving as clerk of my Local Meeting or Area Meeting. It meant I was deciding for Spirit ahead of time that I would never do this work. That struck me as a Bad Idea.
But the big thing that decided me was you, collectively. Was this community. I realized that if I was going to learn to be a Recording Clerk, I couldn't think of a better place to do it. I have have been part of the Meeting holding newly-fledged co-clerks as they found their wings. I knew you would hold me, as you / we always hold the clerking team, and that even if it wasn't particularly graceful, there would still be grace. Lots of grace.
I began to feel really grateful for this opportunity, and excited about learning a whole new skill.
After I went on the clerks' training course at Woodbrooke, I knew I had what I needed, except for the experience of actually doing it. And I was pretty sure I could be a good-enough recording clerk while you helped me become a better recording clerk.
The really good news is that it turns out I truly enjoy recording clerking. Who knew? And I really enjoyed being part of Quaker process in this particular way, a way I never have before, during our Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business last summer.
I love Quaker process. I have always especially loved Quaker process in the FLGBTQC community. Being able to come to our Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business has helped sustain me during some periods which were particularly dry when it came to spiritual community.
I also love nurturing Quaker process, and I love that this service is another way I can help do that within FLGBTQC.
Right now, many of us are getting ready for Mid-Winter Gathering and for our Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business there.
So, I ask that you continue to hold me, and the entire clerking team, in the Light and in love, in that same way I knew deep down I could count on you to do while I learned I could do something I had never done before.
p.s. Thank you.