Next, you should plan your introductions to substantive items. Lack of preparation here can leave both a meeting and its clerk muddled as to why the item is under discussion. Clerks who haven’t had time to really think about this have been known to find themselves disconcertingly at sea, and the meeting feeling unsure how to get things back on track.
As you think what you might say, you may discover you don’t know some facts or there is something about the question you are not clear about in your own mind. Once you are clear in your own mind you will be able to give a steer to the meeting as to what its task will be when the ‘matter is before the meeting’, as Quaker clerks typically say.
Puzzled faces mean you haven’t done your job properly yet, so, visualising ahead of time how the meeting may deal with the matter might suggest you revisit your approximate timings. It may lead to deeper thought about what God or the Spirit may be wishing for us in our meeting – the way forward and what’s important and what is not.