Traditionally, Friends have issued travel minutes to ministers who are physically traveling outside their own meetings in some form, either in the gospel ministry or carrying a particular concern. The travel minute serves as a way for a minister’s home meeting/church to tell every other meeting/church, “We know you don’t know this person, but we do, and we have sat in discernment with her. We believe she is being faithful to a valuable, Spirit-led ministry, and we ask you to care for her as you receive it.”
The minute also serves as a way for distant meetings to communicate back with the Friend’s home meeting. Clerks of visited meetings “endorse” the travel minute–that is, sign it, usually with a note about the traveling minister’s visit. The minister then brings that endorsement back to the home meeting. This creates a system of spiritual support and accountability.
It’s a valuable system, still useful today–but the world has changed, and many new pathways for ministry have appeared, and Friends have not yet figured out how to adapt to these new pathways. Sometimes I physically travel in the ministry, but ministry also happens in writing, through social media, and through video conferences.
My support committee (the small group of Friends that meets with me regularly to provide in-person spiritual support and accountability) has discerned that I should be using my travel minute as frequently as possible, even in non-traditional circumstances. And so I’m pasting it below.
Should you feel led to send a note to my meeting about my work on this blog, you can do so: Fifteenth Street Monthly Meeting, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003.