Becoming a Member
It is not necessary to wait to be invited to join a Friends meeting; people decide for themselves when they are ready to commit themselves to membership. Frequently, recording membership in a monthly meeting of the Society of Friends is only the recognition of a relationship that has already developed. A person who has been coming to Meeting regularly, who has been learning more and more about Friends through reading Faith and Practice and other Quaker literature, who is becoming active in the life of the Meeting, and who has come to feel at home in the Meeting and among its members, may feel ready to apply for membership. This is the time to write a letter to the Clerk outlining the feeling of being drawn into fellowship with Friends and of being in unity with Friends’ principles and testimonies. At Mt. Toby, this letter is read at the next meeting for business as one way of helping the Meeting to become better acquainted with the applicant.
Ministry and Worship, at its next meeting, appoints a Membership Clearness Committee of two or three individuals. At least one member of this Committee should be a current member of Ministry and Worship. Applicants should look at the guidelines for membership clearness committees, available from Ministry and Worship, before they meet with their Clearness Committee. The Membership Clearness Committee reports to a future meeting of Ministry and Worship, which makes a recommendation to the next meeting for business.
When the new member is accepted, meeting for business appoints a welcoming committee, customarily following the recommendation of Ministry and Worship. One of the functions of this committee is to help the new member to assume responsibility for both service and support, as way opens. The new member should be introduced after meeting for worship (l989).
See also the paper called “Curious About Membership Among Friends?” on the literature table in the lobby.
[abridged from the MT Handbook]