Membership Clearness Committee

Introduction:

Membership in the Religious Society of Friends signifies an intentional, living relationship between an individual, the Meeting and God rather than a status granted to an individual. Membership is an indication of this relationship and arises from the continuing experience of God’s love gathering us as a community. When an individual indicates a desire to become a member of Meeting, that individual writes a letter to the Clerk of Meeting. Children able to determine their willingness to become members may join a parent in this membership process or may apply on their own at any time. For children too young to decide, a parent may request membership for them following the membership process either with the parent or as a separate request.  Membership transfer from another meeting in the Religious Society of Friends follows a similar process except that a letter approving the transfer and stating that the individual is a member of the Society in good standing is forwarded from the other meeting.

At Meeting for Business a clearness committee is appointed. This committee will meet with the individual for the purpose of interpreting the beliefs and procedures of the Religious Society of Friends and to determine their readiness for membership. The clearness committee may also provide ongoing support after the individual becomes a member if requested by the new member.

Clearness Committee:

The Membership Clearness Committee is comprised of at least one member of MEO and members appointed at the time the request is read in the Business Meeting. A member of MEO will serve as the convener of the Committee. The Clerk shall remind those appointed that:

Members of the membership Clearness Committee are making a commitment to:

As soon as possible the committee will make a copy of the Faith and Practice Book of Discipline available to the individual and provide other resources they request. The Committee will explain to the individual the relationship between the Virginia Beach Friends Meeting (VBFM), known as the Monthly Meeting, and the North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) (NCYM-C). The individual will acknowledge understanding that as a member of the VBFM, he or she will also be a member of the NCYM-C.

In all cases the committee will seek Divine Guidance in this process. The committee may consider these topics in their discussions, or other topics depending on the needs and history of the individual:

The individual is made aware that as a member he or she is encouraged to attend Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Business and if possible other Meeting activities along with exploring membership in a Meeting committee.

When the Membership Committee has reached unity on the individual's readiness to become a member (or to delay membership) it will make its recommendation to the Meeting for Business. The full name of the individual recommended for membership should be included in the report to Meeting to accurately document the decision.

 


Maintained By: Ministers, Elders and Overseers
Last Revision Date: 05-2017