Principles of Membership
In the experience of the Membership Committee, the time to apply for membership in Friends Meeting of Washington has come when one:
- Seeks to experience the Divine in one’s life, recognizes that there is that of God in others, and wishes to pursue this spiritual journey within the Friends Meeting of Washington community.
- Knows and approves of the aspirations of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) as set forth in the queries of Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice.
- Understands and accepts the procedures in Friends Meeting of Washington meetings for worship and for business as well as Meeting committees, based not only on study but on direct participation.
- Feels committed to share constructively in the life of the Meeting, including providing regular financial support for and service to Friends Meeting of Washington.
Click here for the Membership Application.
Guidance Regarding Letters of Application for Membership
An application for membership in the Friends Meeting of Washington is usually in the form of a letter addressed to the Clerk of the Meeting who will refer it for action to the Clerk of the Membership Committee. First and foremost, that letter should address the four Principles of Membership on the other side of this sheet. However, you may also choose to include other information useful to the Committee, including the following:
- What are your religious beliefs?
- What do you find appealing about the Quaker faith? Does this contrast with other faiths you may have embraced previously? What parts of your spiritual journey have brought you to seek a spiritual home with FMW?
- How did you first hear of Quakers? Of the Friends Meeting of Washington?
- How long have you been attending Meeting for Worship?
- What activities have you participated in, including Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, Meeting committees, or other volunteer opportunities? Which Meeting activities would you participate in as a member?
- Have you read works on Quakerism? For example, books on Quaker beginnings and history, biographies or journals of Quaker leaders, Quaker principles or their application, or texts on the current state of Quakerism, including its international nature?
- Is there a subject you would like to pursue further under Quaker leadership?
- What concerns do you have about the Meeting community as your spiritual home?
- Have you already or are you willing to assume financial responsibility, commensurate with your ability, for the maintenance and activities of the Meeting?
Responsibilities of Membership
The Membership Committee is guided by the following expectations as we consider new applications for membership and make recommendations to the Monthly Meeting concerning lapsed members whose spiritual life and practice have moved elsewhere and who choose no longer to be in contact with the Meeting, despite repeated and frequent attempts to reach them.
We affirm that it is necessary for each Meeting member, as Way opens, to take on the responsibilities of membership to assure a vibrant spiritual community. These responsibilities call for each Meeting member to do the following, as fully as time, strength, and circumstances permit:
- Study and seek a deepening understanding of the testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends and express them in everyday life within the family, the community, the nation, and the world.
- Consult and use the Queries frequently as a means of self-examination and guidance.
- Cultivate a quality of spirit and an approach to social problems based on principles of Friends.
- Seek an understanding of religious truth through Divine Guidance, including reading and prayer.
- Attend Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business in a spirit of openness, love, and devotion, contributing to the life of the Meeting in accordance with Divine Guidance.
- Participate in the governance of the Meeting by faithfully serving on its committees.
- Become aware of the activities of FMW and the larger Quaker community and participate in them as Way opens.
- Contribute generously to the financial support of the Meeting and its commitments.
These expectations of members have been reviewed and reaffirmed five times since April 1966 and rise out of the meaning of Monthly Meeting membership articulated in the basic documents of our faith, particularly the August 1988 Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice.
Revised and Approved: June 2010 by Membership Committee