The role of membership for Montreal Quakers
Some people attend meeting and even serve on Quaker committees for many years without being a member. Anyone is welcome at meeting, may give ministry at meeting and at business meeting; members and regular attenders can serve on committees.
That said, membership is important, even if there are few specific distinctions or privileges that come with it.
The purpose of membership
- We are all shaped by experiences. At some point, becoming a member — “being” a Quaker — is simply an honest expression of the role that this Quaker community has played in our lives.
- Membership should be a leading from Spirit, in other words, an expression the love we have experienced in this community, like membership in a kind of spiritual family.
- The purpose of the membership process is to discern whether this love is present, and if so, to recognize and celebrate it.
- Membership also may serve to confirm a desire for inclusion and contribution.
Responsibilities and privileges of membership
Membership implies a desire to enter joyfully into the activities of the community:
- To attend its Meetings for Worship and Business
- To give service through its committees and otherwise
- To share financially to an appropriate degree
- To learn and deepen as an individual in our shared tradition
We encourage applications for membership from those who, after a certain time of attendance and study, desire to join the community.
The membership process
- The interested person writes a letter to the Clerk, responding to the following questions:
- How long have you been attending?
- How involved are you?
- What makes you want to be a member?
- What has your faith journey been like?
- Give that letter to the clerk by hand, mail, or email.
- Someone from the Ministry & Counsel committee will be in touch to ask about who would be best to serve on the clearness committee for membership.
- The Clerk will read this letter and form a committee at the next business meeting.
- At the clearness committee meeting, committee members will ask the prospective member questions in order to arrive at clarity about membership.
- Once things are clear (which may not happen at the first meeting), the clearness committee will craft a recommendation to be presented at the next business meeting.
- The community will either accept the new member or request further discernment from the clearness committee.
If accepted, celebration is in order
For more information, see the section on Membership of the Canadian Yearly Meeting’s Organization & Procedure.