The following text was published in 1990 by the Stony Run Meeting of Friends in Baltimore, Maryland. It offers some queries for those who are considering membership in the Religious Society of Friends. Inquirers should be aware, however, that other Meetings may have other requirements of members, possibly including explicit assent to Christian doctrinal statements. In becoming a member of the Society of Friends, one becomes a member of a local congregation or Monthly Meeting; the applicant and the Monthly Meeting must be in unity. How "unity" is defined varies among Meetings. The queries provided here are consistent with the practice of the unprogrammed Meetings with which I am familiar. {George Amoss}


ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT MEMBERSHIP . . . ?

The Friends Meeting at Stony Run welcomes applications of concerned persons who wish to become members of the Religious Society of Friends. Those ready to apply usually have acquired a background of experience and reading which has informed them of the principles and practices of Quakers. We especially recommend The Baltimore Yearly Meeting's book of Faith and Practice, Friends for 300 Years, and attendance at several meetings for worship and meetings for business.

Membership implies a commitment. Friends recognize that the degree of active involvement may vary during the different stages of an individual's life. Nevertheless, it is earnestly desired that all members assume their rightful share of the responsibilities of membership.

Each person should insofar as he or she is able, contribute to the Meeting through attendance at meetings for worship, participation in meetings for business, service from time to time on the various committees, and through financial support of the Meeting and its programs.

If you are interested in applying for membership at Baltimore Monthly Meeting of Friends, Stony Run, consider how you would respond to these questions:

Do you . . .

  1. believe in a Spirit which endows every person with a measure of the divine spirit? (Some people call this God, or the Inner Light, or other designation.)
  2. understand that Quakerism is rooted in Christianity, but that Friends differ in their views of Jesus?
  3. feel a sympathy with the historic testimonies of the Society of Friends?
  4. feel comfortable with the testimonies and other matters included in the Queries?
  5. realize that the Society of Friends does not accept as final the authority of any person or creed, but individually and collectively trusts in the continuing revelation of Truth and The Light?
  6. consider Quakerism to be a "way of life"?
  7. recognize the importance of the meeting for worship in strengthening and nurturing the growth of the Spirit within each person?
  8. understand the Quaker method of conducting meetings for business?
  9. accept responsibility for attending meetings for worship and for sharing in the meeting's work, as well as supporting it financially?
  10. know about the wider family of Friends which includes quarterly Meeting, Yearly Meeting, Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends World Committee, and the American Friends Service Committee?
  11. find that the Society of Friends meets your needs for worship and fellowship, and that you are willing to make this your religious home?
  12. know how members of your family feel about your joining the Religious Society of Friends?

Baltimore Monthly Meeting of Friends, Stony Run, will welcome your response.


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