As a person becomes acquainted over time with the Meeting and with Friends’ ways by participating in the life of the Meeting, he or she may feel led to consider membership. A sense of readiness to apply for membership can come in a variety of ways. One may discover that the faith and practice of Friends has become central to her or his life. Another may feel a spiritual leading that becomes increasingly clear and strong. A third may report a sense of having found the right place, of being “at home” after long seeking. Others may identify with and feel a responsibility toward the Meeting and the Religious Society of Friends.
How to Apply to Become a Member
At Minneapolis Friends Meeting, an applicant for membership writes a letter to the Ministry and Counsel Committee indicating interest in membership. Ministry and Counsel assigns a group of members to serve as a “clearness committee.” The clearness committee will meet with the applicant and together they will explore the meanings, implications and responsibilities of membership and discern the appropriateness of proceeding with membership at this time. These meetings are not intended as a “test” of an applicant’s suitability, and an attender should not be deterred from applying for membership by a feeling that they have not reached some ideal standard. Moral and spiritual achievement is not what is required in an applicant; sincerity of purpose is.
Membership in a Monthly Meeting is also membership in the Yearly Meeting (in our case, Northern Yearly Meeting) and the wider Religious Society of Friends. “Associate membership” is a classification used for members who are children. Parents can request that their children become associate members.