Are You Thinking About Membership?
Perhaps you have been attending Meeting for Worship for some time and have found it to be a meaningful experience. As a fellow seeker, you are welcome to our Meetings for Worship each First Day, whether or not you decide to become a member. We urge you to become as active in the life of our Meeting as you feel led to be. We encourage you to continue to read and ask questions about the Religious Society of Friends and Stony Run Meeting. And we are pleased when those who worship with us feel led to embrace the wider responsibilities and satisfactions of membership.
We believe this step, membership, is an outward sign of a person's inward commitment to and unity with the basic principles of Friends and the Meeting community. Unlike other religious institutions, we do not require formal instruction, e.g. catechism, confirmation, bar mitzvah, in order to become a member. However, we do have a process and certain expectations.
If you are interested in pursuing membership, we suggest that you start by:
• reading Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, Friends Journal & other Quaker writings;
• becoming familiar with Friends Testimonies;
• attending Meeting for Worship regularly and participating in Monthly Meeting for Business;
• attending educational forums and joining us at simple lunch and other opportunities for learning about Friends and the Meeting community.
As you become familiar with the Meeting community and Friends' faith and practices, you may feel ready to make Stony Run Meeting your spiritual home and the Religious Society of Friends your religious community. After a person writes a letter requesting membership, there is a clearness committee process, in which representatives from Community, Care and Clearness and Ministry and Counsel meet with the applicant.
In addition to unity with our basic principles, there is a general expectation that members participate in the support of the Meeting through attendance at Meeting for Worship, service on a committee, financial support of the Meeting and its programs, and participation in Meeting for Business. Although we recognize that the degree of a person's active involvement may vary during the different stages of an individual's life, it is desired that all members assume their share of the responsibilities of membership.
At any point in your involvement at Stony Run, if you find that the Religious Society of Friends and the Meeting community meet your needs for worship and fellowship and that you are in agreement with our basic principles of faith and practice, we encourage you to talk with someone on the Community, Care and Clearness Committee about beginning your journey toward membership. Please call or email the office for a contact name or talk with the member of the Ministry and Counsel Committee who stands to make the announcements at the rise of Worship on First Day. We welcome your inquiry.