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How do I become a Member?

Home/Membership/How do I become a Member?

We welcome your interest. An overview of our membership procedure follows. Membership is the recognition of fellowship in faith and practice with the community of FMC. When considering membership, the following queries may be helpful.

  • Do I find in this Meeting the presence of the Spirit?
  • Do I feel the Meeting can help me to affirm and enrich my own spiritual experience, and to help the Meeting work for a more just and peaceful world?
  • Do I wish to try to make my outer life an example of the truth and love I experience inwardly and in the life of the Meeting?
  • Will I attempt to move out into the world to apply these principles to the needs of humanity and the natural world?
  • Do I wish to share responsibility for the care of the Meeting with my energy, time, and finances? Will I serve on its committees and participate in business meetings?

How Do I Become a Member?
Membership at FMC involves a commitment to a community and to a way of life rather than to a creed or dogma. The decision to request membership comes from an inner leading rather than from outward persuasion. In one sense, one does not apply to the Meeting for membership; rather, one becomes aware that one belongs.

For those who are interested, we suggest the following steps:

  1. Get to Know the Meeting
    We hope you will have participated regularly in Meeting for Worship for perhaps a year or more. In addition, you might get to learn more about Quakerism, and to know and become part of the Meeting community. Some ways of doing this are by:

    • Attending Meeting for Worship with attention to Business to learn the decision-making process of Friends.
    • Attending forums, retreats, workshops, potlucks, newcomers’ breakfasts, and other events detailed in the monthly Bulletin and weekly announcement sheets.
    • Attending, and possibly later joining, one of our committees (after talking with the clerk of a committee). Most committees are open to non-members as well as members. These committees do the work necessary to maintain the Meeting and guide our participation in the larger world.
    • Reading Faith and Practice of New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM).
    • Considering the Queries and Advices that illuminate the Quaker way of life.
    • Exploring our social testimonies and considering their relevance to your life.
    • Reading other books on the history and practice of Friends.
    • Taking the short course on Quakerism offered by this Meeting.
    • Attending family worship, and after a time considering helping with our First Day (Sunday) School.
  2. Request Membership
    When you are ready to request membership, write a letter or e-mail to the Presiding Clerk, Friends Meeting at Cambridge, 5 Longfellow Park, Cambridge MA 02138. Your letter may be short or long, and if you wish, could include background that might help to introduce you, such as your past religious experience, your association with Quakers, or the ways in which you feel FMC might be an enriching spiritual “home.”
  3. Participate in the Clearness Process
    On receiving your letter, the Membership Committee will inform the Monthly Meeting, and will ask two or three Friends to visit with you (your “clearness committee”). Friends traditionally do not hurry their discernment, and the membership process may take as long as is needed to reach clearness on your and its part. Occasionally the committee counsels further seasoning before an applicant becomes a member. This clearness process carries a deep responsibility to you, as well as to the Meeting.Usually, members ask to be released from membership in other religious congregations. If this presents a problem for you, please do discuss it as a part of your clearness process. The clearness committee will make a recommendation to the Membership Committee, which considers it and, when united, passes it on to the Monthly Meeting for Business. Monthly Meeting for Business will consider and then act on the Membership Committee’s recommendation. After you are accepted, one or more Friends will arrange a meeting to welcome you. Then and always Friends will offer support as you take your part in the life of the Meeting, and help you find which committee(s) of the Meeting might benefit from your gifts, as well as interest you.

Membership for Children by Parental Request
Young people may apply for membership whenever they are able and ready to request the clearness process. However, members may also request Junior Membership for their children. Junior membership ends at age 25, before which the Junior Member is encouraged to make a decision whether to seek full membership.

If you have any questions please email membership@fmcquaker.org