A Guide to Becoming a Member 2

Central Philadelphia Meeting welcomes your interest in membership. As you consider this step, we urge you to become acquainted with the meeting and with Quaker faith and practice. We hope this brochure will be a helpful guide.


Getting to Know Us

About Us. Visit our About Us web page to learn more about us right away.

Attenders and Outreach Committee

These Friends can help introduce you to the meeting. They usually have a wecloming table during our social hour after worship and can give you introductory materials. Or talk to anybody.

Meeting for Worship

Our worship is the beating heart of our community and our social hour afterwards is a great time to meet our other members and attenders.

Meeting for Business

We meet once a month to manage the meeting's affairs. Here we try to put our faith into practice. This is a great chance to see how we operate and what we're up to.

Other Meeting Activities

Here are some more opportunities:

  1. Getting on the meeting mailing list to receive newsletters and other mailings.
  2. Attending coffee hour following meeting for worship (name tags make it easier for us to get to know each other).
  3. Attending meeting functions, such the Meeting Weekend usually held in February or March.
  4. Attending other gatherings, workshops and discussions, and classes when they are held, usually from 1:00 to 2:30 on some Sundays.
  5. Joining in meeting projects and responsibilities like helping with coffee hour.
  6. Participating in the committees and ad hoc groups that serve the meeting, including Attenders and Outreach Committee.


We consider it vital to read Faith and Practice, our description of what we believe and how we work, and other Quaker literature. We have a rather good library and librarians. Also, our About Us page has links to many other sources of information.

Making Application

Write a letter

When you feel you are ready to apply for membership, you should write the meeting a letter explaining why you feel drawn to the Religious Society of Friends and to our meeting in particular, and indicate the extent of your sympathy with the principles and testimonies of the Society of Friends. Please also describe any affiliation that you have or may have had with any other religious body, and its current status. And please feel free to discuss making application with a member of the Membership Care Committee before writing to the meeting. The meeting administrator can put you in touch, or ask anybody.

Clearness Process

The clerk of the meeting will read your letter to the monthly meeting for business, and then your letter will be referred to Membership Care Committee.

The clearness committee

A small group from the committee, called a clearness committee, will be in touch with you. Their role is to make sure that we know and understand your spiritual needs and desires and that you know and understand us, and that we are both clear that we are your proper religious home.


Sometimes the clearness committee and the applicant to decide to wait while the applicant and the meeting gain a clearer understanding of each other or membership in another religious group is resolved. Usually, the membership process is completed within a few months.

Occasionally, in the course of the clearness process, it becomes obvious to the applicant, the clearness committee, or both, that our meeting is not the right spiritual home for the applicant. In such cases, the applicant is welcome to continue worshipping with us, or may choose to seek a religious fellowship more suited to his or her spiritual direction.

Consideration by the meeting

The clearness committee shares its recommendation with Membership Care Committee. When Membership Care finds no hesitation or obstruction to the acceptance of the application, they send the recommendation to the monthly meeting for business. The meeting considers the report, but holds over final action until a subsequent session of the business meeting in order that Friends may become better acquainted with you.


When your application is approved, the meeting records your acceptance into membership and appoints two or more Friends to welcome you more personally into the meeting, often in your or someone else's home.


We see membership as a mutual commitment. We're here to welcome your gifts, nurture your spirit, and offer loving community. We hope you will bring to us your gifts and spirit, and your help in supporting our community.

We look forward to journeying together.

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