We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted
us to use material for this Faith and Practice.
new monthly meetings
Meeting (or, occasionally, a Worship Group) becomes a new Monthly
Meeting when a Quarterly Meeting recognizes it as
such. When a Preparative Meeting feels ready for independent
existence as a Monthly Meeting, the Preparative Meeting sends a
letter to the Clerk of the overseeing Meeting stating these facts and
asking that its request be forwarded to the Quarterly Meeting. If the
overseeing Meeting concurs, it forwards this request to the Ministry
and Oversight Committee of the Quarterly Meeting. If the latter
approves, it reports this to the Quarterly Meeting and suggests
names of four or five Friends for a visiting committee. This
committee should include one or two members of the Monthly
Meeting committee that has had the Preparative Meeting under its
care, along with suitable and experienced Friends who have not
been closely associated with the Preparative Meeting.
visiting committee meets with the prospective Meeting, making sure
its members are aware of the responsibilities of a
Monthly Meeting. Plenty of time, care and deliberation at this stage
may prevent complications later. The visiting committee should
attend Meetings for Worship and for Business and visit with
individuals from the Preparative Meeting. The following topics
should be explored:
If the Preparative Meeting has not done so earlier, it should write
a statement telling why it wishes to become a
Monthly Meeting and why it feels ready. It should provide a
complete list of names and addresses of its participants, and
indicate the Meetings in which individuals hold their memberships.
condition: Does the Meeting function under divine guidance? Is
the Meeting for Worship the center of its life? Are
Meetings for Worship held in the spirit of expectant waiting and
communion with God?
and experience: How long has the group been gathering? What relations
does it have with other Meetings? What
geographical area does it serve? Where and when is its Meeting
for Worship? What is the usual attendance? How many Friends, other
attenders and children are in the Meeting? Of the families taking
responsibility for the Meeting, how many appear well settled in
area? What are the Meeting’s social concerns?
of good order: Has the Meeting studied Faith and Practice of Pacific
Yearly Meeting? Does it hold a Meeting for
Business regularly? How are minutes formed and approved? Are
they recorded? Are the functions of Clerk and other officers
understood? What committees does it have? Are the functions of the
Ministry and Oversight Committee understood? Are these
functions being carried out? Are financial matters being handled
an orderly manner? How are the Meeting’s officers, Nominating
Committee, and other committees selected? How are children
related to the Meeting? Does it understand the importance of
religious education programs for children and adults?
the visiting committee agrees that the Preparative Meeting is ready
to become a Monthly Meeting, it prepares a written report,
including reference to the above guidelines, and presents this report
to the next Quarterly Meeting. If there is no Quarterly Meeting
available, the visiting committee will have been appointed by Pacific
Yearly Meeting Ministry and Oversight Committee and will report
back to Pacific Yearly Meeting.
Quarterly Meeting (or Pacific Yearly Meeting upon recommendation
of its Ministry and Oversight Committee) has the
authority to establish the new Monthly Meeting. Notice of that
action is then forwarded to Yearly Meeting which records the new
Monthly Meeting as a member of that body. The Meeting functions
as a Monthly Meeting as soon as the Quarterly or Yearly Meeting
has established it. The Clerk and Statistical Clerk of the Yearly
Meeting should be notified promptly when a new Monthly Meeting
has been established.
Clerk of the new Meeting should forward to the former overseeing
Meeting a list of all who wish to transfer their membership
to the new Meeting. Such transfers are usually accomplished automatically
without an additional visiting committee. Others who
hold their membership in different Meetings are encouraged to
transfer promptly to the new Meeting following the usual process.
<See Transfer of Membership, p. 100> and <Appendix
4c: Procedure for Transfer of Membership.> The visiting committee should continue its oversight of the new
Meeting and be available for consultation for at least a year
following its recognition.