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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

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pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.


children and membership

Pacific Yearly Meeting has no provision for birthright membership.

From birth, all children of the Meeting are under its care. Meetings must be aware of and responsive to the needs of its children, most particularly their spiritual needs. Meetings have a responsibility to help children develop a sense of security in their relationship to the Meeting and in their own identities as Friends. Children become aware of themselves as Friends, not only through attendance at Meeting for worship and religious instruction, but also through friendship with adults and participation in Meeting activities.

Some Meetings in Pacific Yearly Meeting and other Yearly Meetings recognize Junior Membership, which the parent(s) or the child may request at any time, from birth onward. However, there is no established category of Junior Membership in Pacific Yearly Meeting at this time. Junior membership generally ends when the young person reaches the age of 21, although he or she may apply for adult membership earlier. If a child who holds Junior Membership moves to a Meeting that does not recognize this, the practice of the new Monthly Meeting will apply. Some Monthly Meetings simply call all children whom they recognize as part of their community “Children of the Meeting.” Like an adult, a child of any age becomes a member by application. A young person’s request for membership should be considered according to the Meeting’s regular procedures. <See “Becoming a Member” p. 96>

Meetings should be very tender toward a young person’s application, making sure that she or he understands the meaning of membership and feels welcome to participate in the life of the Meeting. As there are seasons in a person’s life, Meetings must not expect each one to be able to do all that another can do at every age.