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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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appendix 4: membership

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4C: Procedure for Transfer of Membership

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


for the member

1. When a relationship with the new Meeting has been established, the member applies to the Clerk of the old Meeting for a Certificate of Transfer (Removal) to the new Meeting.

2. At the same time, the member writes to the Clerk of the new Meeting indicating that request for transfer has been made.

for the ‘old’ meeting

1. The Clerk receives the request for transfer.

2. The request is read to the Monthly Meeting and is given to the Oversight Committee.

3. If everything is in order, the Oversight Committee recommends to the Monthly Meeting that the transfer be approved.

4. The Meeting approves the transfer.

5. The Clerk or Recorder completes two copies of Certificate of Transfer and partially completes one Acceptance of Transfer. (see pp. 241-242) One copy of the Certificate and the Acceptance are sent to the receiving Meeting. (see p. 240) (The old Meeting is obligated to inform the proposed new Meeting of any special conditions or problems experienced with a transferring member.)

6. The Clerk or Recorder retains one copy of the Certificate of Transfer.

7. If reply is not received in due time, another copy of the Certificate of Transfer may be made and inquiry sent to the new Meeting.

8. When the Acceptance of Transfer is received from the new Meeting, a copy of the member’s Meeting Membership Record is sent to the receiving Meeting, thus completing the interchange. The Clerk or Recorder appends the copy of the Acceptance to the Meeting Membership Record for that member and files those documents, in whatever manner the records of ‘former members’ are preserved. The Friend remains a member of the ‘old’ Meeting until the new Meeting has minuted acceptance in their Meeting for Business. The date of that Meeting marks the official membership in the new Meeting and is so reported to the Yearly Meeting in the annual Statistical Report.

for the ‘new’ meeting

1. The Clerk will have received the Member’s letter of intention to transfer membership.When the Certificate of Transfer (Removal) and the partially completed Acceptance of Transfer are received, the Clerk acknowledges them and reports it to the next Meeting for Business. The material is given to the Oversight Committee. To avoid unnecessary delay, the Clerk may do this directly if the Overseers are to meet before the next Meeting for Business.

2. The Overseers appoint a Visiting Committee, composed of three Friends, one of whom is an Overseer. They explore together with the transferring member such matters as are necessary in order that there be common understanding and comfort in the new relationship. When the Visiting Committee finds clearness, it reports to the Oversight Committee, which then makes its recommendation to the next Monthly Meeting for Business. If the Oversight Committee finds cause for delay, it reports regularly of the delay to the Monthly Meeting for Business. The matter should appear on the agenda until it is resolved.

3. When the Oversight Committee recommends acceptance of the Certificate of Transfer to the Meeting for Business, the matter is held over until the next Meeting for Business. No action is taken.

4. At the next Meeting for Business, the Meeting minutes its decision regarding the acceptance of the Friend as a member. With acceptance, that minute records membership in the new Meeting as of that date.

5. The Clerk furnishes the member with a copy of the approving minute.

6. The Clerk completes the Acceptance of Transfer (see p. 238) and makes a copy of it.

7. The Clerk or Recorder sends the copy of the Acceptance of Transfer to the Clerk of member’s old Meeting.

8. The Certificate of Transfer and the original Acceptance of Transfer become the Meeting’s membership record. The Recorder preserves them in the Meeting’s file of current members. The Meeting will receive a copy of the meeting membership record from the old Meeting. This is not an official record and may be stored in whatever manner the Meeting holds background information about its members.

9. At the time of acceptance of transfer, the Monthly Meeting should promptly arrange a welcoming for its new member.

10.The new member is included in the Meeting’s next Statistical Report.

Note: Meetings vary in how they distribute responsibilities of the Clerk and Recorder. To avoid unnecessary delay or confusion, each Meeting will prosper by clarification of these tasks.