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The Meaning of Membership

Updated: Mar 8

The Religious Society of Friends is a worldwide community of faith, based on experience of a transforming power named many ways: the Inner Light, the Spirit of Christ, the Guide, the Living God, the Divine Presence. Membership includes openness to an ongoing relationship with God and willingness to live one’s life according to the leadings of the Spirit as affirmed by the community of faith. The lives of Friends express their faith in accordance with their experiences with God and with the meeting community.

Everyone is growing in a relationship with God. This results in growing in our relationships with other people. Each spiritual journey is unique. The meeting aims to be a place where our spiritual journeys can thrive.

When an attender decides to formally apply for membership, he writes a letter to the clerk of the meeting asking to become a member and giving some idea of his spiritual journey and the circumstances which led to his initiative. (excerpts from the Southeastern Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 2013)

The following is a letter submitted requesting membership to the Palm Beach Meeting:

I am now formally requesting a membership into the Palm Beach Quaker Meeting.

My spiritual journey, up until these last few years, has been a solitary one. Not too long ago my Spirit Guide told me “Chuck, you need to go to Church.” My response was “No thanks, that’s not me.” This dialog went on for several weeks, unrelentingly. I finally succumbed to her direction and I set out to audition about half a dozen churches. None of them worked for me, for a lot of different reasons. I have to say that none of those Churches were bad; they were just not for me. One Sunday I came home and felt very discouraged having not found even the possibility, a Church that filled my needs.

I sat there contemplating my next step, or even if there was going to be a next step. At that point my Spirit Guide came to me and said “what about the Quakers” and I said “What, Who?” At that point I “studied-up and read-up” and I found a meeting not far away.

I then went to my first meeting, some three and a half years ago. I knew I would have to sit in silence for an hour but at worst I would enjoy an hour of perhaps deep meditation. At a point I thought of Janus Joplin singing “Work Me Lord” and I said to myself, “Something is going on here.” I don’t think I have missed a meeting since I first sat down in that chair. It is here I have experienced epiphany, revelations and the comfort of being with God, my Spirit Guide, and this community. I want it to be known that it was here in this meeting that I found my faith again.

Submitted by Charles D. Chapman

Chuck is now a valued member of Palm Beach Meeting, and we are so very grateful to Spirit for leading him to us. We are also grateful that he shared his personal journey with us in this blog.

Do you have a story about how you were led to the Society of Friends? Please share it with us by emailing

The Palm Beach Quaker Meeting invites you to share Silent Worship with us in a Spirit-filled space that has welcomed worshippers since 1958, regardless of race, gender identity, or nationality.

Reaching for another hand

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