Pathway to Membership at Third Haven Friends Meeting:
We encourage attenders to request membership here at Third Haven whenever the time seems right to commit to a spiritual journey in the manner of Friends. We invite you to take your time to examine our faith.
Making the formal commitment to membership often enhances one's understanding of the depth of peace and caring within the Quaker faith. Joining is also an important step toward experiencing the breadth of friendship between committed Friends. Membership often strengthens an individual's sense of belonging and of finding a home in our rich and varied community, one in which the power of quiet worship together can be transformative.
In essence, becoming a member often increases one's engagement and commitment to the Religious Society of Friends and allows one to appreciate the rich variety of Friends here at Third Haven Meeting, across the United States and throughout the world.
One may well consider membership as a new beginning; an important step in one's continuing spiritual journey.
The Responsibilities and Steps:
As you attend meeting for worship and become familiar with Faith and Practice as well as the writings in Friends Journal and other publications in our library, you will begin to get a sense of our niche among religious organizations. As you begin to feel more comfortable with our way of worship and get to know us individually, and most importantly, as you see your beliefs congruent with Friends' beliefs and practices—please consider the responsibilities we members take upon ourselves.
In addition to regular attendance at one or both of our weekly meetings for worship, members are expected to participate in the monthly Meetings for Business, partake in adjunct programs, join standing committees and occasionally raise their hands to help out with volunteer projects. Regular financial support of the meeting is an important part of full membership. The amount contributed is considered less important than doing so on a periodic basis. This support enables us to sustain our programs, both locally abroad, while keeping our buildings and grounds in proper shape.
Once you have decided to make Third Haven your spiritual home and to become a member, there are a few customary steps to be taken, each with a connecting purpose. They are:
- Write a brief letter to the Clerk of the Meeting stating your request for membership. It is helpful to know your reason(s) for your request, along with any background information relating to your spiritual path.
- Your letter will be read before the subsequent Meeting for Business, where the Overseers Committee will be asked to form a small "clearness" committee.
- This committee will then meet informally with you for an hour or so. At this gathering, the committee will listen to any more background you may wish to share, in confidence, about your intentions. This session offers you a chance to ask any questions about our faith and the responsibilities of membership.
- This Clearness Committee will then recommend your membership for approval and acceptance at the next Meeting for Business. (Should unresolved questions be raised, a subsequent session will be held to enable further seasoning.)
- In the final step you are invited to a small, informal gathering of caring Friends who, generally over refreshments, will welcome you to the Religious Society of Friends at Third Haven Meeting.
Parents joining Third Haven are invited to request membership, if they wish, for their minor children as well.