Establishment of Meetings
A monthly meeting may be established either upon the initiative of the quarterly meeting or by that body upon request of a group of members desiring to organize a monthly meeting. Some of the different circumstances that might lead to the establishing of a monthly meeting are outlined below.
- If a monthly meeting considers it advisable to separate into two monthly meetings or to establish a new monthly meeting within its limits, the matter should be brought before the quarterly meeting for approval. If, after investigation by a committee named by the quarterly meeting, the plan seems suitable to the quarterly meeting, the new meeting is established and the action is reported to the yearly meeting.
- If members of various monthly meetings desire to organize a new monthly meeting, they should bring their request before the quarterly meeting with which they wish to be associated. If, after investigation by a committee appointed by the quarterly meeting, the request is approved, the quarterly meeting then designates those Friends as members of the new meeting and appoints a committee to convene the first meeting and to assist in the organization of the new meeting, including the appointment of officers. Members of the new meeting should then request certificates from their monthly meetings to be forwarded to the newly appointed clerk.
- If persons who are not Friends become interested in the principles of Friends and believe it would benefit their religious life to be organized as a Friends meeting, they are advised first to make application for membership as individuals in an established monthly meeting, and, when accepted into membership, to proceed as in paragraph 2.
Preparative meetings can be formed by a monthly meeting under a wide variety of circumstances, but generally such meetings will develop in order to meet the particular spiritual needs of a local group of Friends. Usually a definite group of monthly meeting members will assume responsibility for organizing the preparative meeting and for reporting frequently to the monthly meeting.
Whenever a sufficient number of interested persons can be gathered, Friends are encouraged to hold meetings for worship. Such worship groups, meeting regularly and wishing to be part of the Society of Friends, should request care and oversight of the nearest appropriate monthly or quarterly meeting. These are gatherings for worship only. Groups moving toward the establishment of a business meeting should seek preparative or monthly meeting status.
A quarterly meeting may be established either upon the initiative of the Yearly Meeting or upon that body's approval of a request from two or more monthly meetings or from a quarterly meeting which desires to be divided into two similar meetings. The Yearly Meeting should be prepared in any case to assist in the organization and to appoint a committee of oversight for that purpose.
Transfer of a Meeting
The Yearly Meeting may transfer a monthly or quarterly meeting upon request of that body to join another yearly meeting. Before the transfer is completed, the yearly meeting to which transfer is made must approve and notify the meetings involved of its action.
A quarterly meeting may transfer a monthly meeting upon the request of that body to join another quarterly meeting. Before that transfer is completed, the quarterly meeting to which the transfer is made must approve and notify the meetings involved of its action.