Applying For MembershipClearness Committee
CLEARNESS COMMITTEE FOR MEMBERSHIP
A committee on clearness meets with the seeker not as professional counselors nor as friends discussing a problem and giving advice, but rather as caring Friends, drawing on the same resources that bind us together in meeting for worship.
-Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Faith and Practice
The following questions are intended primarily to provoke thought and discussion. There are no right answers to them. The purpose of the clearness committee is not to examine you but to gain clarity, and assist you in gaining clarity, on the rightness of your membership in the Society of Friends. The clearness committee will meet with you one and maybe more times. Then it will meet separately to reach unity on its recommendation, and then share the recommendation with you and the Oversight and Membership Committee.
1. It has been said that the genius of Quakerism is that each person’s beliefs must be founded on his/her own personal experiences. What brought you to seek membership in the Society of Friends?
2.The Society of Friends is often characterized as a fellowship of seekers. In what respects, however, do you feel that they are finders? What do you think they have found? What aspects of the Society have drawn you to them, making you wish to be a part of their religious fellowship?
3. Friends have held that their faith is more than a set of beliefs; it is a way of life. In what ways do you find your own beliefs affecting your daily living?
4. Because the Society of Friends has no creed to which its members are asked to subscribe, and no hierarchy or priesthood to guide us to doctrinal unity, the religious beliefs of Friends range widely. At one extreme, Friends may embrace a form of Universalism, which regards all religions as equal expressions of divine truth and resists subscribing exclusively to any one of them. At the other extreme, Friends can be found who subscribe to the most fundamental Christianity. If our unity is not found in specific doctrines, on what basis do you feel Friends can find a measure of unity?
5. After wandering about in search of something that could give meaning to his life and answer the yearnings of his heart, George Fox found that there was one Christ Jesus who could speak to his condition. How have you considered Jesus at this personal level?
6. How familiar are you with Friends’ beliefs, practices, and history? What Friends’ literature have you read or studied? Do you have a good understanding of the organization and workings of Boulder Meeting? Are you aware of the various associations, organizations, centers for study, and publications of Friends?
7. What is your understanding of, and agreement with, Friends central beliefs? What is your understanding of the relationship of Quakers to Christianity? How do you feel about the variety of specific beliefs within Boulder Meeting? What is your understanding about Friends’ testimonies? Do you have any concerns/reservations about them?
8. How do you see the difference between attender and member? In what ways do you hope to take an active part in the life of the Meeting? What do you feel are your responsibilities to the Meeting, as a member? And the Meeting’s responsibility to you?
9. Is there an area of your life (personal obligations, previous religious obligations, family, geographic location, professional plans, etc.) that may have a bearing on your membership and your ability to actively participate in the life of the Meeting?
10. Do you have any questions or concerns that haven’t been brought up?