Polity - Bylaws 05
INTRODUCTION TO FRIENDS’ POLITY
The business of Friends is transacted in announced sessions, usually at regular intervals, in which every member has a right to participate.
Non-members are commonly allowed to participate in business, as we believe that Christ is able to speak in and through all persons.
Friends do not simply vote to determine the majority view. Deliberations are aimed at discerning what Christ is leading us to do. It is expected, therefore, that worship surrounds business deliberations and that policies and practices reflect the unity reached in our work to discern Christ’s leading.
A Friends Church
A congregation of Friends fully established is called a local meeting, a monthly meeting, or church. Its organization consists of all persons recorded on its list of members. Clerks, elders, and pastors provide spiritual and moral guidance. It is through official recognition of spiritual gifts and qualities in certain persons that positions of leadership in public ministry are filled.
Yearly Meeting Sessions
Yearly Meeting sessions occur annually, providing opportunity for inspiration, fellowship, and edification, as well as for the transaction of business. Various boards and committees submit their reports and hold their meetings. In this Yearly Meeting, membership is both vicarious—by membership in a local church—and also direct—individual memberships of persons interested in joining this Yearly Meeting that would otherwise be unable to do so.