Last month, I submitted a transfer of membership request. I have come to understand myself to be a Conservative Friend for a number of reasons and based on a variety of experiences.
Here's the text of my letter, with links included here for easy clicking:
29 Tenth Month 2013
Dear Twin Cities Friends Meeting,
After much prayerful and tender consideration, I am requesting a transfer of membership to Bear Creek Meeting in Iowa, part of Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative (IYMC). Like TCFM and other meetings in the Northern Yearly Meeting region, IYMC also practices unprogrammed worship and is socially progressive. (The word “Conservative” refers to the intention of conserving some of the original disciplines of Quaker tradition.)
I’ve attended a number of IYMC’s annual and midyear meeting sessions over the past handful of years, and I have come to understand myself to be a Conservative Friend. In addition, just two years ago, Laughing Waters Friends Preparative Meeting, where I currently serve as its clerk, became formally affiliated with IYMC. When we minuted our affiliation plans, Laughing Waters made special note in the minute that we treasure and intend to maintain our personal connections with NYM Friends.
For me personally, I will continue to worship occasionally at TCFM. I also plan to participate in adult education presentations at this and at other meetings in the metro area.
What is of some concern to me, though, is: What if I am in need of support or care, which is far easier to coordinate among nearby fFriends? I hope that I can still turn to TCFM and its Ministry & Counsel if such a need arises. Regardless of my request to transfer my membership, I see myself and each of us as part of the wider Quaker community, with fFriends near and far, all of us held in God’s loving hands, as part of the same spiritual Family.