MEMBERSHIP AND OUTREACH COMMITTEE
The Membership and Outreach Committee (M&O) handles applications for membership, maintains contact with absent members, and coordinates greeting at the door and other activities to welcome newcomers. It also takes responsibility for publicity and outreach, and for the Newcomers’ Library. The committee works with campus organizations to reach out to university students.
The committee is provided with accurate and current records of membership by the Meeting Worker. All applications for membership are referred to this committee. On receiving a membership application from the Meeting Clerk, the committee arranges a clearness committee to meet with the applicant, and appoints a convener for this committee. Clearness committees should ensure that applicants have informed religious organizations with which they have been affiliated of their intent to terminate membership there. The committee should also be informed of requests for change in membership status (resignation, transfer), but does not take action on these. The committee is responsible for encouraging young adults who retain their junior membership to consider whether they wish to apply for full membership.
To maintain and nurture a spiritual relationship as well as to discern each individual’s intentions and needs regarding that relationship, the committee contacts absent local Friends periodically—by phone, mail, email, or in person. Tact and a gentle, loving manner are important in any communications with Friends who have become inactive in our Meeting. The committee communicates in a similar manner with members who have moved away from Ann Arbor. Where a Friends meeting or church exists in the area in which a non-resident member of Ann Arbor Meeting has moved, our clerk, with the assistance of the committee, will make contact to encourage that meeting or church to extend a welcome and invitation to our member there. The committee will not assume that this correspondence results in a compatible association, and will continue to maintain periodic contact with our member as long as there remains a membership tie. Correspondence from out-of-town Friends should be placed in their membership file and shared with the Meeting in an appropriate manner. As the monthly meeting is primarily a faith community for worship, Friends who have become active in a meeting or church near their new home should consider whether the time has come to transfer their membership there. In like manner, the committee can invite members of other meetings who are now active in Ann Arbor Meeting to consider transferring their membership here.
The committee schedules greeters for meeting for worship and coordinates activities for newcomers and those interested in learning more about Friends; these include a series called “Understanding Quakerism: Information Series for Seekers.” It also oversees outreach beyond the Meeting. Members of the Committee are available to discuss questions about Quakerism, the Meeting, and membership. Finally, the committee initiates special events or procedures to increase the fellowship and sense of community within the Meeting.
Committee Membership Term: One-year renewable for members and attenders. At least some of the persons on the committee should be members of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting.
Convener: Cassie Cammann and Naomi Gilbert