Nurture of the Meeting Community

All members share the responsibility to care for one another. They support each other’s spiritual journeys. They participate in the intimate joys and sorrows of life and its transitions including birth, marriage, and death. Members facing important decisions may receive counseling, as in the case of those contemplating marriage or those facing decisions about military service. During times of a member’s personal distress, the meeting responds with appropriate support, and, if needed, makes referrals to professional care-givers. A meeting also assumes responsibility for addressing special needs of the young and the elderly, as well as the needs of new and prospective members and of those at a distance. An important service is helping members resolve differences with one another.

Every Friends meeting is expected to evaluate regularly how well it nurtures members. If a meeting’s size or limited resources endanger the meeting’s integrity as a loving community, and its efforts to improve fail, the meeting may conclude it should merge with a neighboring meeting or divide into two meetings.