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Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

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Contents page

iv: organization of the society

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organization of the society

pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.


 The Monthly Meeting is the basic unit of organization of the Religious Society of Friends. Individuals hold membership in the Monthly Meeting, and that is where the responsibility resides for pastoral care, religious education, and worship.

 The members of Monthly Meetings also constitute Yearly and Quarterly Meetings. A typical Yearly Meeting encompasses several Quarterly Meetings, each of which includes a number of Monthly Meetings. Pacific Yearly Meeting has two Quarterly Meetings: College Park Quarterly Meeting and Southern California Quarterly Meeting. It also includes several Monthly Meetings that are not part of a Quarterly Meeting.†

 The names of these assemblies reflect how often they meet, not a hierarchy of authority. The Monthly Meeting is at the core. Quarterly and Yearly Meetings are organized to explore and realize common purposes of Friends and the Monthly Meetings to which they belong. The work of the Yearly Meeting is done largely in its committees, and corporately at its annual gathering. Friends who attend the gathering do not participate as instructed delegates, but as a group of Friends whose views may well reflect the diverse views of the Yearly Meeting as a whole.

 There are over 80 Yearly Meetings across the globe. While many share joint undertakings and communication among them is treasured, there is no super organization of them all. At each year’s annual gathering, Pacific Yearly Meeting prepares an “Epistle to Friends Everywhere” for distribution, and reads excerpts from the many such Epistles it has received.

† Honolulu, Big Island, Mexico City and Guatemala.