in meeting participation due to death, relocation, and
other causes sometimes make it necessary to “lay a meeting down.” The
Meeting itself, or the Quarterly Meeting to which it belongs, may initiate
this process. In either case the termination of a
Monthly Meeting should be carried out thoughtfully, respectfully,
and with due regard for the good order of Friends.
a Quarterly Meeting is aware of significant problems which may warrant
laying a Meeting down, or if a Monthly Meeting
requests clearness about its status, the Quarterly Meeting should
appoint a visiting committee to clarify the situation. The committee
should be prepared to serve in this capacity over a period of many
months, if necessary. If the Monthly Meeting is not part of a
Quarterly Meeting, the Ministry and Oversight Committee of the
Yearly Meeting should appoint the visiting committee. The visiting
committee reports its recommendation to the Quarterly (or Yearly)
Meeting for approval.
committee should consider the Meeting’s viability
based on size and activities over the preceding year or two, the
frequency and depth of its Meeting for Worship, its ability to
conduct business and care for its members, and the strength of its
work in the wider community.
a Meeting is laid down, members must decide whether they wish to
continue as a Worship Group under the care of a
neighboring Monthly Meeting. If so, they should ask that Meeting
for its oversight. Individuals may transfer their memberships to
the overseeing Meeting or a different Meeting according to the
any case, another Monthly Meeting should be prepared to welcome Friends
and attenders from the laid down Meeting and to
accept their memberships. Both Monthly Meetings should be
involved in all discussions prior to the actual laying down.
Quarterly (or Yearly) Meeting Ministry and Oversight Committee is
responsible for overseeing both the details and the
process of laying down a Meeting. The Oversight Committee must
be confident that minute books, membership and other records,
financial assets and real property have been properly accounted for.
Records may be deposited in the Yearly Meeting archives or with the
Quarterly Meeting. All the Meetings concerned should participate
in decisions on these matters.