Please check us out
To find out what being a member of our meeting means, click this link: On Being a Member of Central Philadelphia Friends Meeting.
We seek to be a welcoming community to all people regardless of their race or ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or social situation, and we invite everyone to worship with us and to participate in our community life, whether they are members or not.
Once you’ve come to know our community and to know the faith and practice of Friends, we hope you will feel led by your inner Guide to apply for membership in the meeting. Membership means more than just taking on responsibilities for the life of the meeting and inviting the meeting’s nurture and support in your life, especially your spiritual life.
For membership resources, click here.
Why join Central Philadelphia Meeting?
Joining a Quaker meeting is a little like getting married. Becoming a member changes you inwardly much the same way that getting married does. And it changes your relationship with the meeting and with the other members of the community much as getting married changes your relationship with your spouse and with your friends and other relations.
Inward transformation. This is hard to express. There is something about the declaration and commitment of membership that transforms your identity, your sense of yourself, your sense of who you are. It somehow makes you feel more whole, more expanded as a person while at the same time more rooted. This runs deeper than just a sense of alignment with the community’s values.
Community. Although we each identify with different aspects of the Quaker tradition, with its history, faith, and practice, and with its people, still there is something deep and meaningful that we all feel in common, however hard it is to express. We become members one of another, as the apostle Paul said (Romans 12:5); we come to know each other in the things that are eternal, as early Friends expressed it. This runs deeper than just loving the society of good, like-minded people. The spiritual dimension of this relationship comes blazing to the fore in what we call the gathered meeting for worship, when we feel the covering of the Holy Spirit over the gathering and share with each other a sense of presence to each other that transcends all understanding, a profound sense of unity infused with joy. But this feeling is also there in some subtle way outside of the experience of gathered worship.
Spiritual support. And of course, as a religious community, we seek to nurture each other in the life of the Spirit. We try to do this for everyone in the community, not just for those who hold formal membership. But as members, we try to be the spiritual nurturers, as opportunities and our own gifts allow.
Reality check. This rosy picture is not always true, of course. It’s not necessarily true for everyone, and it is not necessarily true all of the time or for all of one’s life. Sometimes couples divorce, and sometimes members find they are members no longer in the inward ways that matter. But it’s safe to say that it’s true for most of us and for a lot of the time, and this identity and this immersion in religious fellowship, are deeply fulfilling for those who seek and find it, in ways that are unique to the Quaker way. We are constantly striving to transform ourselves to become a more loving, compassionate, inclusive, and anti-racist community.
Joy. Meanwhile, we have a lot of fun, we laugh a lot, and we know real joy in each other's presence.
To learn more about what membership in this community means, we invite you to read On Being a Member, which you can download using this link, which is the same as the link above.
How to apply for membership
If you want to apply for membership, or to learn more about the process, click this link for our Guide to Becoming a Member. It will take you to a web page with more detailed information about how to apply.
If you would like to speak to someone about membership in the meeting, email the meeting office at office[at]cpmm[dot]org. or call 215-241-7260. The meeting secretary will put you in touch with the committee.
If you think we might be your new spiritual home, we would love to hear from you.
Want to change your membership status?
Please email or call us if you want to change your membership status—
- if you are moving or for some other reason you want to transfer your membership to another meeting;
- if you will be staying with us for a while but expect to return to your home meeting after a time, and you want to become a sojourning member; or
- you wish to terminate your membership.
- A Guide to Becoming a Member of Central Philadelphia Meeting—an introduction to the process for applying for membership.
- On Being a Member of Central Philadelphia Meeting—a guide to what membership in the meeting means, the responsibilities of the meeting to its members and of its members to the meeting.