Attender: A person who worships regularly with Quakers but has not joined the Religious Society of Friends.
Birthright Member: – Friends born of Quaker parents and recorded at birth on a monthly meeting’s membership roll.
Centering: Focusing on the Inner Light during worship.
Clearness Committee: A group of Friends appointed or selected to assist a person or the meeting to clarify a decision or concern.
Clerk: Quaker meetings and churches use clerks to oversee the inner workings of the meeting.
Concern: When a Quaker feels a religious compulsion to act in a certain way based on a ‘leading of the Spirit’ it is described as ‘having a concern’. Concerns are task-related, not life-long, and when the task is completed the concern is laid down.
Continuing Revelation: The belief that God still speaks to persons directly today.
Convener: The chairperson of a committee.
Convincement: a discovery of Truth, as in “Quaker by convincement.” It is used to describe anybody who joins the Society as opposed to being born into a Quaker family.
Elder: One who is concerned with the spiritual life of the Meeting and the well-being of its members.
Faith and Practice: Although Quakers do not have a creed, Faith and Practices are adopted by yearly meetings to explain the workings of the Spirit as experienced by Quakers and explain practice for membership, marriage, death, etc.
First Day: Sunday. Early Quaker refrained from using the pagan-based names for the days of the week and months. Overall, most Friends have stopped using these terms except within the meeting.
First Day School: Sunday School.
FCNL, Friends Committee on National Legislation: Quaker lobbying office in Washington, DC.
FGC, Friends General Conference: umbrella organization of mostly unprogrammed Quaker yearly meetings and individual meetings throughout the United States.
FUM, Friends United Meeting: umbrella organization of evangelical Friends meetings/churches.
FWCC, Friends World Committee on Consultation: umbrella organization that loosely ties all Quaker groups together, and sponsors occasional world gatherings of Friends.
Leading: a prompting, thought to be received from the Spirit.
Meeting: This term is used in diverse contexts and can be confusing. It can refer to the actual worship service, or a gathering of Friends for business and administrative matters, or to the Quaker body as a whole (as in Milwaukee Friends Meeting).
Meetinghouse: the place where Quakers gather for worship.
Ministry: the term for the Divinely inspired words a person gives when they speak during meeting for worship.
MFM: Milwaukee Friends Meeting.
MM: Monthly Meeting: a local Quaker meeting.
NYM, Northern Yearly Meeting: supports meetings in WI, MN, Upper MI and holds an annual session over Memorial Day weekend.
Plain: Early Quakers adopted Plain Speech and Plain Dress to indicate their belief in equality and integrity. Although both are still in use, neither are commonly used.
Programmed: descriptive term for a meeting or church with an order of service and led by a pastor. Milwaukee Friends Meeting is unprogrammed.
Queries: Prompting questions to help Quakers to evolve spiritually. It forms part of the Faith and Practice.
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers): the correct title of the organization to which Friends/Quakers belong.
Unprogrammed: Quakers originally eschewed ministers as interfering with direct experience of the Divine. Milwaukee Friends Meeting is unprogrammed.
YM, Yearly Meeting: an organization of monthly meetings often regionally close together. A yearly meeting is comparable to a diocese, except without as much structure or doctrine.
Young Friends: Quakers who are children, youth, and young adults.