Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Women's Meetings
Women's monthly meetings; are, First, To inspect and relieve the wants of the poor of their own sex; and where their own funds are insufficient, they are to apply to the men's meeting for their aid, and for their concurrence, as cases shall require.
Second. To take cognizance of proposals of marriage, and appoint two of their members to inquire into the conversation and clearness of the woman; also two to the oversight of the marriage.
Third. They are to appoint a suitable number of overseers, who are to treat with offenders of their own sex; that their cases be laid before the women's preparative, and if needful their monthly meeting, which should proceed to deal further with such delinquents and report the result of their labours to the men's meeting; and if further dealing is expedient, the men should appoint a committee to unite with the women therein; the report of which joint committee is to be made to each meeting, and the women having considered the same, are to inform the men's meeting of their sense thereon, and the subject to be finally resulted by the men: but when a case is brought by the women into the men's meeting, if on solid consideration further dealing does not appear to be needful, and the men are most easy to issue it, a committee should be appointed to prepare a testimony of disownment, which, when approved, is to be sent to the women's meeting for their concurrence, and care in delivering it to the party. -- 1796.
Fourth. On application of a woman for admission or reinstatement into membership; after a religious care therein hath been exercised by women overseers, and in the preparative meeting as the case may require, the women's monthly meeting is to make an appointment to join the men, the report of which united committee is to be made to each meeting, and the women's meeting having considered the same, are to convey their sense thereon to the men's meeting, where the subject shall be considered and finally resulted.--1796.
Fifth. They are to join in certificates of removal for women Friends; in order whereto, the women's monthly meeting is to appoint two or more of their members to make the necessary inquiry, that the same may be prepared; and, after being considered in the women's, is to be laid before the men's meeting; and when there approved and signed, returned to the women's meeting for their signature; but if the certificate is intended to include one or more males, then they are to report the result of their inquiry to the Friends named on the like inquiry by the men's meeting; in which the certificate being approved and signed, is to be sent to the women's meeting for their concurrence and signing. And all certificates received for women Friends, are to be laid before the men's meeting, before they can be fully accepted by the women's meeting.
Sixth. When a woman minister apprehends herself under a religious engagement to travel in truth's service, she is first to spread her concern before the women's meeting, and if united with, the same is to be laid before the men's meeting, whose result is to be communicated to the women's meeting; to which, when a certificate for that purpose is prepared andsigned by the men's meeting, it is to be sent for their concurrence and signing. -- 1796
Seventh. When the nomination of a woman elder is judged expedient, the women's meeting should appoint a judicious committee, to join a like committee of the men's meeting in the consideration thereof; whose united report is to be communicated to each meeting; and the women's meeting, after due deliberation and previous to their making any conclusive minute thereon, are to impart their sense to the men's meeting for their judgment and determination.
Eighth. The women's preparative meetings where more than one constitute a monthly meeting, are to consider and answer the queries: which is likewise to be done in their monthly meetings; from which they are to report the state of each monthly meeting to their respective quarterly meeting; to attend which as their representatives, they should nominate two or more of their members. -- 1796