Members and attenders of Cincinnati Friends Meeting may request or be assigned a clearness committee for the following purposes:
- To discern becoming a member of the Meeting
- To discern marriage under the care of the Meeting
- To discern a personal or spiritual concern
- To discern recommending a minister for recording by Wilmington Yearly Meeting
- To discern a call to ministry
The clearness process is based on our experience that it is possible to listen for the Spirit’s leading, individually and communally, and that this listening will lead us to clarity. The purpose of a clearness committee is to discern the leading of the Spirit through mutual disclosure and listening; it should never be a test or interrogation.
Participation in another’s clearness committee should be undertaken as an act of love, held in confidence, and carried out with respect and humility. When we come with hearts and minds prepared, a clearness committee is often an extraordinary opportunity to catch God in action: to hear and see in another and to feel within ourselves the new work that God is bringing forth. Each clearness committee will be different and each meeting a different experience of God’s movement among us and in one another.
To request a clearness committee, an individual writes a letter to the Clerk of Cincinnati Friends Meeting, who then asks Ministry and Counsel to form a committee and name its clerk. In preparation, the clerk of the clearness committee may ask the focus person to write a brief statement about the matter which needs discernment.
Detailed information about clearness committees is available in the Cincinnati Friends Meeting Handbook.