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Quaker Organizational Structure

Peachtree is a Quaker Worship group. A Worship Group is a small gathering of Friends that meet regularly but do not yet feel ready to become a formal Meeting. Sometimes a Worship Group is a sub-group of a previously established Meeting. A Worship Group can also be independent. Peachtree is currently independent.

A formal Quaker Meeting is sometimes called a Monthly Meeting. The term "monthly" is used because it meets every month to answer Queries and conduct business. Several Monthly Meetings are organized into Quarterly Meetings. A Quarterly Meeting meets four times a year when appointed representatives (and other interested Friends) gather to do business. The queries provided by the Monthly Meetings are also reviewed and summarized. Every year Quakers will congregate in a Yearly Meeting. At the Yearly Meeting level, business is done and the Queries from the Quarter are summarized into their final form.

For many Quakers, the Yearly Meeting is the highest-level structure. Yearly Meetings typically publish a “Book of Discipline” (sometimes called “Faith and Practice”). This document identifies theological understandings and codifies business procedures.

Some Yearly Meetings are part of a larger body. This higher organization can range from loose affiliations to very close legal connections.