The following resources explain some of the forms of communication written on behalf of a traveling Friend, and written communication from the meeting he or she is visiting.
Letters of Introduction
A “letter of introduction” is a communication signed by the clerk of a monthly meeting that identifies the person who is traveling as a Friend or regular attender in good standing.
Minutes of Travel
A “travel minute” is a formal document from a monthly meeting on behalf of a Friend, indicating that the bearer has the recommendation of the meeting.
Minutes of travel usually:
- Send greetings to Friends being visited
- Ask those Friends to give loving care to the visiting Friend
- Confirm that the visiting Friend is a member of the meeting and has the approval of the meeting to travel in the ministry
- Introduce the Friend and the reason for the travel
- Affirm the gifts of the traveling Friend
- Close with a prayer that the travel is blessed
A minute of travel is endorsed by the clerk with approval of the meeting. If the Friend is traveling extensively outside of the yearly meeting, it is also appropriate for the letter to be approved by the quarterly meeting and signed by its clerk, and then by the yearly meeting and signed by its clerk.
Endorsements from Meetings
When a meeting receives a visitor who holds a travel document, it is the job of the clerk or of a designated Friend to endorse the document.
An endorsement includes a few sentences written at the bottom of the letter.
If the document is a letter of introduction, the clerk may use the endorsement to send return greetings to the visiting Friend’s meeting.
If the document is a travel minute recommending a Friend and their ministry, the clerk may use the endorsement to:
- Send back greetings to the visiting Friend’s own meeting
- Comment on the visit
- Explain how the visit was received by Friends
- Report on the faithfulness of the traveling Friends to their work, to God, and to their meetings
Endorsement is one way of holding the traveling Friend accountable for the right use of his or her gifts.
Clearness Committees – What They Are and What They Do
Supporting Spiritual Gifts & Ministries
Resources for Fostering Vital Friends Meetings
THE CALL, a play by Charlotte Basham