How long does it run?
Faithful Meetings is a 9 month program. The first gathering is a full weekend retreat. The following 7 will be half-day gatherings. The final gathering will be a full day retreat.
What is the process for a meeting to engage in Faithful Meetings?
Begin by sharing the introductory slideshow with folks in your community. (It works best if you click on “slideshow” in the upper right corner, have your volume on and then click through the slides at your own pace.)
Once a good number of folks have seen the slideshow and are interested, you can invite the Faithful Meetings facilitator to schedule a visit to share more information and answer your questions.
When your community is ready to move forward, we will provide you with a set of queries for the community to discern and respond to together. Each community will discern at its own pace. This discernment will take a minimum of 2 or 3 months.
If your community and Faithful Meetings shares a sense that we should move forward, we can work together to create a schedule to bring the program to your community.
What is the cost?
We are anticipating between $100 and $200 per person as the standard rate. Thanks to a generous grant from the Shoemaker Foundation, we are able to offer a reduced rate of $50 per person for 2022. It is for the meeting to discern the size of their community and the number of people they anticipate will participate.
Additionally, the Friends community will cover the travel expenses of the FM facilitator and her elder.
It may also be necessary for the Friends community to purchase tech equipment to enhance in-person/on-line gatherings.
What if a meeting or worship group can’t afford the full cost?
We will gladly work with you to explore options. We feel strongly that we don’t want cost to be an obstacle for any community.
Is any meeting too big or too small for Faithful Meetings?
Faithful Meetings will work with any size Friends meeting or church.
What does Faithful Meetings teach?
Faithful Meetings will provide opportunities for Friends meetings to explore Quaker faith and practices from a variety of perspectives. Each Friend and each community will do their own discernment about what they believe and what unites them.
Who is it for?
Any Friends meeting or church that desires to grow in spiritual depth and emotional intimacy and is ready to do the inner work necessary for growth.
We already have small spiritual formation/faithfulness groups. Why would we need FM?
Well, maybe you don’t. But maybe your already established small groups could be incorporated into the structure of the program allowing greater intimacy among the entire community while exploring Quaker faith and practices.
I want this but my meeting doesn’t. What can I do?
Pray about it. Seriously. Hold your community and your yearning in the Light. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in what you need from your meeting and what you have to bring to it.
Could several meetings do this together?
Probably not but we are open to talking about it with you. We would only consider this if the meetings are small and connected through a larger community like a quarterly or yearly meeting.
Where does this take place?
The Faithful Meetings facilitator and her elder will travel to the meetinghouse for the opening weekend retreat. After that, the facilitator will work with the meeting by Zoom or other on-line space. The meeting community will meet either in-person in the meetinghouse or in-person and on-line as works best for them.
What about technology?
The meeting will need to have internet access in the meetinghouse along with a way to connect with Zoom, a good camera and microphone, and a large monitor or a projector and screen. The specifications for each of those elements will vary, depending on the meeting space. It will also be useful for individual members to have the ability to get on-line in order to access the supplemental materials. If individuals do not have internet, the meeting will need to arrange to have materials printed for/provided to them.
My schedule is already full. How much of my time would Faithful Meetings require?
Faithful Meetings is designed to be accessible to everyone in a community. We felt strongly that it is important for every person to participate as much or as little as they have time for. With this in mind, know that you can commit to what you are able and drop in to the other parts as your schedule allows. Here’s how much time the different parts of the program will take:
- Opening retreat
- Full weekend–Friday evening through Sunday afternoon
- 7 monthly whole community gatherings
- Half day each month
- Small spiritual formation groups
- 2-3 hours (depending on size) per month
- Spiritual practice
- Whatever each individual feels led to commit to
- Supplemental materials
- Minimum 5 minutes each week