Faithful Meetings FAQ

How long does it run?

Faithful Meetings is a 9 month program.

  • Gathering 1: Opening retreat at the meetinghouse and online over a weekend
  • Gatherings 2-8: A half-day hybrid gathering each month
  • Gathering 9: Full-day hybrid gathering

What is the process for a meeting to engage in Faithful Meetings?

Begin by sharing the introductory slideshow and this website 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 an idea about the program and are interested, you can invite the Faithful Meetings facilitator to share the information session with your community.

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 can take anywhere from a month to a year, depending on what is going on in your community.

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 you.

What is the cost?

It costs School of the Spirit about $3500 to provide one meeting with the nine month Faithful Meetings program. We ask that meetings support this ministry by covering this cost. If you can’t afford this amount, please talk with Mary Linda McKinney. We do not want to exclude any meeting from participation due to finances!

Additionally, the Friends community will cover travel expenses for the FM facilitator and possibly her elder for the opening retreat.

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 cost should not be an obstacle to participation.

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 does not teach a particular theological orientation nor that there is a “correct” way to be a Quaker. Faithful Meetings provides opportunities for Friends to explore Quaker faith and practices by offering quotes and resources from a diverse selection of Friends both contemporary and historical. Each Friend and each community will do their own examination about what they believe and what they share.

Who is it for?

Any Friends meeting or church that desires to grow in spiritual depth and emotional intimacy.

If the entire community does not have the ability to commit, a smaller group within the community may do so. Faithful Meetings will gladly work with small groups of Friends who share the same meeting or church.

We already have small spiritual formation/faithfulness groups. Why would we need Faithful Meetings?

Well, maybe you don’t. It may be that your community has already created opportunities for the same kind of learning and growth that are offered by Faithful Meetings.

If the people in your community feel spiritually fed by your current spiritual formation groups, those groups could continue and be incorporated into the program. Groups that are more of a social gathering or book discussion group would not work for the purposes of Faithful Meetings.

I want this but my meeting doesn’t. What can I do?

Can you find a few others who would also like to participate? Faithful Meetings can work with groups of Friends within the same community when the entire community is not able to commit.

And if you can’t find others who would like to participate, pray about it. Seriously. Hold your community and your yearning in the Light. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to find what you need.

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 have a shared sense of community through a larger body 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 and the meeting can gather in-person and online, as individuals prefer.

For small groups who can’t afford to pay for travel, facilitation can be done completely by Zoom. The program was designed to be flexible to meet the needs of a variety of communities.

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 feel 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
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