Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Whole Community Meeting for Worship - Sun, Oct 21

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The 11:15 am worship this coming First Day (October 21) will be different from our usual un-programmed format. We’ve been talking about doing this for many months in general terms, but it may be helpful to know more about the specifics to help children (and adults) be more comfortable and able to participate more fully.

 Plan to arrive at the meeting room no later than 11:15.  Parents should bring children with them and sit together near the central space in the room. Quaker hymnals and a basket of fidgets for busy hands will be available from the greeter at the door and in the central space.  We will settle in silence for 2-3 minutes, and then after a brief welcome, we will sing  (a cappella) all verses of the George Fox song and one verse of Simple Gifts. Bookmarks in the hymnals will make it easy to find the words.

 After the singing we will settle into silence and then parents will quietly escort the children to sit in a circle on cushions for a Faith and Play story about Prayer and Meeting for Worship, led by Sita Diehl.  Parents may sit with their child if it makes the child more comfortable. Chairs in the meeting room will be arranged to enable adults to see the story being acted out with simple materials. Those in the back row may need to stand in order to see.   

 After the story we will ask several  “wondering questions,” one at a time.

  • I wonder what you like best about this story?
  • I wonder what seems most important to you about this story?
  • I wonder where you are in this story or what part is about you?

 Friends may respond out of the silence, as in worship sharing.    Remember to allow space for children to contribute.

 There will then be a period of waiting worship, after which Sita will end the Meeting for Worship with a handshake, as is our custom.

 Children may stay in the circle or go back to their parents, but families are encouraged to stay for introduction of visitors, Joys and Sorrows, and brief announcements to help children learn about our meeting community.

 Parents, please brief your children this week about what to expect from this semi-programmed worship. Anyone with questions may contact Randy, Sita, members of the First Day School committee or Ministry and Counsel.

 Randy Korda

Sita Diehl