New Meeting Toolbox
Welcome to the New Meetings “Toolbox”. Quaker worship groups and meetings are dynamic faith communities. It is wonderful that you are considering starting a worship group or meeting! Here you will find a variety of basic materials to help you in this spiritual endeavor. Many of these tools were developed by the FGC's New Meetings Project, which was active from 2012-2015. Other materials come from our affiliated yearly meetings.
One of the things that FGC's New Meeting Project (NMP) learned is that new meetings have a greater chance of vitality and growth if they follow the model below . This model is based on research of more than 35 newer meetings (formed 2002-2012) and our work with more than 20 new groups between 2012 and 2015. Factors in the model shown to be most effective include:
- Having a clear sense of vision and purpose for the new group
- Being grounded in Quaker faith and practice
- Gathering a support/anchor committee
- Meeting weekly
- Having deep, meaningful worship
- Having a regular meeting place (not somebody’s home)
- Holding a public “Meet the Quakers” gathering that lets the community know there’s a new Quaker group in town.
- Doing planned outreach
- Posting signage for their meeting
- Having newcomers materials specific to their meeting
Many of the tools in this toolbox address those issues. Some of these are very practical in nature while others will help you think through various issues as you approach this spiritual enterprise. Others are meant to help you think through some of the big questions -- "Is the time right to start a new group?" How many people are needed to get a group started?" "How do we let people know about our group?"
You may not need every “tool” in this toolbox – just as you don’t often need every tool in your home toolbox. Choose the ones you think best fit your situation and use them and leave the rest of the tools for a later time.
Please note that the New Meetings Project is no longer offering direct mentoring and one-on-one support to new meetings. The resources in this toolbox offer many of the materials that were developed by and used in the project.
Growing spiritually as a new meeting or worship group is vital to creating a vibrant, alive faith community. Growing spiritually brings Friends together in exploration, sharing, study, caring, and much more.
This section focuses on tender, but important topics.
These topics are related to the Quaker practice of Eldering, nurturing spiritual gifts, being sensitive to inclusion, and ending racism in our outreach and meetings.