Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

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Friendly Practices

Overview: 

In this topic we will look at practices used by Friends meetings managing their business, by individuals asking for help in discerning their way forward, by couples wanting to marry under the care of a Friends meeting, by Friends seeking to witness to the world, and by small groups hoping to build community and deepen their spiritual life.  Each set of practices is a little different, but all share the same intent.  They create space in which listening is valued over speaking, unity is valued over winning, and the possibility of transformation is kept alive.  They remind us that if we submit to the Light, and stand steadfast in love, we can be part of the healing of the world.

For Facilitators: 

Successful facilitation creates opportunities for everyone to share and moves the group toward deep connection. Use these resources to learn more about leading a group through meetings for spiritual deepening.

Find course guides, videos, and other resources to plan your group's journey, create an inclusive space, and manage your time together.

Access resources for facilitators here.

Friendly Practices Exercises

e.g. for an hour and a half, enter "90"

Grounding

Readings for children that introduce them to Quaker discernment, worship, and ways of being together in community.

We are stewards of a powerful tradition. One that the world desperately needs.

 

 

Ground your work in scripture.

Quaker faith and practice can be compared and combined with a wide variety of other traditions such as Buddhism or ethical humanism. But we will find our deepest and fullest reasonaces with the biblical Christian traditions that nurtured early Friends and with the Jewish traditions that nurtured Jesus.

Ground your work in the voices of Friends.

Friends from George Fox to Bayard Rustin have written about Quaker faith and practice. What have Friends shared with us across the centuries?

Learn from Friends near and far through video and podcasts. From informational histories, to instructional guides, to deep ministry, we can use these media to learn more and build community.

A query is a question for reflection. Queries can be used in worship sharing, discussions, or to prompt journaling or art activities. 

Practicing

Activities like yoga, labyrinths, and mandalas are designed to help focus and calm the mind and body. Explore what happens in your mind and your body when you try simple yoga poses or use a finger labyrinth. 

30 minutes | All Ages | Newcomer Friendly

Take a visual approach to expressions of Friendly Practices by looking at and reflecting on images made by people exploring the topic. 

30 minutes | All Ages | Newcomer Friendly

Read The Knight and the Dragon, By Tomie De Paola, to consider what it takes to solve problems so everyone is satisfied.

45 minutes | Preschool (ages 3-5) | Newcomer Friendly

Young Friends can have their own Meeting for Business after reading the book Approved! A Story About Quaker Meeting for Business, by Nancy L. Haines.

45 minutes | Elementary (ages 6-11) | Newcomer Friendly

This lesson uses the book We’re Going to Meeting for Worship, by Abby Hadley, which focuses on Quaker Meeting for Worship, what it means to a young child, and his feelings about quiet, silence and listening.

30 minutes | Preschool (ages 3-5) | Newcomer Friendly

Practice mindful discernment with this simple task. 

30 minutes | All Ages | Newcomer Friendly

A simple exercise that brings an intergenerational group together to demonstrate how it feels to shift from negative, fearful feelings to more positive, constructive ones.

5 minutes | All Ages | Newcomer Friendly

Practice seeking to understand one another with this activity. 

30 minutes | Middle School and Up | Newcomer Friendly

Participants will role-play ordering lunch with two options.  They will experience different ways to make a decision, then name each and discuss which is the best choice to build community and good feelings.

15 minutes | All Ages | Newcomer Friendly

Practice threshing with real problems. 

45 minutes | Middle School and Up | Newcomer Friendly

Readings from Bill Taber and John Woolman help one evaluate her or his state of mind in Quaker activities.  Queries encourage reflection, and practices help in reaching and holding centeredness. 

30 minutes | Middle School and Up | Newcomer Friendly

This activity allows a participant to bring forth a real issue and a few others to sit with him/her and experience having a clearness committee about the issue.

60 minutes | Middle School and Up | Newcomer Friendly

Individual practices focusing on decision-making and spiritual discernment.

30 minutes | All Ages | Newcomer Friendly

Credits

Nancy Bieber (PhYM), Elise Hansard (BYM), Tony Lowe (PFYM), and Betsy Meyer (BYM) - Content Collaborators

Anne Collins (SCYM), Sally Farneth (PhYM), Susan Hopkins (PacYM), and Erika Mittag (SCYM) -- Materials for Children