Worship Sharing Guidelines
Listening is a rare happening among human beings. You cannot listen to the words another is speaking if you are preoccupied with your appearance or with impressing the other, or are trying to decide what you are going to say when the other stops talking, or are debating about whether what is being said is true or relevant or agreeable. Such matters have their right place, but only after listening to the words as they are being uttered.
Listening is a primitive act of love in which a person gives himself of another’s word, making himself accessible and vulnerable to that word.
~Opening Doors to Quaker Worship, William Stringfellow
Worship sharing is worship while expressing our own experiences and listening to others, sometimes in response to a query, a series of questions, or a poem or image. Usually the group gathers in a circle and sometimes centers on an object such as a candle, a work of art, or an object from nature. We speak only from our own knowledge and experience.
Prior to worship sharing the leader should explain some guidelines, reminding the participants that sometimes what is shared is very personal, even painful, but always confidential.
Go around the circle and share names if the group is new in working together
Start with a period of silent centering then present the query, questions, poem, or image
Allow silence during and after each contribution
No-one is required to speak
Each contribution should be welcomed as a gift
Be aware of the needs of each person in the group
Everyone’s contribution is of equal value
Respect confidentiality, whatever is said in the group stays within the group
Be serious but not somber, laughter can make your group feel frivolous
Do not ask follow-up questions
End with handshakes or held hands or another gesture that feels appropriate and supportive
Suggested Queries for The Light, Seed, Christ Working in Us
Have you offered vocal ministry in meeting for worship? Do you consider it prophetic? Should it be? How would you know it is?
How can we create the conditions, in the form of daily disciplines and practices, that will make way for the "still small voice" to surface?
What is already present in our hearts and lives right now and how might Spirit be moving us to act?
What small steps can we take (or are we already taking)?
Who are the allies present in our midst who can support our journey?
A Friend said, “people of faith are required to take that faith and come to places of not-faith and live faithfully.” What does this mean to you? What is an example of it?
Have you ever had a mystical experience that has informed you to act?
What glimpses of “the holy” have been present in your life now?
In what ways might God/Spirit/the Divine currently being revealed to you through love?
How might you acting on that love open you to change/transformation/a deepening of authenticity?
Please share by posting either a written, video narrative, or illustrated response to one of the queries above.