Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Daily Extended Meeting for Worship

Workshop Number: 
Jorge Arauz
Who may register?: 
Open to All (adult & high school)
Experiential Activities: 
part time-attenders welcome

We worship. Gathered in God's presence, we put ourselves in the loving care of the Spirit, the giver of true life, peace, and understanding.

Workshop Description

We meet for worship in waiting stillness, in openness and trust, turning our souls to the Light, with the simple desire to enjoy our unity with the divine and receive the nourishment that our souls require. When we worship “in Spirit and Truth” (John 4:24) as early Friends showed us, we pay attention to the ground of our existence, to the living center of our yearning and our search, to the divine vine from which our branches receive their life and our fruits receive their flavor, to the movement of Love that is our first motion. Come! Come to the joyful wedding, come to the exuberant banquet! Come and partake in the wondrous miracle of a group of people gathered under the powerful cover of the Spirit, knitted a-new in the sweet and loving hands of the Creator.

Some of our hopes for our daily extended meeting for worship are to:
- Offer a meeting place for Friends at the Gathering who seek unmediated, intimate communion with the Divine
- Give Friends an opportunity for collective spiritual devotion, free from the time strictures usually present around corporate worship in modern days
- Provide a grounded, centering space, where any Friend present at the Gathering may retreat for spiritual nourishment and solace during morning workshop hours
- Nurture the emergence of a spiritual community, which can provide encouragement and support to Friends seeking to give sustained attention to God’s presence in their lives
- Provide an opportunity for us, today’s Friends, to savor the glory and power of Quaker worship which were felt centuries ago, when religious seekers after the Truth surrendered their human activity and gathered, their souls naked, in complete reliance and openness to the activity of the Light in their midst
- Be a community of devotion where the larger Gathering may be held in the Light during the week.

Leader Experience

I have facilitated many kinds of workshops and retreats in religious and secular settings. Still, I see my role as that of a simple host or convener, whose task is to prepare the space, welcome Friends, be present, and join them in God's presence. At times, an ad-hoc “care committee” has emerged from the worship community, with Friends who feel a particular call to participate in the care of the extended meeting for worship community. This committee would gather as needed to assess and identify ways to meet the needs of the community. This has been a precious source of support and counsel for my service through the week.