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 (can come any day; some might only attend Thursday or Friday)

We gather in God's presence, turning our souls' attention to the transforming power of Spirit, letting the giver of true life rise in our hearts and lead us in the way of truth and peace.

Workshop Description

We meet for worship in waiting stillness, in openness and trust, turning our souls to the Light, with the simple desire to reach the source of our joy, our peace and our power.

In worship, we enter the garden where we behold again the Tree of Life, where  our souls are restored to the fulness of our communion in the Spirit. There we gain access to the instruction, the nourishment and the strength that is our birthright,  as beloved children of the giver of life. When we worship “in Spirit and Truth” (John 4:24) as early Friends showed us, we are given access to the love and wisdom that were forever planted in the ground of our existence, to the divine vine from which our branches receive their life and our fruits receive their flavor, to the the first motion of goodness still beating in our souls.

Come! Come to the joyful wedding, come again to the exuberant banquet! Come and partake in the wondrous miracle of being gathered under the  luminous tent. Come and have your rest, and allow yourself to enter the joyful home where freedom and wholeness are yours.

Some of our hopes and expectations for daily extended meeting for worship are:

- To offer a meeting place for Friends at the Gathering who seek unmediated, intimate communion with the Divine
- To give Friends an opportunity for collective spiritual devotion, free from the time strictures usually present around corporate worship in modern days
- To provide a grounded, centering space, where any Friend present at the Gathering may retreat for spiritual nourishment and solace during morning workshop hours
- To 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
- To 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
- To 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. Most importantly, I am a seeker after the true waters of Life. I cherish worship, as a privileged place for the transforming encounter with truth, the searing and healing, personal and eternal, truth that sets us free. During the week, I see my role simply as that of a host and a housekeeper, 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.