What is QuakerQuest?
QuakerQuest offers a model of outreach for Quaker meetings, inviting Friends to share the story of what it means to be a Quaker today in their local communities, in their meeting, and in their lives. The framework of QuakerQuest outreach is adapted to reflect the unique voice of each individual meeting.
In the process of preparing for QuakerQuest outreach, meetings often experience deep spiritual sharing and take steps toward being more welcoming and inclusive of newcomers. QuakerQuest can be a transformative experience for both long-time Friends and those newcomers stepping in the door for the first time. Often the simple act of thinking about welcoming newcomers, of getting ready to receive them, and of preparing to integrate them into the life of the meeting, will give new life to a meeting.
A meeting engaged in the QuakerQuest process participates in two workshops - the Full Day Workshop and the Half-Day Preparation Session - in preparation for hosting a series of public outreach events. For many meetings, getting ready for QuakerQuest outreach also sparks the development of inreach opportunities, new welcoming practices, improvements to the meeting house, and a strengthening of programming for children and families. Learn more about the QuakerQuest process.
What is Powerful about the QuakerQuest Experience?
- There is great power in storytelling. QuakerQuest encourages meeting members to share their beliefs and spiritual journeys with each other and as a form of public outreach. Listen to Friends from Albany Meeting reflect on sharing their faith stories with QuakerQuest (2.5 min video)
- The deep questions from QuakerQuest spark conversations and invite meetings to explore what it means to be a Friend to each other, to newcomers, and to Spirit. Hear Minneapolis Meeting's reflections on these questions and conversations (3 min video)
- The experiential nature of the QuakerQuest workshops allow Friends to take risks, have fun, consider new possibilities, feel energized, try new ways of being, and share joy. Because the whole meeting participates in QuakerQuest workshops and outreach sessions, not just a few individuals, the impact can be transformative.
- QuakerQuest encourages meetings to think creatively about publicity and becoming more known in their local communities. Check out some examples of Quaker meetings getting the word out!
- In addition to outreach, many Friends deeply long for grounded worship, deeper personal connections, opportunities for exploring their spirituality, and to respond to the needs of newcomers with grace and welcoming. Read about the ways that five meetings responded to their QuakerQuest experience to deepen the life of their meetings. (PDF)
- QuakerQuest workshops are grounded in possibility, optimism, and spiritual transformation. Friends leave the workshops feeling empowered to make changes and to envision a different future. Out of the Quaker Quest process, meetings and individuals have found that deep conversations and sharings have begun, faith has been deepened, connections with others in the meeting has been strengthened, and growth has happened—spiritually and, often, numerically.
- Experienced and skilled QuakerQuest Travel Team visitors accompany meetings through the QuakerQuest process and offer new perspectives, deep questions, and a ministry of presence. Invite a Travel Team pair to facilitate QuakerQuest with your meeting.
- After over 100 workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada, the QuakerQuest community has collected a wealth of shared knowledge about how meetings have addressed concerns or implemented creative solutions around outreach campaigns, strategies for welcoming newcomers, and ideas for building spiritual community. The You Are Welcome Here! booklet shares some of these great ideas around becoming welcoming communities.
How can my meeting get started?
At this time, Friends General Conference is not scheduling any future QuakerQuest workshops. However, a do-it-yourself guide for leading QuakerQuest in your meeting will be available in Fall 2015. Check back soon!