Friends General Conference

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A Quaker community in Frederick, Maryland

Discernment on the Spiritual State of the Meeting

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Each year, Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) asks individual Meetings to prepare a statement of the spiritual condition of their Meeting over the past 12 months. BYM’s Ministry & Pastoral Care Committee collects these reports and uses them as the basis for the development of the Yearly Meeting’s Spiritual State of the Meeting report, which is presented to, considered by, and approved by the Yearly Meeting during Annual Session. Frederick Friends Meeting’s report for 2017 is available here.

As a first step in preparing the 2018 Frederick Friends Meeting report, Ministry & Counsel Committee is asking individuals and committees to consider a list of queries sent from BYM:

  • What are your greatest joys as a Meeting? What leadings does your Meeting feel most strongly? What challenges and troubles are you facing? In what ways is the Meeting less than you might wish it to be?
  • How does your Meeting nurture the spiritual life of members and attenders? How deep are your Meetings for Worship? Are Meetings for Business held in a spirit of worship?
  • Over the past year in our country we have become increasingly aware of those things that divide us rather than those that unite us. Many “isms” (e.g., racism, nationalism, ageism, sexism) and political-ideological issues (e.g., environment, social justice, women’s rights, refugee crisis, immigration, etc.) have come to the forefront. In this contentious environment, how has your meeting explored those issues that divide us and/or attempted to listen across the divide?

These queries are meant to be a starting point; they are not a rigid list of questions that must be answered, but a tool to help with the process of reflection. If Friends believe other queries better speak to our condition as a Meeting, we will focus on those instead.

Ministry & Counsel is collecting input in preparation for writing a draft report. As the first reading of the report will be at the March Meeting for Business, we would like to collect your thoughts on Sunday, February 11 at 9 a.m., and on Sunday, February 25, at noon, both at the Meeting House. You may also send comments to [email protected]. A online survey will be sent out to the Meeting listserv soon as well.