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 2018 is available here.

As a first step in preparing the 2019 Frederick Friends Meeting report, Ministry & Counsel Committee is asking individuals and committees to consider a list of queries sent from BYM:

  • With fierce winds of political discord and violent expressions of hate swirling in the world around us, what does your community do to strengthen our attention to the Spirit in Meeting for Worship?
  • What do you do to strengthen the Quaker “roots” of your community?
  • There seem to be dueling forces among Friends. We recognize we can be a shining light and healing presence in troubled times, while on the other hand, we value our individual Meeting Community so much we can be unwelcoming to change or discordant voices. What is your meeting’s experience of this? Do you sense a tendency to avoid tension by not discussing differing points of view?
  • Is your Meeting a diverse community: racially, philosophically/politically, theologically? How is that expressed? In what ways?

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 January 20 at noon (that's this Sunday!), and on February 17 at noon, both at the meetinghouse. You may also send comments to [email protected]. An online survey will be sent out to the Meeting listserv soon as well.

In peace,
Isaac Smith
Clerk, Ministry & Counsel Committee