Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Gathering Topic: Spiritual Nurture of Children and Intergenerational Meeting for Worship

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Sunday February 18, 9:45a: 

First Day School committee and Ministry and Counsel have scheduled a forum on Feb 18 to discuss the possible use of a Intergenerational Meeting for Worship to promote the spiritual nurture of children in our Meeting.

One of the queries regarding the Spiritual Nurture of Children in the NYM Faith and Practice is the following:

“How do we nurture in our children an understanding of the 
Divine and an understanding of the process of listening to 
the Spirit as they grow? “

Can the Meeting and the First Day School do a better job of communicating this aspiration to our children and offer guidance to begin the journey?

Let’s consider one aspect of our attempts at spiritual nurture: exposure to Meeting for Worship. We’ve tried having the children join the adults for 15 minutes, either at the beginning or at the end Meeting for Worship. Many adults have expressed appreciation for the presence of the children and most accept a little extra noise and fidgeting, but what are the children getting from the experience?

Our most recent practice of joining Meeting at 12:00 limits class time to, at most, 45 minutes. Subtract time for late arrivals, time for greetings and check-in, and introduction of the lesson plan and there’s not much left. We frequently observe that the classes are just starting to hit their stride when they need to stop and join Meeting. 

When they arrive in Meeting there may be 15 minutes of silence or one or two messages that may or may not speak to the children’s experience. It’s very rare for one of the children to contribute vocal ministry.

The First Day School committee is concerned that our current practice diminishes the effectiveness of FDS classes and that we could do a better job of facilitating the experience of worship in our children.

What if the children were able to spend a full hour with parents and other adults?

See the related resource "Family Meeting for Worship in the Monthly Meeting - by Christel Jorgenson"

Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 9:45am
Meetinghouse - downstairs
United States