Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Becoming a Welcoming Friend

Learn more about becoming a Welcoming Friend to newcomers in your meeting

A Welcoming Friend is someone from a meeting who spends time getting to know newcomers, introducing newcomers to others in the meeting, and offering support, resources, and spiritual nurture as the newcomer explores Quaker worship, faith, and practices.

There are several key components in the process of deepening the spiritual life of our meetings. One is being intentional about responding to the needs of newcomers with grace. Another includes welcoming, guiding and supporting newcomers through the process of learning about Quaker faith and practice. In addition, it is important to offer opportunities for building meaningful connections within the meeting. Welcoming meetings are those that invite newcomers to learn about Quaker faith, processes and worship AND also to build connections and relationships with Friends in the meeting.

Many welcoming practices in meetings rely on individual Friends to serve as this bridge between newcomers and the meeting community.  The resources below are offered to support individuals stepping into this role of Welcoming Friend.  You'll find information to share with newcomers, queries for your own reflection, opportunities to go deeper, and next steps to support your meeting in becoming a community welcoming to all.

 

Photo credit: CC Image courtesy of WaywardShinobi on Flickr 

Welcoming Friends help newcomers learn how to encounter and go deeper into Quaker practice and faith and serve as a person of whom a newcomer might ask questions and from whom they might seek spiritual nurture.  

Welcoming Friends serve as a gateway for newcomers into a Quaker community, offering spiritual hospitality, helping build relationships, and attending to the varying needs of newcomers.

Welcoming Friends are aware of and sensitive to issues of bias, racism, and other divisions that can be barriers to full participation in our meetings and our society.

Welcoming Friends support the meeting community in warmly and effectively engaging newcomers.  For many newcomers, obtaining a working understanding of Quaker faith and practice requires immersion in a community that is spiritually grounded, open, and inviting.