Workshop Number: 27
Leaders: Jay Thatcher, Bob Ward, Kathy Miller
Who May Register?: Open to All
Worship/Worship-Sharing: 40%
Lecture: 5%
Discussion: 15%
Experiential Activities: 40%

Who May Attend?
half gathering attenders welcome

Half-Gathering Attenders Welcome:
First half (Monday-Wednesday)
Second half (Wednesday/Thursday-Friday)

Moving outdoors together has opened doors for our Meeting. Walking in a park and stopping to share reflections or ministry began and evolved through the seasons of pandemic. The outdoor setting flavors and deepens our worship. Friends will share this experience and consider other ways to flex Quaker worship forms.

Workshop Description

Moving outdoors together has opened doors for our local Meeting. Walking in a local park
and stopping to share reflections has happened every week through these seasons of pandemic. We have prevented spread of respiratory infections and developed our gifts in vocal ministry.

The gatherings feel like a cross between meetings for worship, worship-sharing and walking mindfully in nature. The outdoor setting flavors and deepens our worship and the ministry that flows from it.

We look forward to sharing several walking worship experiences and considering what else has been working well to keep Friends Meetings worshiping together. Participants should be ready to share in the ministry on our walks. All voices will be welcome to help the group experience the alternate worship modes that have helped your own meeting gather and experience Divine Presence.

We will share perspectives and find the flow of worship as we move in an outdoor setting. We hope to discover what happens together when we change Friends’ worship structure from sitting indoors to outside and open. With a new worship form and a new environment we can come awake to our heart’s experience. Is this an echo of the experience of Friends before the coming of religious toleration and the use of meeting houses? In the surrounding symphony of nature do we find a new stillness? Do we find more ministry, more listening, and more application of our lessons to daily lives?

The first three or four morning sessions will include an opening time of walking worship in the format Corvallis Friends have used for about three years:

  • Gather in silence
  • Walk silently for about ten minutes
  • Stop in a circle for vocal ministry and shared reflections
  • Return as we reflect personally

Following that, we plan time of Worship Sharing on the theme for that day.

Monday: What was my experience today? How did the vocal ministry affect me?

Tuesday: Whose land have we walked through? What people, animals and plants have lived here? In light of the usurpation by our dominant culture, what are we led to do, inwardly and out?

Wednesday: Water: Where does it come from? Where does it flow? How does it move through us?

Thursday: What forms of worship are happening in your Meeting? How has it changed during the pandemic? Have the rituals changed? Is there a way of holding worship that we’d like to try tomorrow?

Friday: queries or worship form to be chosen

Participants will need:

  • Walking shoes suitable graded pathways; any other mobility or support (walker, wheelchair, poles…)
  • To prepare for the variable weather, their preferences of raingear, umbrella, a hat with a broad brim, sun block
  • If desired, a light folding stool to carry along. We will have extras for people who can’t transport them.

Leader Experience

In addition to Willamette Quarterly Meeting, Jay and Bob have facilitated a hybrid annual session of the Willamette Valley LGBT chorus. Jay taught physical education in local schools for two dozen years and now leads immersion experiences for cyclists of many ages and levels. Bob has designed and led indoor and outdoor active-experiential workshops in forty countries, including FWCC EMES, QCEA and QUNO, Amnesty, Oxfam and EU outreach programs. Kathy has been drawn to worship in nature her whole life, on retreats, at Willamette Quarterly Meetings and in our weekly walking worship. She has worked most recently as a nurse with disabled students in local schools. She leads mainly by example, listening and attempting to see what love would do.

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