After an interviewing a number of highly qualified candidates, Friends General Conference is very pleased to welcome Rachel Ernst Stahlhut into the role of Spiritual Deepening Program Coordinator. Rachel is returning to FGC after having served as the consultant for QuakerQuest and the Grow Our Meetings resources. She brings to this work a background in teaching, workshop facilitation, program coordination, and curriculum design. Rachel travels in the ministry among Friends with a concern for accompanying meetings toward greater connection, depth, and energy in their worship and their community. She will work from her home office in Cincinnati, where she is a member of Community Friends Meeting.
The Spiritual Deepening Program is a response to the hunger expressed by many Friends for more opportunities and resources to support their quest for a deeper relationship with the Spirit and one another. Through the rich materials developed for this program, Friends can enliven their understanding of Quaker faith and practice through texts and stories, individual reflection, group sharing, and both individual and group practices. An online component of the program offers these opportunities to isolated Friends, newcomers, and individuals who are interested in exploring and going deeper into the Quaker Way.
A broad range of Friends and newcomers who participated in the pilot project during summer 2015 expressed enthusiasm about the program and appreciation for the vital resources, diverse activities, and opportunities to share, grow, and explore one’s own spirituality and practice with a group of Friends.
Friends General Conference is deeply grateful for the hundreds of Friends and newcomers who have been involved in the initial consultations and who contributed to the design of the Spiritual Deepening Program. Friends in yearly meetings which have spiritual formation or similar programs have been generous in sharing their experience. We would like to especially thank the 40 individuals from 16 yearly meetings who have participated directly in creating materials. All this work has been skillfully and faithfully coordinated by Christen Clougherty who has served as consultant to the program during the development phase.
The Spiritual Deepening Program will launch in August for all meetings.