Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Adult

Guidelines for Wondering with Adults

Most Friends are familiar with the use of queries and discussion questions in adult religious education settings but might not be accustomed to wondering with adults. All three tools are valuable, but sometimes one is more appropriate than the others for a given topic or setting. A mix of discussion questions, queries, and wonderings can add interest and depth to a session. Experience will help the facilitator know when to use which tool.

Query Method of Reading Scripture for Individual Reflection

This method is an adaptation of lectio divina, a method used for many centuries in the monastic Christian tradition. Below is an outline of this adaptation. Using this method takes about 15 to 30 minutes for an individual, or 30 to 50 minutes for a group. Groups should probably be no larger than a dozen people; divide as needed. If using this method with a group, a facilitator will need to be timekeeper and guide throughout the process.

Supporting and Nurturing the Quaker Parent

The Quaker Parenting Project, a working group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, has given birth to a range of programs that address the interests and needs of parents and add another focus for adult religious education. Programs of workshops, resources and discussion series now include: Parenting Creatively in a Quakerly Manner; Quaker Beliefs, Values, and Practices as Guides to Our Parenting; Raising Quaker Children in a non-Quaker World and Integrating Quaker Values into Family Life.

Adult Religious Education in Evanston (IL) Friends Meeting

Central to Evanston Meeting's approach to adult religious education has been finding a variety of ways to nurture new attenders and longtime members. As a meeting toward the larger end of the Quaker spectrum (around 60 to 70 worshipping on an average Sunday) it is important to find a variety of ways of entering and growing in the life of the meeting community.

 

You can use this resource and others to help support your meeting.

Retreats for Adults

 “I have long loved spaces that are quiet and apart . . .” So begins Fran Taber’s Pendle Hill pamphlet on personal retreats, Come Aside and Rest Awhile (see note 1, bottom of article). I sank into the living room sofa and relaxed into the cushions as Fran described her awareness of how important it is to have time for “retirement,” away from the stimulation of everyday life. But before I finished the first page, my ten-year-old daughter called me from the kitchen, needing help with her project on Olympic figure skating champion, Sarah Hughes.

Biblical Scholarship, Jesus, and Religious Education

What should Friends in the unprogrammed tradition teach about the Bible? About Jesus? I often hear these questions asked. Certainly, we should teach the classic narratives and poetry and the discursive passages which have spoken powerfully to people in every generation for thousands of years. The really big question, I believe, is not what to teach, but how. Friends have long said we should read scripture in that Light in which it was written. I believe this means reading prayerfully with deep honesty, integrity, and compassion, and with vulnerable humility.

Nurturing Women

Grass Valley Monthly Meeting in Northern California has been led to create a spiritually nurturing support group titled “Women in Transition as a Result of Aging. ”“Aging” means anyone who is getting older! The goals of the group are to hold one another as we share our joys, fears, and sorrows related to the changes in our lives which bring us to transitions. We are loosely organized using a rotating planning committee to plan our 9 AM to 3 PM Saturday sessions once every other month.

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