Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Welcoming Friends: Encourage the Whole Meeting to Practice Authentic Welcoming

photo credit: Mike Goren
Meeting Resource

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.

Queries for Reflection:

  • What can we do, as a meeting and as individuals, to build connections with newcomers and share a sense of belonging?
  • What new practices could we adopt that will provide an authentic welcome into an inclusive and diverse community?

Resources to Explore Together:

►  Spiritual Deepening Program

FGC's Spiritual Deepening Program seeks to deepen the life, worship, and witness of Quaker meetings and individuals by offering a process of rediscovering our Quaker roots, sharing and listening to spiritual stories, and exploring spiritual practices.  Spiritual Deepening in-person small groups and online eRetreats are designed for both Friends who have been around a while and to offer newcomers an opportunity to explore Quaker spirituality and to build relationships with Friends in a local meeting or online spiritual community.

►  Grow Our Meetings Toolkit

The Grow Our Meetings toolkit offers guidance and tools for Friends that want to deepen their own spiritual life, welcome new life into their meetings, consider what it’s like to be new in a meeting, and do outreach.

►  Quaker Meetings Toolbox

Here you will find a variety of materials to help your Quaker worship group or meeting fulfill its mission and ministry. This includes a toolbox on welcoming Newcomers.

►  You Are Welcome Here!: A Booklet of Learnings from QuakerQuest

The You Are Welcome Here! booklet (PDF) includes short articles describing welcoming and outreach, collected over seven years by QuakerQuest Travel Team volunteers. You’ll also find a facilitation guide for leading a 60-90-minute interest group about the You Are Welcome Here! booklet with people from your meeting.  The activities focus on discussing what it means to be welcoming, exploring the articles in the booklet, and discovering more good ideas and great practices that already work well in our meetings.

►  Transforming Quaker Welcoming Poster for Meetings

This downloadable and printable 11x17 inch poster suggests questions and conversation starters that can build relationships across differences and contribute to a more welcoming atmosphere for all.  Consider printing several copies for your meeting to hang in the meetinghouse, share in the newsletter, and launch a conversation about welcoming.

►  Welcoming Children and Families

To provide spiritual hospitality for families and children, meetings must offer opportunities for both adults and kids to build connection, find meaning, and learn about the Quaker way.