Being a Quaker Community of Witness and Welcome
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Quakers have a treasure to share with the world – the liberating power of following the promptings of love and truth in our hearts. How do we make this treasure known to those who have never heard of Friends? How do we welcome people who seek this treasure when they arrive at our meeting house doors?
This course aims to reframe how we think about ‘outreach’. We will not ask how we can get more ‘bums on seats’ or find more people for the flower rota. Instead, asking how we can warmly welcome those who seek us so that our Quaker communities confidently witness to the power of the Quaker discovery.
This course is structured around 5 questions across 5 weeks:
- Why do we want new people anyway?
- What do newcomers experience in our meetings?
- How do we set ourselves free to be truly inclusive?
- What is the point of your Meeting?
- How do we talk about Quakerism in a way that actually helps newcomers?
Each week will have video and audio resources exploring the topic and lively discussion forums – some weeks will include guest speakers. We will also have two live sessions via Zoom:
- Wednesday 16th September from 7:30 to 9 pm (UK time)
- Wednesday 7th October from 7:30 to 9 pm (UK time)
This course is a collaboration between Quaker Life and Woodbrooke.
Mark Russ is Woodbrooke’s Nurturing Friends and Meetings Tutor and coordinates the Equipping for Ministry programme. Mark began worshipping with Quakers in his late teens, and spent his twenties teaching music to all ages in London. He recently gained a MA in Systematic and Philosophical Theology with Distinction from the University of Nottingham. He is interested in how the Bible can be a source of Spirit-led learning. On his blog jollyquaker.com he writes useful theology from a Christian and Quaker perspective, and you can read his thoughts on outreach here https://jollyquaker.com/2016/02/28/can-we-find-a-better-word-for-outreach/
Alistair Fuller is head of the Ministry and Outreach team at BYM. His work focuses on helping seekers to discover Quakers and on nurturing and supporting Quaker communities. He has long experience of working and worshipping in a variety of churches and faith communities and is especially interested in new and emerging ways of believing and belonging and new models of community. He believes in the power of stories as a way of sharing our experience and deepening our relationships.
Jon Martin is Communications Manager at Woodbrooke and was responsible for digital outreach and advertising in his previous role with Quakers in Britain. He teaches for Woodbrooke on outreach and digital communications in a Quaker context. Jon’s areas of interest are online community, politics, and modern expressions of Quakerism.
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