How do Quakers…?

16 September 2021 - 6 December 2021

From: £0.00

A series of sessions answering questions about Quakers and Quaker practice. If you’ve ever wondered why Quakers do a certain thing in a certain way, this is a perfect chance to discuss it with others led by an expert on the topic. These sessions are particularly useful if you’re new to Quakers and want to explore more but they will be helpful for everyone in understanding the Quaker way.

Scroll down for more information on the individual sessions. Tick ‘add’ by the sessions you would like to book, enter the amount for each that you feel led to pay and click on the ‘book this course’ button at the bottom of the page.

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This course will involve:

Live discussion

Accessibility info:

On the booking form, there is a chance for you to let us know about any accessibility or communication adjustments that will enable you to participate more fully in the course. Closed captions for live sessions may be available upon request; please contact us directly in addition to booking if you require closed captions.

How Does Unprogrammed Quaker Worship Work?

THURSDAY 7 OCTOBER 19:00-20:30 (UK TIME)

In theory, anything can happen in unprogrammed Quaker worship. We listen in silence and God leads us wherever God wants us to go. In practice, meeting for worship can look very similar every week – an hour of silence, into which a few people might offer some careful words. In this session, we’ll explore the unwritten and sometimes secret guidelines which shape unprogrammed meeting for worship. We’ll consider which of those guidelines are really about doing meeting for worship well, which help us connect with each other and the Spirit (however we understand that), and which are accidents of the culture in which Quakers exist. We’ll address tricky areas of protocol, from lateness to predictable ministry, and there will be space for you to share your experiences and questions with the group.

How Does Quaker Membership Work?

WEDNESDAY 20 OCTOBER 19:30-21:00

One way to belong to a Quaker community is by being a member. Membership brings with it particular joys and responsibilities. This session will offer an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of membership both to individual Quakers and Quaker communities, as well as giving an overview of the Quaker membership process. All Quakers – members, attenders and those considering applying for membership – are welcome to take part. (We will not have time to discuss the future of Quaker membership, although this is an important conversation.)

When Should I Speak in Meeting For Worship?

TUESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 19:00-20:30 (UK TIME)

Speaking into the silence of unprogrammed meeting for worship can be daunting. There’s the theory, that we speak when we are led to do so, and then there’s the messy reality of working out what’s really a leading and what comes from our own desires. There are the general guidelines about giving spoken ministry (speak only once in a meeting, try and be brief, and so on) and the cases where it doesn’t seem possible to follow them. And there are the touchy areas – expressing beliefs which not all Quakers will agree with, sharing something intensely personal, or getting a negative reaction after making yourself vulnerable by speaking in the first place. In this session we’ll have space to explore these issues and for you to raise any experiences or questions which are on your mind.

How Do Quakers Make Decisions?

MONDAY 6 DECEMBER 19:00-20:30

The Quaker decision-making method brings together unprogrammed worship based on silence with the need to make informed decisions which have the support of the community. It is both distinctive and flexible, being used by large and small groups, to discern spiritual and practical questions. And it can be difficult to understand. How does a group sitting in silence actually make a decision? How do questions get put to the community? What is the role of the clerk? Who has more or less power in this situation where the theory says that everyone is to be heard equally? This session will provide an opportunity to ask whatever questions you have about the process, whether you’ve been involved in using it or not, and to share different experiences.

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