That of God in everyone

Free Woodbrooke Training

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Woodbrooke is offering a series of free Training sessions in Quaker Basics which you may wish to sign up for

More information and booking options are available on their site

How Do Quaker Meetings Work?
What is a Local Quaker Meeting and what does it do? In this session we will explore the basic unit of British Quaker organisation, the local meeting, usually a congregation who hold a public meeting for worship regularly in a specific place. We will look at the things local meetings are expected to do formally – the things listed in ‘Quaker faith & practice’ and requested of local meetings by other meetings – and the things local meetings are expected to do informally. We will ask what is necessary to a local meeting and what is optional. In the session, there will be a mix of explanation and teaching, including describing how technical terms are used in the Quaker community, and time for discussion, including space for you to bring your own questions. Suitable for those new to the Quaker community and more experienced Quakers thinking about improving our structures.

How Does Unprogrammed Quaker Worship Work?
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?
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.