The Advancement and Outreach Committee would like to encourage all Meetings to consider doing a Quaker Quest program at their Meeting. Quaker Quest is an exciting movement of the Spirit happening across the country and across Baltimore Yearly Meeting! Quaker Quest is a dynamic and transformative inreach and outreach process based on the experience that the Quaker way is a spiritual path for our time that is simple, radical, and contemporary. It was developed by twelve British Friends in 2002, who asked Friends General Conference (FGC) in 2007 to shepherd it in the US and Canada.
Already, six Meetings in BYM have taken the first step and held or have approved holding a Quaker Quest Full-Day Workshop: Annapolis, Carlisle, Sandy Spring, Little Britain, York, and Friends Meeting of Washington! Friends General Conference has been promoting Quaker Quest in this country and can help with already printed literature, trainings and support. One of the strong recommendations is that a Meeting doing the Quaker Quest sessions pays for some publicity which might be a hardship particularly for smaller Meetings.
FGC has some funds to help Meetings and the Advancement & Outreach Committee has some money in the 2011 budget to help Meetings. Please contact Walter Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org if your Meeting is thinking about doing Quaker Quest or wants to know more about it. Additional information is also available at www.fgcquaker.org/quakerquest. The Committee also can do a less involved program called “Inreach/Outreach” which can help a Meeting look at the communication, vitality, community, visibility and outreach of their Meeting. It is likely to be much shorter and less costly. Again please contact me if your meeting might be interested in that.
Annapolis Friends Meeting took the plunge in the spring of 2009 and offered a series of six public sessions. They discerned to offer the topics Quakers and Peace, Quakers and Simplicity, and Quakers and God/The Divine, repeating the series once. Some learnings from Annapolis’s experience, according to Barbara Thomas (clerk):
- Presenters dug deep to find the words to share their experience.
- We got to know one another in that which is eternal.
- Shy Friends found their words in greeting newcomers and we have much more vitality there–so it spilled over.
- Topics for “Meetings for Learning” grew from the Quaker Quest discussions, so our Adult Spiritual Ed was re-vitalized.
About two to nine seekers attended each of their sessions. Barbara concluded: “So, don’t just think of the outcome as only newcomers arriving. Bottom line: DO IT!”
Carlisle Meeting will start their six Quaker Quest public sessions in October! The topics that they have discerned to share are: Quakers and Jesus, Quakers and Peace, and Quakers and Worship. Check out their website at www.quakers-in-carlislepa.net.