Faith and Practice Sessions
Worship and Ministry will be offering the opportunity to read and discuss the revised Faith and Practice* (anticipated Winter, 2016). The purpose of these sessions is to learn what Friends believe and how we practice our faith. To do this, the sessions will orient new and long time members to the content of the revised Faith and Practice. Each session will be an opportunity for discussion for those who wish to learn what it means to be a Friend. Organized into five, 75 minute discussions, each session will focus on a theme in the revised Faith and Practice. The reading for each session is part of Faith and Practice, in pdf form.
The Faith and Practice Sessions will be facilitated by Friends in the Common Room at the rise of meetings for worship. A simple meal will be provided prior to each session. Anyone can come, especially if you have questions about what Friends believe and how we act as a result of our faith.
The dates and topics are:
September 25: Experience and Faith
This part of Faith and Practice addresses beliefs and practices surrounding the Light within, meeting for worship, vocal ministry, prayer, scripture and our living faith, and discernment of guidance.
October 23: Faith Reflected in Practice and Daily Life
The major concepts of this session are living faithfully in community and providing guidance for Friends on personal life and relationships. Topics include concerns and leadings, discernment, clearness committees, the sense of the meeting, when Friends disagree, education, witness, right sharing, walking gently on the earth, and life passages.
- A) Life of the Meeting community: 1) concerns, leadings and testimonies; 2) discernment, clearness and decision-making; 3) Friends and education; and 4) Friends and witness in the world.
- B) Personal Life: 1) life passages, and 2) personal relationships.
November 6: Faith Reflected in Our Organization
The purpose of these sessions is to orient new and long time members to the content of Faith and Practice (2016 draft) by facilitating a conversation on topics in each section of the book. The third section explains the organizational structures of monthly meetings, including the roles of communities, the responsibilities of individuals, the care of the meeting and property, and membership. Jeanne Halpin and Gwen Beegle will facilitate this session.
January 22: Wider Religious Fellowship and Action
Friends and their national and international organizations are the topics of this session, to also include Friends publications and ecumenical work.
To prepare, read: 5. Wider Religious Fellowship and Action.
March 19: Guidelines and Procedures
Faith and Practice sessions continue after the rise on meeting for worship and hospitality. Worship and Ministry Committee will continue the series of discussions on the new version of our Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's Faith and Practice. This session will be on "Guidelines and Procedures". Friends will find the attached text useful in supporting meetings and members in a variety of ways. This section includes the 12 Queries, items for a "Spiritual self-assessment" of a meeting and a checklist for the "state of a meeting". This section also covers "end of life matters", membership, marriage, clearness committees and pastoral care. Finally, this session will consider the Advices. Tom Corl will facilitate this discussion.
To prepare, read: 6. Guidelines and Procedures.
April 23: Historical Background
"Friends are reminded that our Religious Society took form in times of disturbance and that its continuing testimony has been the power of God to lead men and women out of the confusions of outward violence, inward sickness, and all other forms of self-will, however upheld by social convention"
This section traces the history of the Religious Society of Friends from 1652-the present. To prepare, read: 4. Historical Background.