WORSHIP AND MINISTRY COMMITTEE 2010 ANNUAL REPORT:
THFM Worship and Ministry Committee supports the spiritual enrichment of the Meeting community. The Committee strives to deepen and strengthen meeting for worship.
In January we were challenged with these words from Frank Zeigler: "From time to time we need to review our worship. Does it inspire and lead the Meeting toward a more definitive sense of religious well being? Is more to be desired? Is Faith and Practice consulted for guidance?"
Excerpt from Faith and Practice:
"All present should remember that spiritual opportunities entail responsibilities as well, including attention to the time of assembling and consideration for those already settled.
Speaking carried on in a spirit of debate or lecturing or discussion is destructive to the life of the meeting for worship and of the meeting community. It is rarely helpful to answer or rebut what has been said previously. Friends moved to vigorous support of causes need to find brief and sensitive ways to voice their insights. Any who habitually settle into silent reading or sit in inattentive idleness cut themselves off form their fellow worshipers and from the pervasive reach of the spirit. If hindrances to worship occur within a meeting for worship, members of the Worship and Ministry Committee or others as appropriate should move quickly and in love to provide counsel."
There is a renewal of spirit when we turn away from the worldly matters to rediscover inward serenity. Friends know from experience the validity of Jesus' promise that, "Where two or three people are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them ... (Matthew 18:20). Often we realize our hopes for a heightened sense of presence of God through the cumulative power of group worship, communicated in silent as well as vocal ministry. When we experience such a profound and evident sense of oneness with God and with one another, we speak of a gathered or coveted meeting for worship."
Committee members for 2010 included Mark Beck, Paige Bethke, Denny Bliss; Tatiana Harrison, Katherine Johnson, Connie Lewis, John Winterbottom, Helen Womack, Frank Zeigler and Joyce Zeigler and visitor Michael Sorn.
Worship and Ministry Committee Members continued the practice of reading the Queries on Business Meeting First Day. We also offered a reading of the Advises periodically as a continuation and reminder of Faith and Practice in our lives and the business of our meeting.
W & M responded to the mission of supporting the spiritual foundation of THFM by organizing the following adult education activities and events:
- Mark Beck recommended a Religious Study Group which would meet on First Days at 9 AM in which anyone could propose a topic for consideration, reflection or study. We had difficulty finding a First Day morning when there was not a Committee Meeting scheduled and attempted to meet on the Third First Day. Several successful meetings were conducted with a small group of three to four. We laid this group down in the summer and did not reactivate it in the Fall due to other activities.
- Worship and Ministry supported several Silent Retreats. The first silent retreat, "the Power of Presence" was held on April 17 from 9 am to 4 pm at THFM, led by Larissa Kitenko, founder of the Easton Mediation Group. Katherine Johnson and Candace Shattuck organized several subsequent one day silent retreats at THFM with success. The most recent Silent Retreat was held on December 8th and provided a day of listening for the Light within, reflection, reading, walking the grounds and exploring silent activities.
- Michael Pullen expressed interest in leading a discussion group on The Course In Miracles. A group of 6 to 8 THFM members was formed and continues to meet weekly on Wednesday evenings at 6 pm in the Common Room to discuss the passages.
- Three summer book discussions with an average of 9 to 11attendees were held in the Common Room. June—Mark Beck led a discussion on Hermann Hess' Siddhartha; Mike Pullen led a discussion on the Course In Miracles and at Mark Beck's recommendation, Paige Bethke led a Discussion on Emmet Fox's Sermon on the Mount. W&M critiqued the program and extended the book discussion in to September.
- W&M supported Katherine Johnson in her quest to bring a Spiritual Formation program to THFM. The Spiritual Formation Program required the formation of a Working Group, an Oversight Committee and the Meeting's participation. The Spiritual Formation program will be led by Diane Kessler (lead), Susan Thompson and Wade Wright who instruct and inform the group through a one year journey of readings for spiritual reflection and growth. An information session as held on October 24th at THFM. There are now 17 individuals interested in participating with the program which will begin in January with a two day retreat at THFM.
Clerk Paige Bethke; Committee Members Mark Beck, Denny Bliss; Tatiana Harrison, Katherine Johnson, Connie Lewis, John Winterbottom, Helen Womack, Frank Zeigler and Joyce Zeigler.