Third Haven Friends Meeting
Worship and Ministry Committee
2011 Annual Report
Approved at the meeting for business, 12th month, 11th, 2011
The purpose of the Worship and Ministry Committee (approved at the 3rd month, 10th, 2011, meeting for business) is as follows (abbreviated):
Meeting for Worship:
The Worship and Ministry Committee cares for the meeting for worship. The Committee recognizes, develops and nurtures the gifts of ministry of our members and attenders.
The Worship and Ministry Committee nurtures and supports the Spiritual life of the meeting, and the Spiritual journeys members and attenders—to seek God's will and act upon an understanding of Truth. The Committee provides opportunities for members and attenders in the Meeting community to share experiences of Spiritual discovery and opportunities for Spiritual transformation. The Committee and its members are available meet with members and attenders to discuss Quaker Faith and Practice, and spiritual matters as may be appropriate.
Adult Religious Education:
The Worship and Ministry Committee provides opportunities for the Meeting community to learn about our Christian heritage, Faith and Practice, the Religious Society of Friends and other religions. The Committee offers and supports courses, programs, speakers, discussions, sharing spiritual journeys and other teaching and learning activities and opportunities to support the meeting for worship and the Spiritual journeys of members and attenders.
Worship and Ministry Committee
The members of the Worship and Ministry Committee for 2011 are—Mark Beck, Tom Corl, Connie Lewis, Katherine Johnson, Mike Pullen, Rob Wieland and John Winterbottom. Tom Corl clerked the Committee. The Committee met monthly except for 8th month. Meetings opened and closed with silent worship. Meetings usually began with a reading and some discussion. Members attendee Committee meetings regularly and actively supported the many activities of the Committee. The Committee will welcome additional members in 2012.
Meeting for Worship
The Committee provides greeters before the meeting for worship to welcome members, attenders and visitors. Greeters offer various pamphlets and brochures to visitors and those new to the Third Haven and the Quaker meeting for worship. The attendance varies from week to week and month to month, but averages around 45-50, occasionally over 80. Members of the Committee read the 12 Queries on the First Day of meeting for business, and read the 4 Advices in meeting for worship during the year.
Members of the Committee attend the meeting for worship as regularly as possible, listen, experience and appreciate the meeting for worship, silence and vocal ministry. The Worship and Ministry Committee regularly considers and discusses the meeting for worship and vocal ministry. When the meeting for worship is consistently not gathered or when the vocal ministry seems inappropriate, the Committee can discern an appropriate response.
The Committee finds the Third Haven meeting for worship consistently spiritual, rich and nourishing. The Meeting attracts many visitors each year. Membership continues to grow. Newcomers frequently acknowledge the value and importance of the meeting for worship in attracting them and leading them into participation in Third Haven Friends Meeting. The Third Haven meeting for worship practice and participation are blessings, appreciated by members, attenders and visitors. The Third Haven meeting for worship is a great gift from all of us to all of us. The Committee seeks to nurture and sustain this blessed meeting for worship.
This year, the Committee sponsored and supported the Spiritual Formation program at Third Haven. Katherine Johnson led the effort to bring Spiritual Formation to the Meeting community. Katherine clerked the Oversight Committee and coordinated with the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) facilitators and others as needed. Her leadership was valuable. Other members of the Oversight Committee are Mark Beck, Tom Corl, John Schreiner, Candace Shattuck and Heidi Wetzel.
Spiritual Formation began with an opening retreat 1st month 21st-23rd and concluded with a closing retreat 11th month 19th-21st, with a mid year retreat on 5th month 14th. The program created 5 small groups of 4-5 members. These small groups met monthly. Groups generally met regularly and successfully throughout the year, however 2 of the groups did not meet as consistently. The Spiritual Formation program formed 2 reading groups, combining small groups. The 2 reading groups read widely from a prescribed syllabus, including many Quaker writings, The Journal of John Woolman, several Pendle Hill Pamphlets (PHPs), readings on Christianity and selections on Spiritual practice. The reading groups met monthly to discuss readings, led by a designated facilitator and supported by a designated elder. Though responses to the readings varied among participants, the reading group discussions were consistently helpful and illuminating.
Overall, the Oversight Committee and the Worship and Ministry Committee found that the Spiritual Formation program at Third Haven was very successful. Though the time commitment was considerable, most all participated frequently and meaningfully. Based on survey responses from participants and evaluations by the Spiritual Formation Oversight Committee and the Worship and Ministry Committee, the Spiritual Formation program and both sets of groups proved very helpful to the Spiritual development of participants. Spiritual Formation proved an effective outreach program as well. Spiritual Formation brought a few new people into the life of the Meeting. Some became regular attenders at the meeting for worship and active Meeting community participants. Spiritual Formation has contributed positively and substantially to the meeting for worship and the life Meeting community.
The Oversight Committee and the Worship and Ministry Committee met to evaluate the Spiritual Formation program and consider ways of sustaining the interest in and life of Spiritual Formation in the Meeting community in 2012. These Committees agreed to lay down the Spiritual Formation Oversight Committee. The Worship and Ministry Committee will assume responsibility for the continuing support for Spiritual Formation. The Committee wants to share the Spiritual Formation experience with the wider Third Haven community. Katherine Johnson and Tom Corl will encourage and support the continuation of small group meetings; 4 of the 5 small groups plan to continue to meet in 2012. Katherine and Tom will plan and convene 2 sessions to gather Spiritual Formation participants in the first half of 2012.
Other Worship and Ministry Activities
Spiritual Formation took a lot of time and energy in 2011. Nevertheless, the Committee provided a number of other programs and activities this year:
Course in Miracles:
Mike Pullen continued to lead this course, in weekly meetings most of the year with 4-5 regular participants. This will continue in 2012.
Sharing Spiritual Journeys:
Mark Beck led the effort to invite Meeting members and attenders to share their Spiritual journeys at the rise of meeting for worship. Susan Claggett and Sally Claggett shared their Spiritual journeys. Both sessions were well attended and very much appreciated by the Meeting community. The Committee considered and Mark talked to others, but the many Meeting activities and the full calendar this year made it difficult to schedule more sharing of Spiritual journeys. The Committee plans to continue sharing Spiritual journeys in 2012.
Members of the Committe continued to facilitate discussions of various readings this year—Tom Corl on the Heart of Christianity, Katherine Johnson on "The Burning Oneness Binding Everything" (PHP) and Mark Beck on "The Prophetic Stream" (PHP). These sessions attracted very few, usually only members of the Committee. With interest and participation weak in 2011, the Committee offered few reading discussions. The Committee finds reading discussion have proven useful in the past and will consider additional offerings in 2012. Again, the many Meeting activities and the full calendar this year made successful reading discussions difficult.
Beginning in 2010, Katherine Johnson and Candace Shattuck offered silent retreats at Third Haven. They offered one in 3rd month and will offer another on 12th month 14th. Katherine and Candace went to Haverford in 10th month for a silent retreat offered by the School of the Spirit, which enriched their experience and approach to silent retreats. They plan to continue these in 2012.
Members of the Committee supported the memorial meeting for worship for Jim Paul, our beloved Friend and former Committee member. The Clerk of the Committee worked with the Clerk of the Meeting, the Clerk of Property and Grounds and others to on the rearrangement of the benches in the Brick Meetinghouse. The Clerk participated in the all clerks meetings. The Clerk supported the visits of Quaker school leaders from The George School, Sidwell Friends School, Sandy Spring Friends School and Westtown School. The Clerk supported the revision of the facilities use policy for the Meeting and the search for the new caretaker.
Third Haven Friends Meeting has a long, continuous and Spirit-led practice in its Worship and Ministry Committee in caring for the meeting for worship and the Spiritual journeys of members and attenders. The Committee encourages all members and attenders to come to meeting for worship as often as possible, with heart and mind prepared. Friends should be present, participate in and support the meeting for worship, in expectant silence or with vocal ministry, as moved by the Spirit. Third Haven is blessed with a rich and nurturing meeting for worship, and a vital and growing Meeting community. The Worship and Ministry Committee is grateful for the opportunity to nurture and support the meeting for worship and the Spiritual life of the Third Haven Friends Meeting community.
Clerk, Worship and Ministry Committee
Third Haven Friends Meeting