Third Haven Friends Meeting Worship and Ministry Committee 2013 Annual Report:
The purpose of the Worship and Ministry Committee (WMC) was approved at the 10.3.11 meeting for business. The (abbreviated) purpose is:
- Meeting for Worship: The WMC cares for the meeting for worship.
- Spiritual Nurture: The WMC nurtures and supports the Spiritual life of the meeting, and the Spiritual journeys of members and attenders.
- Adult Religious Education: The WMC provides opportunities for the Meeting community to learn about our Faith and Practice, the Religious Society of Friends, and Quaker and other Spiritual practices. The Committee offers and supports teaching and learning opportunities to support the meeting for worship, and the Spiritual journeys of members and attenders.
Worship and Ministry Committee
The participating members of the WMC for 2013 were: Luisa Adelfio, Mark Beck, Gwen Beegle, Tom Corl, Connie Lewis, Katherine Johnson, Mike Pullen and Rob Wieland. John Winterbottom participated the first half of the year. Tom Corl clerked the Committee. The WMC met monthly except for 8th Meetings opened and closed with silent worship. Members attended Committee meetings regularly and actively supported many WMC activities.
Meeting for Worship
The WMC provides greeters before the meeting for worship to welcome members, attenders and visitors. Greeters offer various pamphlets, brochures and information to visitors and those new to the Third Haven and the Quaker meeting for worship. Members of the WMC read the 12 Queries on the First Day of meeting for business, and the 4 Advices in meeting for worship during the year.
The attendance at meeting for worship varies from week to week and month to month. Based on regular counts by Robert Shattuck, attendance averages around 75-85, including children who go out for First Day School. The number of children varies a great deal. In the summer months, attendance is often less, around 50-60. In 2013, meeting for worship occasionally had attendance of around 100. The 4th Day meeting for worship usually attracts 4-5. Connie Lewis prepared a census of 4th at meeting for worship, with attendance on 4 consecutive First Days: 72, 85, 75 and 59. This report was prepared for and transmitted to Southern Quarterly Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
All the members of the WMC attend the meeting for worship as regularly as possible, listen, experience and appreciate the meeting for worship, silence and vocal ministry. The WMC considers and discusses the meeting for worship and vocal ministry at each WMC meeting. When the meeting for worship is not gathered or when the vocal ministry seems inappropriate, the Committee discerns the matter very carefully and occasionally makes a tender response.
The Meeting continues to grow in attendance at meeting for worship. The meeting for worship is vital and meaningful for members, attenders and visitors. The WMC finds the Third Haven meeting for worship consistently spiritual, rich and nourishing. The Meeting attracts many visitors each year. Membership continues to grow. Newcomers and visitors 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 and participation in it are blessings, appreciated by members, attenders and visitors. The Third Haven meeting for worship is a great gift from each of us to all of us. The Committee seeks to nurture and sustain this blessed meeting for worship.
Worship and Ministry Activities
The WMC offered a variety of adult religious education opportunities and activities in 2013:
Mark Beck facilitated and led several discussion sessions. These were open to the wider local community:
- 7.10 on Why Am I Here
- 9.10 on Presence
- 10.14 on Happiness
- 11.21 on Forgiveness
- 12.19 on Faith (scheduled)
The sessions averaged 8 participants, with as many as 16, and were very much appreciated.
Katherine Johnson and Candace Shattuck continued to offer quarterly Inward Bound silent retreats at Third Haven, reaching out to other Friends Meetings in Southern Quarterly Meeting. These quiet days provide the opportunity for weekday retreats away from the busy-ness of everyday life. These silent retreats are for listening for the Light within, reflection, reading, and enjoying the grounds of Third Haven. There is a silent shared potluck lunch and worship sharing to close the day. These were offered on 3.20, 6.13, 9.25 and 12.11 with 4-10 participants. A quotation illustrates an appreciation of the silence at Third Haven,
"I find the quarterly Inward Bound days to be a blessing in my life. I love having the opportunity to spend time on the Meeting property gathering in silence with others to read, walk, meditate, create and pray. Third Haven feels like hallowed ground to me and being there in quiet for the day feeds my soul and enriches me."
Inward Bound will continue in 2014.
Course in Miracles
The Course in Miracles is a self-study curriculum, consisting of the metaphysical framework, a workbook with 365 daily lessons for a 1-year study period, and a manual for teachers in question and answer format. The curriculum, gently teaches how to change our mind and undo the misperceptions of the ego through forgiveness, and healing our perceptions of separation from God and from each other. Mike Pullen continued to lead the Course in Miracles, in weekly meetings most of the year with 4-5 regular participants. This course, started in 2010, will continue in 2014.
Though the Third Haven Spiritual Formation program ended in 2011, one small group continues to meet and flourish. In 2014, the WMC plans to offer:
- Worship sharing on being a Quaker
- Modules on Quaker and other Spiritual practices
- 4-sessions on our Quaker faith and practice in the spring of 2014: 1) History and beliefs of the Religious Society of Friends; 2) Quaker silent worship and the Spiritual journey; 3) Testimonies, witness and action; and 4) Quaker organizations and decision-making in the manner of Friends.
Third Haven Friends Meeting has a long tradition of Spirit-led practice in its Worship and Ministry Committee, 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 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 deep, 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.
Clerk, Worship and Ministry Committee
Third Haven Friends Meeting