Third Haven Friends Meeting Worship and Ministry Committee 2015 Annual Report:
Approved by the WMC 12.9.15 for the 12.13.15 meeting for business
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 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 2015 were: Mark Beck, Gwen Beegle, Tom Corl, Catherine Cripps, Katherine Johnson, Connie Lewis, Valerie Sypula and John Turner. In addition for the WMC, Peg Walbert cares for the midweek meeting for worship and Mike Pullen facilitates the Course in Miracles. Tom Corl clerked the WMC this year. The WMC met monthly at the rise of meeting for worship on 4th day, except for 7th and 8th months. Members attended WMC meetings regularly and actively supported many WMC programs and activities.
Meeting for Worship
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. The WMC often discusses the rise of meeting for worship. The WMC finds the meeting for worship consistently meaningful, spiritual, rich and nourishing for members, attenders and visitors.
Newcomers and visitors frequently acknowledge the meaningfulness 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 WMC seeks to nurture and sustain our blessed 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 our 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 60-70, slightly less than 2014. Attendance at a few meetings for worship approached 80. In 7th-8th months, attendance drops to around 50. This count includes children and adults who go out for First Day School. The meeting for worship continues to attract visiting Friends, non-Friends, and seekers curious about Quakers and our way of worship. It seems that Third Haven averages 2-3 visitors each First Day.
Members of WMC, the Outreach Committee, Overseers and other Friends often greet visitors at the rise of meeting for worship and follow-up with visitors as may be appropriate. Peg Walbert reports that 5-7 people consistently attend 4th day meeting for worship, with up to 8-10 on dates that coincide with other meetings, including monthly WMC meetings. Late arrivals and coming and going during meeting for worship continue to be problems. The WMC reminds Friends—to "come with heart and mind prepared for worship" and arrive on time.
Worship and Ministry Programs
The WMC offered a variety of adult religious education opportunities, programs and activities in 2015:
Mark Beck facilitated monthly discussion sessions, open to the wider local community (starting at 6:15 pm, lasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes). Topics for discussion offered opportunities for personal and spiritual understanding and growth. These discussions were much appreciated by many different Friends and others. Mark Beck facilitated most all the discussions. The 2015 discussion topics were:
- 1.25, Siddhartha, by Herman Hesse, facilitated by Bob Wack, with 8 participating
- 2.26, "Spiritual Evolution and Transformation" with 10 participating
- 3.26, "Respect" with 6 participating
- 4.30, "Dualism and Non-Dualism" facilitated Mary Yancey, with 8 participating
- 5.28, "Meaning, the Creation of" with 9 participating
- 6.25, "Habits" with 7 participating
- 7.30, "Worship and Prayer" with 5 participating
- 9.24, Pathways to Spiritual Realization" with 5 participating
- 10.29, "Divine Qualities of God" (from chapter 16 of the Bhagavad Gita) with 9 participating
- 11.19, "Hope" with 5 participating
- 12.29, "Who do I want to be when I grow up?"
Since 7th month 2013, 45 different people have participated in these discussion groups. The average attendance is 7.8. Attendance varies from as few as 4 to as many as 15. Ten people have attended 6 or more sessions. Attendance totaled 210 person-sessions. Most are from Third Haven. The WMC is grateful to Mark Beck for organizing and facilitating these valuable discussions.
Carl Jung Study Group
Catherine Cripps organized and facilitated the Carl Jung Study Group, under the care of the WMC. The group studies and reflects on texts by Carl Jung and works inspired by him. Catherine Cripps facilitated most of the discussions:
- 1.13, Inner Gold by Robert Johnson with 7 participating
- 2.10, "Seven Tasks of the Second Half of Life" (Hollis), with 7 participating
- 3.10, Jeremy Taylor's piece on the "elements of dreams," with 7 participating
- 4.7, "Synchronicity" facilitated by Lee Nelson, with 6 participating
- 5.2, Synchronicity" continued, with 7 participating
- 5.12, Rune Stones" with 5 participating
- 6.9, "Rune Stones" continued and a discussion of the sense of purpose of the Jung Study Group, with 4 participating. The group had an excellent discussion of its sense of purpose and direction—"to explore, as co-creators, Jungian concepts and how thy apply to Spirit and our deeper selves."
- 7.14, "Symbol of the Circle Mandala" with 4 participating
- 9.1, Tarot Cards and Readings" facilitated by Katherine Johnson, with 14 participating
- 10.17, "Imagery and Symbolism in Fairytales and Dreams: Workings of the Mythopoetic Mind" facilitated by Dr Alden Josey, with 16 participating. Several WMC friends helped advertise and promote this program.
- 11.10 "Water" facilitated by Amy Isaacs, with 10 participating
- 12.8, "Jung's Model of the Psyche" (Gad) with 8 participating
About half of the participants are from Third Haven. Several new names have been added to the email list. The Jung group is proving to be a good outreach program for the Meeting. Some in the group are practicing psychologists or therapists with very great experience with Jungian approaches to psychology and Spirituality. The Jung Group will continue in 2016, with Catherine facilitating. The WMC appreciates Catherine's work to organize and facilitate the Jung Group, a valuable addition to WMC programs, serving the wider local community.
Katherine Johnson and Candace Shattuck organized and facilitated Inward Bound on behalf of the WMC. Inward Bound is a silent retreat or quiet day held 4 times a year—3.18 with 8 participating, 6.18 with 10, 9.22 with 7 and scheduled for 12.15. Sessions run from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, including silent reflection, other silent activities, potluck lunch and worship sharing at the end.
Inward Bound provides the opportunity for a weekday retreat and time for silent reflection for members and attenders of Third Haven Friends Meeting, members of Southern Quarterly Meeting, and occasionally participants from the wider community. Participants are encouraged to find Spirit-led activities that encourage listening for the Light within, reflection, reading and enjoying the grounds of Third Haven. Inward Bound will continue in 2016. The WMC is grateful to Katherine Johnson and Candace Shattuck for organizing these silent retreats.
Course in Miracles
A Course in Miracles is an individualized, self-study curriculum that leads towards knowledge. Knowledge, as used in the Course, comes of itself when we meet its conditions. The condition of knowledge is peace, which can be taught and is the goal of the curriculum. The Course includes both a metaphysical framework and daily lessons for practical application. It uses forgiveness, to lead us beyond our own mistakes, our misperceptions, and ultimately our own misidentification towards acceptance of others and ourselves, as we truly are, brothers and sisters sharing the same journey, "a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed." The weekly discussion group meets Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm in the common room following silent worship. The group has been meeting for several years and is open to anyone with an interest in the Course. The group typically includes 3-4 members and usually takes summers off. Mike and the WMC encourage new participation.
The WMC invited Anne Harper and Jeff Dudiak, from Pendle Hill, to speak at Third Haven on 3.22.
John Turner convened singing opportunities before meeting for worship, 9:15-9:45 on First Days 3.15 with 8 participating, 6.21 with 9 and 10.4 with 7. Carol singing is scheduled for 12.20.
Sharing Spiritual Journeys
Beginning on 12.6, the WMC resumed the sharing of Spiritual journeys, with Susan Dickinson sharing her Spiritual journey. This was very well received by the 18 attending. Mark Beck is organizing these and has scheduled Bill Schauer for 1.3.16.
Third Haven Friends Meeting has a long tradition of Spirit-led practice in its WMC, caring for the meeting for worship and the Spiritual journeys of members and attenders. The WMC encourages all members and attenders to come to meeting for worship as often as possible, with heart and mind prepared, at the appointed hour of worship. 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 WMC is grateful for the opportunity to help 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