Third Haven Friends Meeting Worship and Ministry Committee 2016 Annual Report:

Approved at the 12.11.16 meeting for business

Purpose:

The purpose of the Worship and Ministry Committee (WMC) was approved at the 10.3.11 meeting for business. The (abbreviated) purpose is:

Worship and Ministry Committee:

The participating members of the WMC for 2016 were: Mark Beck, Gwen Beegle, Tom Corl, Catherine Cripps, Susan Dickinson, Jeanne Halpin, Katherine Johnson, Valerie Sypula, John Turner and Mary Yancy. In addition for the WMC, Peg Walbert cares for the midweek meeting for worship and Mike Pullen facilitates the Course in Miracles. Gwen Beegle clerked the WMC this year. The WMC met monthly at the rise of meeting for worship on 4th day, except for 7th month. 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 estimated counts, attendance averages 50-60. Attendance at a few meetings for worship approached 80. In summer months, attendance drops to around 40-45. 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, sometimes many more. 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.

Approximately 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. Reminders happen periodically through the year.

Vocal ministry was a concern for many this year and to assist the meeting a brief paper "On Hearing Vocal Ministry" was written and disseminated through announcements at the rise of meeting, through the newsletter, and the website.

Worship and Ministry Programs:

The WMC offered a variety of adult religious education opportunities, programs and activities in 2016.

Faith and Practice Sessions

Beginning in the spring, the committee discussed how to address the educational needs of new members and attenders. Faith and Practice revisions had been disseminated by PYM and approval of the new book was anticipated in July. The committee decided to use the as yet unapproved draft as the foundation for study sessions to be held in the fall and winter of 2016. While the revisions were not approved by PYM in July, the Faith and Practice sessions have been a successful education program.

The purpose of these sessions is to orient new and long time members to the content of Faith and Practice and to provide reading companions and discussion opportunities to those who wish to learn what it means to be a Friend. Organized into six, 75-minute discussions, the Faith and Practice Sessions are facilitated by Friends in the Common Room at the rise of meetings for worship. A simple meal is provided prior to each session. Three sessions have been held thus far, with from 15-20 participants at each session.

Three sessions will be held in 2017 to complete the series. WMC appreciates the willingness of Friends to facilitate and attend the sessions.

Monthly Discussions

Mark Beck facilitated monthly discussion sessions, open to the wider local community (starting at 6:15 pm, lasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes). Mary Yancy cofacilitated some sessions this year. Topics for discussion offered opportunities for personal and spiritual understanding and growth. These discussions were much appreciated by many different Friends and others. The 2016 discussion topics were:

WMC appreciates Mark's contribution to the spiritual community through his organization and facilitation of these 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, and Katherine Johnson also facilitated two sessions. The Jung Study Group meets the 2nd Tuesday each month at 6:00pm in the Common room and uses readings, DVD's, workshops and outside speakers. Twice last year the local community was invited to attend workshops facilitated by Jungian scholars and analysts.

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 2017, 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.

First Day Conversations

Facilitated by Susan Dickinson, First Day Conversations is a new program by Worship and Ministry which began in April, 2016 and continues to meet the First and Third First Days from 8:50-9:50 before meeting for worship. Topics are announced by Susan at the rise of meeting the week before. Example topics have included kindness, gratitude, prayer, the harvest, and wildness of God. Susan provides coffee and breakfast foods to accompany the conversations. WMC appreciates Susan's leading to organize and facilitate these conversations that serve to deepen and extend the spiritual experience and community of our Meeting.

Inward Bound

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—3-22, 6-23, 9-22, and scheduled for 12.20. Participation varies between 5 participants to 12 participants and has drawn seekers from Third Haven as well as the local population and the Southern Quarter. 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 2017. The WMC is grateful to Katherine Johnson and Candace Shattuck for organizing these silent retreats.

Spiritual Formation Program

Worship and Ministry explored the possibility of a Spiritual Formation Program to be offered in 2017. Members of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Spiritual Formation Collaboration have been contacted and plans have been made for a program to run from March 2017 through November 2017. They will facilitate the program, joined by Katherine Johnson of Third Haven. Gwen Beegle will clerk the Oversight Committee. Planning for the program is currently underway.

The Spiritual Formation Program offers components of retreats, personal spiritual disciplines, Quaker and associated readings, devotional groups, and prayerful support. These combine to provide a structured community in which each member may discern God's call and prepare to follow it. During the nine months many insights and deep relationships are forged in this intimate exchange. Participants agree to participate in their small reading group and their smaller spiritual support group monthly and to attend each of the three retreats. The program is open to all who wish to attend; a fee of $50 for program administration will be requested upon sign up.

The program includes the following dates:

Approximately 20 people from Third Haven have indicated interest. Further Introductory sessions are planned, as well as outreach to the larger community and the Southern Quarter. Third Haven Worship and Ministry is grateful for the PYM Spiritual Formation Collaboration for their wise and loving presence and leadership.

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.

Singing

John Turner convened singing opportunities before meeting for worship, 9:15-9:45 on First Days 3/20, 6/26, 9/25, and12/11. On one occasion there was only one other singer, but on others from 6-11 participants.

Conclusion:

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. Members expressed how varied and impressive the committee's work has been.

Third Haven Friends Monthly Meeting is a member of Southern Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends General Conference of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Meetings for Worship: Sundays 10:00AM, Wednesdays 5:30PM; (Childcare available on Sundays.)

Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business: 2nd Sunday of the Month following Meeting for Worship (except for the months of July and August)

Contact: 405 S. Washington St., Easton, MD 21601; (410) 822-0293; 3rdhaven@gmail.com; Find Us on Facebook; Clerk Molly Burgoyne Brian


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