Worship and Ministry:
We need to guard against under-valuing the material expressions of spiritual things. It is easy to make a form of our very rejection of forms. And in particular we need to ask ourselves whether we are endeavoring to make all the daily happenings and doings of life which we call "secular" minister to the spiritual. It is a bold and colossal claim that we put forward—that the whole of life is sacramental, that there are innumerable "means of grace" by which God is revealed and communicated—through nature and through human fellowship and through a thousand things that may become the "outward and visible sign" of an "inward and spiritual grace."
Faith and Practice, Extracts from Writings on Belief, 18 (page 90);
A. Barrett Brown, 1932
The purpose of the Worship and Ministry Committee of a monthly meeting is set forth in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) Faith and Practice, 1997. The principal relevant sections are:
- Worship and the Meeting for Worship, pp 17-21;
- Queries 1 and 3 on Worship and Ministry, pp 206-207;
- Committee on Worship and Ministry, pp 180-182; and
- Various other sections throughout Faith and Practice.
This purpose statement, developed by the Worship and Ministry Committee, uses and adapts these resources and proposes the following purpose statement to the meeting for business for consideration and approval.
There is That of God in each and every person. Third Haven Friends Meeting has had 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 purpose of the WMC is:
1. Meeting for Worship:
Meetings for worship are held in still, expectant silence waiting upon God. In the living silence, worshipers are drawn together by the power of God in our midst. The worship should nurture all worshipers. The Worship and Ministry Committee cares for the meeting for worship. 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 attends to, discusses and considers the meeting for worship and vocal ministry, as necessary and appropriate. The Committee recognizes, develops and nurtures the gifts of ministry of our members and attenders. When the meeting for worship is consistently not gathered or when the vocal ministry seems inappropriate, the Committee will discern an appropriate response, and arrange for members of the Committee to meet and talk with specific members or attenders, to share understandings for the good of the Meeting, in a caring and tender way, as may be needed.
2. Spiritual Nurture:
The Worship and Ministry Committee nurtures and supports the Spiritual life of the meeting, and the Spiritual journeys of 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.
3. Adult Religious Education:
The Worship and Ministry Committee provides opportunities for the Meeting community to learn about our:
- Christian heritage: the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Holy Bible, the Light and the Truth;
- Faith and Practice: the beliefs, history and traditions of the Religious Society of Friends, the writings of Friends and current Quaker practices;
- Religious Society of Friends: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the wider Quaker fellowship and the variety of expression in Quaker faith and practice today, across the US and around the world; and
- Other religions: the variety of other religious experiences, traditions and practices, and their relationships to and influence on the history and development of Religious Society of Friends and Quaker faith and practice.
The Committee offers and supports courses, programs, speakers, discussions and other teaching and learning activities and opportunities to support the meeting for worship and the Spiritual journeys of members and attenders.