Third Haven Friends Meeting Worship and Ministry Committee 2012 Annual Report:
The purpose of the Worship and Ministry Committee was approved at the 10.3.11 meeting for business. The (abbreviated) purpose is:
- Meeting for Worship: The Worship and Ministry Committee cares for the meeting for worship.
- Spiritual Nurture: The Committee nurtures and supports the Spiritual life of the meeting, and the Spiritual journeys members and attenders.
- Adult Religious Education: The Worship and Ministry Committee 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 members of the Worship and Ministry Committee (WMC) for 2012 are: Luisa Adelfio, Mark Beck, Gwen Beegle, Tom Corl, Connie Lewis, Katherine Johnson, Mike Pullen, Rob Wieland and John Winterbottom. Tom Corl clerked the Committee. The WMC met monthly except for 6th and 8th months. Meetings opened and closed with silent worship. Meetings often began with a reading and discussion. 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 and brochures 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 some First Days. In 2012, meeting for worship occasionally had attendance of around 100. The 4th Day meeting for worship usually attracts 4-5. The Meeting is growing in attendance at meeting for worship. The meeting for worship is vital and meaningful for members, attenders and visitors.
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 makes appropriate response.
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 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 2012:
Essence of Faith and Practice
The WMC organized and offered 4 sessions at the rise of meeting for worship based on the "Essence of our Faith and Practice," approved by the meeting for business on 4.11.10. Tom Corl planned and organized the 4 sessions:
- That of God—Tom Corl, about 25 attended;
- Silent Worship—Luisa Adelfio and Tom Corl, 8 attended;
- Testimonies—Gwen Beegle, Cynthia Browne and Lorraine B Claggett, 14 attended; and
- Community—Candace Shattuck and Dee Rein, 18 attended.
Though attendance was uneven, the presentations were very thoughtful and well done. The participants were engaged, the sessions most useful and participants grateful. The Committee may plan and offer like sessions in 2013.
Mark Beck facilitated and led 4 meditations sessions at 5:00 pm on 6th day (Friday) every two weeks beginning on 9.21. Sessions lasted an 90 minutes each. These were open to the wider local community:
- Introduction and overview to meditation practice—Mark Beck
- Jewish and Muslim Meditation Practice—Bob Hyman and Abul Siddiqui
- Buddhist and Hindu-Jain Meditation Practice—Larissa Kitenko, Catherine Cripps, Swan, and Mark Beck
- Christian meditation practice—Mark Beck, Tom Corl and Mike Pullen.
The sessions averaged 10 participants. These sessions were well-presented and much appreciated. These sessions offered instruction about and support for meditation practice. Participants indicated on evaluation forms and by word, that these sessions were very informative and valuable. The 4 Power Point presentations are available upon request from Mark Beck. If there is sufficient interest the 4-part series may be repeated in the future.
Katherine Johnson and Candace Shattuck continued to offer quarterly Inward Bound silent retreats at Third Haven. Quiet Days, called Inward Bound, 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 3.21, 6.20, 9.19 and 12.12. They plan to continue these in 2013.
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 us 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. Mike introduced the course at the rise of meeting for worship on 3.18. The group finished the 31 chapters and after a break resumed, starting again at the beginning. This course will continue in 2013.
Sharing Spiritual Journeys
Mark Beck organized the presentations by Third Haven Friends, at the rise of meeting for worship, on their spiritual journeys or what it means to be a Quaker. In 2012, the presentations were: Lorraine B Claggett on 4.22, Ralph Young on 5.20 and Sam Mullen on 6.17. These were very well-received. The Committee plans to continue these in 2013.
The Committee sponsored a Spiritual Formation reunion on 3.17, hosted by Mark Beck. The Spiritual Formation reunion offered an opportunity for participants to gather to review their spiritual journeys and to support one another in deepening and growing in the Light. This reunion brought closure to the year-long Spiritual Formation program offered in 2011. Some Spiritual Formation small groups continued to meet in 2012.
The Committee did not sponsor book discussions in 2012, due to the variety of other activities, but may resume book discussions in 2013.
The WMC considered offering another Spiritual Formation program and a more intensive course, like Quakerism 101. The WMC found brief programs offered over a few weeks at the rise of meeting for worship seem to attract more interest and participation. It seems that programs that are longer (60-120 minutes) and last for several weeks, attract sufficient commitment only every 3-4 years.
Committee welcomes suggestions and advice on 2013 WMC religious education programs.
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