Another form of study we have found helpful is Worship Sharing, in which a topic is announced, a facilitator shares a brief (up to twenty minute) introduction, and then each person can respond out of the silence, speaking only once until all have shared and observing the other “rules” of vocal ministry: no direct rebuttals, space between messages, and so on. Thus, your original proposal could be turned into a series, “How To Meet God,” beginning with a session on experiences each person has had in encountering the Divine. A second session could examine varieties of prayer, in which individuals might begin to see the silence and social service as prayer, in addition to supplication, thanksgiving, praise, confession, and so on. Yet another session might examine ways of centering down for a better “sit” in Meeting (prayer returns here!). Each of the queries makes a good Worship Sharing focus, as does a carefully selected piece of scripture. Larry and Joanna Sparks, by the way, have prepared an excellent approach for group study of scripture, that requires the readers to sweep away their baggage and then to examine the text closely to see what it actually does say; a circle at Agamenticus spent six weeks on Jonah and felt they needed more time! Oh, yes, confession of our individual spiritual baggage and our initial religious training can also be useful Worship Sharing. Testimony about one’s spiritual journey to date has formed the basis for some Agamenticus Friends for monthly breakfasts at one family’s farm.
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