Week 3, Oct 28

Quaker Governance, Discernment & Decision-Making

Introductory Exercise

Presentation: We will explore topics such as “gospel order,” our church structure/polity, the role of ministers and elders, “sense of the meeting” decision-making, women’s and men’s business meetings, unity & diversity, seasoning & discernment, use of queries & advices, individual vs. the group, the New England Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice (our book of discipline), and the like.

Small Groups

Reflection & Closing

Reference Material

PDF Icon The Agony & the Ecstasy, by Richard Foster. “Any group of disciples who becomes serious about loving and caring has to deal with hurting and forgiving. This is the agony and the ecstasy of any real group experience…”

 The Footwashing at Marlboro. A story from Sandra Cronk’s Pendle Hill Pamphlet (#297), “Gospel Order,” about a disagreement between two Quakers in Pennsylvania at the time of the American revolution.

 The Angel of Your Meeting/Church: Moving from Passive Aggression to Using Conflict as a Transformational Tool, by Jonathan Vogel-Borne (from the online publication “Seeds” by Good News Associates)

Excerpts from the 1985 New England Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, generally on “Organization & Business Procedures,” and more specifically on the “Conduct of Meeting for Business.”

PDF Icon Friends Practice of Group Spiritual Discernment, by Lee Junker

Blog post by Johan Maurer, Gospel Order Revisited