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Introduction to Faithfulness Groups
November 19 @ 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
Introduction to Faithfulness Groups: an online workshopSaturday, Nov 19, 10 am – 12:30 pm and 2 – 3:30 pm (Eastern Time)
- Are you looking for deep, rich, and intimate connections with others in your spiritual community?
- Are you looking for support and accountability as you try to live a Spirit-led life in these challenging times?
- Are you wondering what Faithfulness Groups are and whether the practice might be a good fit?
In this online introduction to Faithfulness Groups, participants will have opportunities to practice skills in deep listening and asking evoking questions, practices which assume that each person has a direct inward connection with God, Spirit, Christ and/or the Inner Guide. These skills can help people pay more attention to how the Spirit is at work in them and in their lives. They are useful for spiritual friendships and clearness committees, as well as faithfulness groups. Through pair exercises, small groups, and large-group discussion, we will explore the process of Faithfulness Groups as a model for listening to the Divine Presence. We will experience the capacity we each have to support people of any faith in allowing the work of the Spirit to become manifest through us and our communities.
What is a faithfulness group?
A faithfulness group is a small group focused on helping one another discern and respond to how the Spirit is leading/calling each of us in our lives. In the structured format, two people have about an hour of focus each time the group meets, rotating among the members so that all have a turn. The focus person gives a 15-minute presentation about the area of their life or leading or ministry they would like to focus on. Then the group asks questions to help the person explore this in a deeper way. The groups members help each other with identifying gifts, discerning leadings, noticing what might be blocking faithful action, and celebrating the activity of the Spirit in one another’s lives. Group meetings often become opportunities for deeply centered or worshipful experiences together. They encourage a life of courageous faith and faithfulness. A faithfulness group is like a clearness committee in many ways, but a faithfulness group is an ongoing, mutual group, in which each person has a regular turn as the focus of the group. Because it meets in an ongoing way, it can help members discern about their efforts to be faithful step by step, over time.In Marcelle Martin’s book, A Guide to Faithfulness Groups, she writes, “To be faithful, most people require the support of at least a few companions to support both a deeper awareness of the movement of the Spirit and a courageous responsiveness.” More about faithfulness groups, including links to videos and a pdf of the guidelines, is available at Marcelle’s blog, A Whole Heart.
What will the workshop be like?
We intend that you leave the workshop feeling more prepared for continued and deepening faithfulness in your life, and perhaps inspired to participate in a Faithfulness Group yourself. At the end of the session, we’ll discuss next steps and a wealth of additional supports for those who are interested in forming Faithfulness Groups.Whether you are interested in learning about Faithfulness Groups for yourself, your Meeting, or your spiritual community, please join us for an experiential workshop to learn about the model of Faithfulness Groups as a way to delve into living more faithful lives—in big and small ways. If your schedule is tight, it is possible to attend only the morning session. The afternoon session, however, requires attendance in the morning.
Who will facilitate?
Marcelle Martin (Swarthmore Meeting, PhYM), Jennifer Hogue (Friends Meeting of Cambridge, NEYM), and Benjamin Warnke (Brooklyn Meeting, NYYM), are teachers and Associates of the Nurturing Faithfulness program. Among them they have experience facilitating experiential workshops on Faithfulness Groups for monthly and yearly meetings across the country.Join us. All are welcome who are willing to share about their spiritual experience and listen attentively while others do the same. The workshop will be facilitated by Quakers, but is open to people of other faiths.
Register here. This workshop is offered on a pay-as-led basis (sliding scale), with a suggested fee of $15.