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The Boundaries game

Quakers have many unwritten and often unspoken ‘rules’. When, for example, do we explain to people that speaking more than once in meeting is not normally acceptable? Unwritten rules can be powerful.

These boundaries of expected behaviour help worshippers to feel secure in the Quaker community, and are important in maintaining the identity of our meetings. Those with responsibility for eldership in particular and also for oversight, clerkship and premises, are expected to support or to enforce these rules. However, in discussions concerning eldership and oversight anxiety is often expressed about the process of ‘eldering’.

The Boundaries game was originally developed to encourage Friends and others committed to Quakerism to discuss and explore our unwritten and unspoken rules, to make these explicit – and perhaps to change them. It was designed to give support to Friends appointed to take responsibility for eldership and oversight. It enables a group to consider some of the issues which may need addressing, issues where traditionally ‘eldering’ may have been seen as appropriate.

Those with responsibility for eldership and oversight could share their perceptions of where the boundaries they are expected to maintain actually lie, and where they should be shifted. Everyone in the meeting could be drawn into a process through which these limits are acknowledged and considered by the whole community.

The game was originally sold. It has now been made available to download free of charge. Quaker Life offers this game for your enlightenment, information and pleasure.

Attachment Size
Boundaries card sheets [PDF] 57.24 KB
Boundaries introduction and how to play [PDF] 55.16 KB

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