Being Friends Together

The Importance of Worship Cat No.S3
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This pathway focuses on worship, celebrating its importance at the heart of the life of any Quaker meeting. There are steps on the pathway about spoken and other ministry in meeting for worship, the discipline of discernment, and how corporate Quaker decision-making is all about worship too. The final steps explore new expressions of Quaker worship and ways of worshipping which are inclusive of all ages. These approaches may be helpful for those who do not always find the traditional unprogrammed hour of worship easy to engage with, including adults with learning disabilities and those who prefer creative or interactive approaches to worship.
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The Importance of Worship
The Importance of Worship
Introduction
Free
An introduction to 'The Importance of Worship' pathway
The Importance of Worship
Step 1: Meeting for worship and Quaker silence
This step is a general introduction to Quaker worship in the unprogrammed tradition, focusing on the experience of Friends in the silence of meeting, including ways of centring down. Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step one of your 'The Importance of Worship' pathway. There are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.
Think about why we might need to still ourselves in meeting for worship; then try out some ways of centring down, and reflect on the experience. Follow workshop guidelines and exercises from 'Worship journeys', a special issue of 'Journeys in the Spirit' all about centring in meeting for worship, through the stages of Getting ready, Gather, Engage, Respond and Reflect.
 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Worship Journeys'View-
 An extract from 'Encounter with silence' ViewDownload
 Ideas for centring from 'The Worship Kit'ViewDownload
Share something of your experience of meeting for worship and reflect on its meaning for you.
 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Hearts and Minds Prepared' session on worship - planViewDownload
Engage with a short piece by Beth Allen about meeting for worship, respond to two questions for discussion, do some brief reflective writing and share it if you feel happy to.
 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Quaker Life workshop on worship - planViewDownload
Use simple interactive methods to reflect together on worship, consider different aspects of meeting for worship together and share about a special experience of worship.
 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Sharing our Journeys' session on worship - planViewDownload
For an active learning approach to worship, check out this option
 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload
For an external course or event on worship, check out this option.
 Woodbrooke's websiteView-
The Importance of Worship
Step 2: Ministry in meeting for worship
This step explores Friends' understanding and experience of spoken, or other, ministry in meeting for worship, including listening beyond the words to where they come from. Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step two of your 'The Importance of Worship' pathway. There are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.
Try some listening activities together, then use a pebbles-in-a-stream activity to share informal ministry on a theme.
 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Activities from 'All in One Room'ViewDownload
Play a simple card sorting game about what you consider to be ministry in meeting for worship, then share reflectively on your own experience of ministry.
 Option 2 facilitator notesViewDownload
 What is ministry? card activityView-
 What is ministry? cardsView-
Share in pairs, then have a reflective discussion in the whole group in response to two focus questions about ministry in meeting for worship.
 Option 4 facilitator notes and activity guidanceViewDownload
Consider how you respond to spoken ministry in meeting for worship, then share something of your experience of listening to difficult ministry and how you deal with it using an activity from 'Hearts and Minds Prepared'.
 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Spoken ministry plan and extractsViewDownload
For an active learning approach to ministry in meeting for worship, check out this option
 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload
For an external course or event on ministry in meeting for worship, check out this option.
 Woodbrooke's websiteView-
The Importance of Worship
Step 3: Discipline, discernment and leadings
This step focusses on the discipline of discernment: on how leadings may arise in the silence of worship or at any time, and how Friends try to listen to these promptings of love and truth, to the voice of their inner guide. It also offers options to explore Quaker discernment tools such as meetings for clearness or Light groups. Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step three of your 'The Importance of Worship' pathway. There are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.
Consider how Friends recognise spiritual discernment, then share something of your own experience and understanding of discernment, reflecting on how you could deepen this discipline.
 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 A 'Hearts and Minds Prepared' session on discernmentViewDownload
An opportunity to experience a meeting for clearness in small groups and reflect on it afterwards.
 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Quaker Life leaflet about meetings for clearnessView-
Consider how to make your spiritual life and concerns manifest in the world, through practising discernment and following leadings.
 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Good Lives' session on following leadingsViewDownload
For an active learning approach to discipline, discernment and clearness, check out this option
 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload
 Experiment with Light websiteView-
For an external course or event on discipline, discernment and leadings, checkout this option.
 External course or eventView-
The Importance of Worship
Step 4: Meeting for worship for business
This step explores Friends understanding and experience of meeting for worship for business, with opportunities to consider how we are invited by it to trust in the Spirit, what we value about this Quaker discernment process, and where the boundaries of good practice lie. Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step four of your 'The Importance of Worship' pathway there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.
Reflect on how meeting for worship for business works in practice by playing a card sorting game, then reflect together on your own meetings discernment process.
 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Creating Community' session on meeting for worship for business - adultsViewDownload
Reflect on the purpose of meeting for worship for business and your own experience of it working well. Review your own meetings practice, considering the kinds of decisions that you or your meeting have difficulty with.
 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Meeting for worship for business workshop guidanceViewDownload
Read or listen to an article from 'Quaker Voices', then reflect on three queries used at BYM 2013 about your own understanding and experience of corporate Quaker discernment.
 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Quaker Voices' article about discernmentViewDownload
For an active learning approach to meeting for worship for business, check out this option
 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload
For an external course or event on meeting for worship for business, check out this option.
 Woodbrooke's websiteView-
The Importance of Worship
Step 5: New expressions of Quaker worship
This step invites us to consider possibilities for Quaker worship and ministry that may be different from the usual patterns of our tradition, and whether these are ways in which it would be helpful or unhelpful for us to experiment with worshipping as Friends. Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step five of your 'The Importance of Worship' pathway there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.
Listen to input about new possibilities for meeting for worship, engage in discussion and finish with half an hour of worship.
 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Quaker Quest style session guidanceViewDownload
Reflect on what counts as Quaker worship or not by playing a card-sorting game, then reflect together on ways of deepening the experience of worship in your meeting.
 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'What is and is not worship' instructions handoutViewDownload
 'What is and is not worship' cardsViewDownload
You could do one or more of three linked sessions from the Quaker Life resource New expressions of Quaker community, exploring new ways of being a Quaker community and seeking radical or fresh ways of engaging in Quaker worship.
 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'New expressions' resourceViewDownload
For an external course or event on new expressions of Quaker worship, check out this option.
 Woodbrooke's websiteView-
The Importance of Worship
Step 6: All age worship
This step explores ways of worshipping which aim to be inclusive of all ages. These approaches may also be helpful for those who do not always find the traditional unprogrammed hour of worship easy to engage with, including adults with learning disabilities and those who prefer creative or interactive approaches to worship. Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step six of your 'The Importance of Worship' pathway there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.
Listen to music chosen by members of the meeting and respond in spoken ministry or through creative means.
 Option 1 facilitator notes and session guidanceViewDownload
In the silence, respond in single words to questions about the spirit within you, make a very simple poem out of your responses, then read or listen to one anothers poems.
 Option 2 facilitator notes and session guidanceViewDownload
Go on a scavenger hunt using senses, mind and hearts to find that of God in the world around you, reflect on what you have found using worship sharing, then end with silence.
 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Option 3 session plan View-
Responding to a comparison of your meeting community with a garden full of different flowers, draw or create a flower to represent you, place it with everyone elses flowers, then spend time in silence with an option for sharing.
 Option 4 facilitator notes and session guidanceViewDownload
Using a cut-out sun as a focus, each person brings to mind someone in the meeting of a different generation from them and something they have received from or appreciated about this person, writing it on one of the suns rays.
 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Option 5 session planView-
For an active learning approach to all age worship, check out this option
 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload
 Quaker Life's 'Spring into all age worship' resourceView-
For an external course or event on all age worship, check out this option.
 A workshop with Quaker Life's Children and Young People teamView-
 Woodbrooke's websiteView-
The Importance of Worship
Further exploration
More resources and activities on Quaker worship.