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A Brief Introduction to Testimony Cat No.W0
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This pathway is an introduction to Quaker testimony, exploring what testimony means for Friends and how we are called to live out our faith through witness in the world. Step one begins by asking what we understand by testimony. Step two will offer an opportunity to consider discernment and leadings, helping us to explore how we know what Love requires of us in any given situation. Step three then looks at how prophetic action or speech flows from our discerned leadings and the final step brings us back to the place from which all witness arises and in which it is grounded: worship.
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A Brief Introduction to Testimony
A Brief Introduction to Testimony
Introduction
Free

An introduction to 'A Brief Introduction to Testimony' pathway

A Brief Introduction to Testimony
Step 1: What is Quaker testimony?

This step explores what Friends mean by ‘testimony’. It invites you to consider testimony as a much broader and deeper concept than any list of specific acts or attitudes, being as it is our response to the promptings of the Spirit.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step one of your A Brief Introduction to Testimony pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Do an activity from Journeys in the Spirit special issue for schools exploring the Quaker testimonies, then engage with a simple story from another issue of Journeys about how even the smallest acts of kindness are important.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' special issue ‘Schools Journeys’View-
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 3View-
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 3 resourcesView-

An opportunity to consider how you would define or describe Quaker testimony, then to do an activity from Gifts & Discoveries reflecting on and sharing your own personal understanding and experience of testimony.

 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Option 3 session plan and activity sheetsViewDownload

This session aims to help participants understand what the Quaker testimonies are, and try to explain them clearly and simply to a friend without using Quaker jargon.

 Option 4 facilitator notes and activity guidanceViewDownload
 'The Quaker testimonies' leafletView-

Consider the nature of testimony as it is lived and understood, with a particular focus on how it is distinctively spiritual or Quaker. Then reflect on key areas of corporate testimony in relation to your local Quaker community and your own involvement.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Hearts & Minds Prepared' session planViewDownload
 Audio extracts from 'Testimony and tradition'View-

Create your own session on the subject of testimony, suitable for anyone over the age of 12. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit youth work edition Issue 1 on this theme and follow the guidance given.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 1View-
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 1 resourcesView-

For an active learning approach to asking what Quaker testimony is, check out this option.

 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload

For an external course or event asking what Quaker testimony is, check out this option.

 External course or event facilitator notesViewDownload
 Woodbrooke-on-the-Road workshop informationView-
 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
A Brief Introduction to Testimony
Step 2: Attending to what love requires - discernment, grace and leadings

This step focuses on the different ways that Friends come to understand what love requires of us. This is an opportunity to explore how we recognise leadings, find our vision of a transformed future and respond in love.


Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step two of your A Brief Introduction to Testimony pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Listen and respond to Advices & queries 1, then listen to one or two stories about people following their inner calling. Respond to the stories through creative means, drama or discussion and then reflect together on what you have learned.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 7View-
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 7 resourcesView-

This exercise allows participants to explore a circular model of how we respond to inspiration from the Spirit, discern leadings, live faithfully and renew our understandings of how we are called to act in the world.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Testimonies Toolkit' session intro & diagramViewDownload
 'Testimonies Toolkit' activity 'Moving through the circle'ViewDownload

Read and reflect on guidelines written by Friends about how to recognise true leadings, then draw up your own set of guidelines and share them with others.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Guidelines for recognising leadingsViewDownload

Find and nurture your visions of a transformed future, identify issues of concern for an act of corporate witness and use the Quaker business method to decide which of the potential concerns you will act on as a group. Finally, plan and take action.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 10 and resourcesView-

For an active learning approach to discernment, grace and leadings, check out this option.

 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload

For an external course or event on discernment, grace and leadings, check out this option.

 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
A Brief Introduction to Testimony
Step 3: The prophetic voice - speaking and acting in truth

This step invites you to consider how Friends’ prophetic speech or action in the world is a witness to the truth that we have discerned in our hearts. How do we set about the real task of putting our visions into action?

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step three of your A Brief Introduction to Testimony pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Create your own session on the subject of speaking truth to power even when this involves breaking rules, suitable for anyone over the age of five. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit children’s work edition Issue 73 on this theme and follow the guidance given.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 73 and its resourcesView-

Explore how we move from our vision to acting in the world by reflecting on examples of Friends who have done just this. Then discuss your own responses to the challenge to build or demonstrate a way of love and truth.

 Option 3 facilitator notesViewDownload
 CCCC 'Building the alternative' sessionViewDownload

Consider where our concern or urge to speak out comes from, in the light of Friends’ experience, and whether you are feeling called to speak truth to power as a meeting or individuals. Then reflect together on your own experiences of saying what you believe, and what helps you to do so.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 CCCC ' Speaking truth to power' sessionViewDownload

This session explores our values, the way we live them in our lives, and their links to the Quaker testimonies. Explore with others the values that you live by, and consider what helps or hinders you in living according to those values, so as to encourage one another in your efforts to speak and act in truth.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Living Witness 'Our values, our lives' sessionViewDownload

Consider a variety of approaches to making a difference, collect ideas for ways of getting involved locally and/or create a drama about a Quaker response to a real life situation. Then explore your responses to what you have found out together.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 10 and its resourcesView-

Create your own session on the subject of being a Quaker in the world, suitable for anyone over the age of 12. Select activities from Journeys in the Spirit youth work edition Issue 8 on this theme and follow the guidance given.

 Option 7 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 8View-
 'Journeys in the Spirit' youth work edition Issue 8 resourcesView-

For an active learning approach to speaking and acting in truth, check out this option.

 Active learning option facilitator notesViewDownload
 how2help websiteView-
A Brief Introduction to Testimony
Step 4: Grounding our witness in worship

This final step brings us back to the place from which all witness arises and in which it is grounded: worship. Opportunities for worshipful activities include holding others in the Light, exploring the wisdom of a parable told by Jesus, holding an all inclusive, all age meeting for worship on a theme related to witness or celebrating and upholding the ministry of others.

Choose one (or more if you like) of the following options for step four of your A Brief Introduction to Testimony pathway – there are options to suit different preferences, approaches and age groups.

Hold an all age, all inclusive meeting for worship on the theme of speaking truth to power, with a creative activity for all to take part in. Use a simple plan from Journeys in the Spirit children’s work edition Issue 73 on this theme.

 Option 1 facilitator notesViewDownload
 'Journeys in the Spirit' children’s work edition Issue 73 and its resourcesView-

Hold a semi-programmed meeting for worship, where Friends can bring people, situations or areas of concern and discernment into worship. Together hold those people and needs of the world in the Light, aware that we cannot change the world for the better if we try to do it in our own strength.

 Option 2 facilitator notesViewDownload

Hold an all age, all inclusive meeting for worship in response to a particular world event or need, writing prayers of upholding on prayer flags and hanging these up in the meeting room.

 Option 3 facilitator notes and session guidanceViewDownload
 Prayer flag templateViewDownload

Use one of the worship-based visioning activities from Step 2 of this pathway that is new to your group. Spend time nurturing your vision of a future transformed by love, then reflect together on what you have discovered. Choose one of the options for nurturing your vision through prayer, visualisation or creative modes.

 Option 4 facilitator notesViewDownload
 Creative approach - GL 'Community & culture' session (adults/all age)View-
 Prayerful approach - G&D activity (adults)View-
 Visualisation approach - ‘Postcards from the future’ (adults/young people)View-
 Visualisation approach - ‘Postcards from the future’ (children/all age)View-

Build up a picture together of what is going on locally on issues that concern Friends, then consider how you can support and uphold the initiatives and work of others.

 Option 5 facilitator notesViewDownload
 CCCC 'Celebrating, praying, praising' sessionViewDownload

Engage prayerfully with the wisdom story told by Jesus of the good Samaritan, using the ‘empty chair Bible study’ method. Allow the parable to open up in new ways and speak to you of your own call to heed the promptings of love and truth in your heart.

 Option 6 facilitator notesViewDownload
 GL 'Good Samaritan' sessionViewDownload

Yearly Meeting 2016 will be held over the late May Bank Holiday weekend at Friends House, London, 27–30 May. Yearly Meeting is when Quakers in Britain come together to worship, make decisions and spend time as a community.


In 2016 we will continue to look at how we live out our faith in the world. For material to help you and your meeting prepare for Yearly Meeting, check out this option.

 Spiritual Preparation for BYM 2016ViewDownload
 Woodbrooke’s websiteView-
A Brief Introduction to Testimony
Further exploration

More resources and activities introducing Quaker testimony.