RELEASING MINISTRY ALLIANCE OPPS
"Mutual Accountability Workshop"
December 5, 2020 10am-Noon Eastern time
Zoom pre-registration required
A process to hold a group member as they explore an aspect of faithfulness/ accountability to the Sacred, which offers the focus person and others involved glimpses of the Holy at work in our lives. This process, over time, offers an invaluable opportunity to come to know one’s self and others in the Eternal. It can form strong bonds that support cohesive faith community and courageous faithfulness.
This 2-hour interactive workshop incorporates opportunities to learn and practice needed skills (spiritual listening and questions that guide), to witness the mutual accountability group method, and to debrief in the large group the witnessed process. This introduction intends to prepare participants who may choose to engage in mutual accountability groups, as described below.
Mutual Accountability Groups
Mutual accountability groups (MAGs) are small groups, ideally four people, who accompany one another for a period of time and for a particular purpose. They meet regularly (with frequencies that can vary depending on the participants’ desires, from weekly to monthly) rotating the focus persons.
These groups could be self-organized to match people based on their desired frequency of meeting and the participants’ purpose. For instance, experienced ministers may be well-suited to meet with emerging ministers to offer support; people seeking a more casual interaction can be grouped together; a group who wish to self-reflect on a common topic can encourage one another; etc.
Zoom groups meet for 1 hour to focus on one person. In-person groups can meet for 2 hours focusing consecutively on two people. In non-COVID times, some groups may wish to share a meal or other social time in addition to meeting.
Zoom pre-registration required; the pre-registration confirmation email contains the Zoom link for connecting; people registering 24 hours in advance will be emailed the workshop handouts.
This workshop is co-sponsored by Green Street Friends Meeting Worship and Ministry Committee, Releasing Ministry Alliance, and LifeCalls and will be recorded for use of LifeCalls. People who do not wish to be recorded are invited to identify themselves at the start of the workshop, turn their camera off, and rename themselves on Zoom.
"Faithfulness Groups: A Deeper Awareness Workshop"
November 23, 2019 10am-4pm Eastern time
Rufus Jones Room, Friends Center, 1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Part 1 (10am until about 12:15pm Eastern): https://youtu.be/qiKYXd_HlLw
Part 2 (beginning at about 1pm Eastern): https://youtu.be/XkwZfSxx-Sc
This complimentary workshop introduces faithfulness groups (also known as anchor groups or spiritual accountability groups), a practice taught by Marcelle Martin and others, that holds great potential for supporting individuals of any faith in allowing the work of the Spirit to become manifest through them and their communities. This event was NOT a Zoom call but an in-person workshop which was livestreamed with recordings loaded to YouTube.
Marcelle Martin (Swarthmore MM), Lynda Black (Central Philadelphia MM), Viv Hawkins (Green St MM), and others will explain their understandings and experiences benefiting from, helping others to be served by, and assisting people to serve with faithfulness groups. All are welcome who are ready, willing, and able to learn this practice of listening to the “still small voice” in the company of others. Participants can form small groups to continue beyond the workshop.
Agenda – times are approximate
PART 1 https://youtu.be/qiKYXd_HlLw
Welcome and introductions (10:00-10:20am)
Fishbowl of people experienced with faithfulness groups (10:20-10:40am)
Listening & Questions (10:40-11:25am)
Process description (11:30-12:15am)
PART 2 https://youtu.be/XkwZfSxx-Sc
Brief demo of faithfulness group & debrief (1:00-2:15pm)
Faithfulness group practice in quads (2:30-3:30pm)
Debrief practice (3:30-3:50pm)
Time to plan future groups (3:50-pm)
Closing Prayer (4:00pm)
Copies of Marcelle's new book, A Guide to Faithfulness Groups, released in September 2019, is now available for sale. Its back cover reads, "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 is available at Marcelle's blog, A Whole Heart. https://awholeheart.com/
This workshop is co-sponsored by Releasing Ministry Alliance, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting’s Committee on Gifts and Leadings, and Green Street Friends Meeting’s Worship and Ministry Committee. The livestream and video recordings are funded by the 2016 Quaker Women in Public Ministry gathering. We are grateful for these various forms of support.
"Faithfulness Groups: An Introduction"
October 24, 2019 8-9 pm Eastern time
This opportunity introduced faithfulness groups (also known as anchor groups or spiritual accountability groups), a practice taught by Marcelle Martin and others, that holds great potential for supporting individuals of any faith in allowing the work of the Spirit to become manifest through them and their communities. Marcelle Martin, Benjamin Warnke, Lynda Black, and others explained their understandings and experiences benefiting from, helping others to be served by, and assiting people to serve with faithfulness groups. Marcelle's new book, A Guide to Faithfulness Groups, was released in September 2019. Its back cover reads, "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 is available at Marcelle's blog, A Whole Heart and in this YouTube video.
Video of call: https://youtu.be/_7O703qJ0ko
September 26, 2019 8-9 pm Eastern time
New England Yearly Meeting’s Legacy Gift Funds, overseen by the Legacy Gift Committee, has been supporting ministries through funding and the strengthening Friends practices of stewardship and accountability since 2015. Suzanna Schell (Beacon Hill Monthly Meeting) and Craig Jensen (Mondanock Monthly Meeting) and Sarah Gant (Beacon Hill Monthly Meeting), also instrumentally involved with these funds, will share their experiences of “holy abundance” throughout the grant-making process from meeting with applicants, helping meetings provide spiritual and financial oversight, and sharing the work of the grantees.
Through stories, they will describe blessings of individual ministers and Quaker institutions alike as well as lessons learned. For background on the Legacy program please see https://neym.org/legacy-gift and here is the 2018 Legacy Gift Committee report to NEYM.
How does “holy abundance” play out in NEYM’s choice to invest in member ministries? In Legacy Fund's focal areas?
How do ministries witness “holy abundance” throughout the grant cycle?
How do Friends’ meetings experience “holy abundance” while supporting the ministries of applicants and grantees?
- What “holy abundance” may yet-come?
Video of call: https://youtu.be/JAD5TfwPbz4
“Under the Care of”
July 10, 2019 8-9 pm Eastern time
What does holding a ministry “under the care of” a meeting entail?
Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting (Baltimore Yearly Meeting) has recently wrestled with that question and chose to take a ministry for care of families under its care. We’ll hear from Windy Cooler, Patti Nesbitt, and Joan Liversidge about their experiences in this discernment and the care that comes after it. Particular focus will include:
What were the biggest questions the meeting considered?
What support did the meeting discern it will offer?
How will the ministry and the meeting be accountable to one another?
What questions are known which remain to be answered?
Video of call: https://youtu.be/rqLjG0gd6-E
Introducing Releasing Ministry Opps
June 13, 2019 8-9 pm Eastern time
This introductory session will begin to form our community. It will include an opportunity for participants to meet one another and interactively cultivate the Releasing Ministry Alliance Opps series.
How did the idea of this series arise? What is presently planned?
What are your hopes for Releasing Ministry Opps?
What topics interest you and others related to ministry and eldering? Who might present in a conversational, story form on them? How do we ensure the full breadth of ministry and eldering are served? How do we ensure an anti-racist, multicultural environment?
What about logistics needs to be discussed? Timing? Platform? Availability?
Releasing Ministry Alliance Opps are opportunities to gather for the purpose of exploring a topic pertinent to ministry, eldering, and faith communities. Typically, sessions will be:
one hour in length,
include an introduction by one or more people with experience of the topic,
offer time for questions and answers and further discussion, and
afford a means to share related information and build a collection of resources.
Friends are invited to participate in any or all of these complimentary sessions, using Zoom, a video conference application which, also, allows telephone connections. If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, you can find more about it here:
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Meeting ID: 638 209 4762
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A recording of each call will be posted on this page within a few days following each call.