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Christopher Blackwell
Unwritten Rules of Meeting for Worship
Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:19pm

Old but interesting read about the Quakers.

Exploring the Unwritten Rules of Meeting for Worship
Debbie Humphries August 1, 2014

Peals of laughter kept erupting from the four groups spread around the room. There were energetic voices, periods of quiet, bursts of giggles, and clear good humor. It was a July morning in 2007, and we’d given the workshop participants the task of making lists of the unwritten rules of meeting for worship. Peter Crysdale and I were co-leading a Friends General Conference (FGC) Gathering workshop on deepening worship and inviting vital ministry. Our hope for the participants, who all came seeking to deepen the worship of their meetings, was that they would leave with tools that could help them nurture the worship with love and joy.

We had asked the four small groups to make lists, hoping that participants would have a sense of what rules were more common across meetings and what rules were unique to their own meeting. Then together we could talk about how the rules either supported or got in the way of the moving of the Spirit. The actual lists aren’t important, and our findings may be more valuable to you once you’ve thought about what unwritten rules you have around worship. What the lists allowed, however, was an exploration of the effect expectations and internalized sense of rules have on our experience of worship. Peter’s and my observation of the participants as they identified rules and their influence on expectations for—and thus experience of—worship affirmed the potential value of this approach.

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Religion and Ethics BBS