Outreach can take many shapes and sizes, but love is the first motion. Love for yourself, fellow man, and planet earth. All benefit from the God-inspired insights of Friends. Don't keep your light under a bushel. Let it shine.

Outreach starts with each of us, realizing "I'm OK" as a Friend; sticking your plain self out there and being visible as a Friend as you walk the walk. And don't be afraid to attract attention and engage in conversation. Need some conversation starters??? Let me know.

Individually first, and then collectively, our presence is felt more and more everyday with the rising tide of change. We have a unique opportunity as Friends to share our spiritual approach and testimonies of EQUALITY, PACIFISM, COMMUNITY, SIMPLICITY, TRUTH so that others can at least consider the way of Friends.

I am not dead ! Are you?

Let's talk it up? What ideas do you have for outreach? Be personal, be specific.

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Thanks Allen, this is a good reminder. It's hard sometimes to remember it's "Ok" to be who we are, and not only that, but that other people are interested in knowing about how Quakers live (Or so I've found). It's typically easy for me to get into conversations about Quakerism because my entire life revolves around being a phd student who is studying Quakerism. The problem I run into is actually that I often have a difficult time running into people outside the school bubble.
We are a very small meeting that has been growing lately due to a lot of little things. A couple of younger Friends--late 20s--joined meeting and brought in new energy. We put them to work. Jennifer took over our membership list and turned it into an email list. We also keep a larger email list which includes Quakers from out of town and people who have expressed some interest in Quakers but don't come to meeting. We have started a once monthly late afternoon meeting to which we invite all those on the larger list. Since it is just once a month, not once a week, and we invite Friends from farther afield this makes it a little special and so more inviting to people who are interested in Quakerism but not excited enough to make the commitment to come weekly. Jeff, our other young Friend, has been active in finding us a place to hold our once a month meetings and on our relations with other churches in the area. Having the new list gives me an excuse to mention it to folk I think might be interested as I run into them around town.
When I ask new visitors what brought them to the meetinghouse, they often tell of Quakers they had known years before--a favorite teacher, or aunt, or someone involved in the community. The Friend had impressed them with a certain groundedness and years later, the example of that Friend inspired them to come to meeting. I think this must happen a lot. So one step of outreach is simply living out Friends principles while being open and accessible about your Quaker identity. It's not instant outreach, but it's a part of the work.
@Tom: Ooh!, say more. What would this look like? We're all making this up as we go along, of course, and we can experiment with everything. I currently have three Friends-related educational clients as part of my web design business and I imagine that some of them might be interested in any kind of virtual Friends "school" we try out, even as just as a model for their future work.

Tom Smith said:
Any prospects of a virtual outreach through Friends Education in providing a virtual "school" for reaching non-Friends and Friends?
Dear President Elect Obama,

On behalf of the Society of Friends (Quakers), I would like to invite you to consider worship with an area Friends Meeting.

Our unprogrammed, silent worship style may give you a welcome break from your otherwise frenetic schedule. The unprogrammed tradition of Quakers rests on the understanding that there is a God, that there is that of God in all of us (i.e., the inner Christ, the still, small voice within), and that we can have a personal relationship with God. This belief is a common denominator for most faith traditions in the United States of America, although many put a higher emphasis on the Bible, or their unique religious hierarchy. It may allow you to be more inclusive towards other beliefs since all faith traditions are honored by Friends. Your personal beliefs towards salvation through Christ, the primacy of the Bible,etc., remain personal in the experience of Quaker's unprogrammed worship since there is no creed or dogma. A short description of silent Quaker worship can be found at:
http://www.patapscofriends.com/newcomer/WorshipIntro.html

Due to practical concerns, it may be more manageable to facilitate a Meeting for Worship at the White House facilitated by local Quakers. This may be logistically much more practical and a bit easier to control attendance. In unprogrammed worship, I'd be a bit concerned that it would turn into an open forum. This way you could invite anyone you want and we could arrange for a collection of Friends chosen by careful discernment to also participate, lead the worship, and hold it in the Light.

Local meeting information follows:

FRIENDS MEETING OF WASHINGTON Washington, DC
Sunday meeting for worship:
2111 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20008-1912
(202)483-3310
http://www.quaker.org/fmw
Time of worship:
9:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. & 6 pm
Also Wednesday 7:00 p.m.

BETHESDA FRIENDS MEETING Bethesda, MD
Sunday meeting for worship:
Sidwell Friends Lower School
Edgemoore Lane & Beverly Road
Bethesda, MD, 20824
(301)986-8681
www.bethesdafriends.org
Time of worship:
11:00 a.m.
For information, contact bethesdfm@igc.org

CAPITOL HILL WORSHIP GROUP Washington, DC
Sunday meeting for worship:
515 E Capitol St SE
Washington, DC, 20003-1142
(202)543-5560
Time of worship:
Daily at 7:30 a.m.
For more information, contact office@wmpennhouse.org

Thank you for your consideration. I, along with Friends everywhere, will continue to hold you in the light...

Allen Stockbridge
Member, Salt Lake Monthly Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT
Dear Richard Miller,
Is your once-monthly meeting on 1st day afternoon?

Richard B. Miller said:
We are a very small meeting that has been growing lately due to a lot of little things. A couple of younger Friends--late 20s--joined meeting and brought in new energy. We put them to work. Jennifer took over our membership list and turned it into an email list. We also keep a larger email list which includes Quakers from out of town and people who have expressed some interest in Quakers but don't come to meeting. We have started a once monthly late afternoon meeting to which we invite all those on the larger list. Since it is just once a month, not once a week, and we invite Friends from farther afield this makes it a little special and so more inviting to people who are interested in Quakerism but not excited enough to make the commitment to come weekly. Jeff, our other young Friend, has been active in finding us a place to hold our once a month meetings and on our relations with other churches in the area. Having the new list gives me an excuse to mention it to folk I think might be interested as I run into them around town.
I like Tom Smith's idea and also would like to hear how it might shape up. Potential Friends are Internet-minded. This approach could really open doors.
Alison,

We meet every week on Sunday morning at 9:00 but on the fourth Sunday of each month we also have an afternoon meeting to which we invite a broader collection of people. This is a recent experiment; we'll see if it works to grow the Meeting.

Richard
I want to float an idea for feedback from the group.

What color is the sky in my world??? I wish I knew.

Here it is...

For a meeting with a stable First Day Religious Ed program and the ability to absorb all comers, why not promote your religious ed program for folks in the local community. The program would have to be welcoming to children of all ages, with good religious ed "programming". If you don't have a well rounded RE program in place (no kids in the meeting???) then this would be an impetus to start one back up and see what happens.

Offer a drop off service (like "drop-in" for daycare centers) for parents interested in having a doctrine free "religious" or values education for their children, providing teachings in simplicity, pacifism, integrity, community and equality; you know, the kind of teaching their kids don't get in school.

Give these parents who don't want their children to suffer through an experience similar to their own (nuns, sermons, dogma) a simple and convenient alternative. This is a virtual religious ed experience for the parents since they have virtually no involvement unless and until they want.

While the kids are at meeting, the parents can go read the newspaper at the coffee shop or sit in on meeting or in the library. Many would, it is hoped, be drawn in over time by their children's experience and stories of activities. They could come to pick up their children and stay for simple lunch. Others may simply take advantage of the service.

I believe with some thoughtful promotion by way of posters in appropriate public places, announcements in local papers, and signs in the area around the meetinghouse, there would be some takers, even if it takes a while to sink in.

Care must be taken to properly orient the parents and children of the expectations, and maybe even get signed releases.

If Quaker education at Sidwell Friends School is good enough for the Obama girls, maybe some folks will be interested in checking it out for their precious ones.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained ! ? !
Hi, I think I may be a Quaker and your friendly message sounded like a good place for me to say hi. Is there a newbie zone for people that agree with the philosophy but haven't actually met any Quakers yet? This is my first contact. :D
Jayne said:
Hi, I think I may be a Quaker and your friendly message sounded like a good place for me to say hi. Is there a newbie zone for people that agree with the philosophy but haven't actually met any Quakers yet? This is my first contact. :D
It is nice to meet you, virtually. I think that you would find the beliefnet.com web site interesting and specifically the belief-o-matic test.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx

This is their intro...

Even if YOU don't know what faith you are, Belief-O-MaticTM knows. Answer 20 questions about your concept of God, the afterlife, human nature, and more, and Belief-O-Matic™ will tell you what religion (if any) you practice...or ought to consider practicing.

One other source that will help you connect with quakers is quakerfinder.org. It will help you connect with quakers where you live or when you travel. Visit different Quaker meetings. Each one is different, and will offer a different sense of community.

There is a lot of info on the internet. See Quaker.org where you can get lost for months in details about any aspect of interest.

I would be pleased totake it off line. You can email me at clean.air@goparkcity.com if you like. It would be helpful to know what brought you here and what you know or want to know about Quakers.

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