Hi I attended a meeting, (the only one I could find in this town actually) and there were two people in attendance, no first day school, and no activities. So are there really none of us in Vegas???

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It is not uncommon for a Quaker meeting to be small.  Summer is a time when there is usually less participation at meeting.  My meeting has its own meetinghouse with a usual 20 or so Friends attending each Sunday.  But in summer, attendance does dwindle quite a bit. I suggest hanging in there and become fully engaged, asking the Friends there good questions like, "What's up with just a few people attending?", "How might I help to get the word out?"

Sounds like your calling may be to help these Friends to "grow" their meeting.  And no doubt they will welcome your energy, concern, and ideas.  Maybe you are just who they need among them!  Sometimes a meeting just needs some innovative ideas and someone willing to commit to help the meeting to get a footing.

There is likely more Friends associated with the group than the number who come to worship.  Perhaps just having a brief sharing session each Sunday before or after worship would stimulate more interest.  When my meeting was on the verge of going extinct, one Friend had the idea and made the commitment to hold a 30 minute sharing discussion each Sunday before our hour-long unprogrammed worship.  This Friend made the commitment to provide an interesting spiritual topic each Sunday and facilitate the discussion. Just this one idea tripled attendance at worship on some Sundays and within a year our meeting sprung back to life.  The Friend emailed everyone in meeting about the topic - usually on Wednesday - to stimulate interest.  At first - not much interest with just two or so joining in.  But then as the months went on, more and more Friends joined in on the 30 minute sessions.  Usually about ten Friends now join in the 30 minute sessions each Sunday, sometimes 16 or so.  It is a free-flowing discussion/sharing with no preparation required or necessary.

Perhaps all they have is you to help them to blossom.

Thank you. I actually spoke to a member about engaging folks in a second hour class and suggested beginning a meetup. I used to teach first day school from time to time and I loved it.

It is very easy for a meeting to develop in a way that limits its effectiveness, without realizing what has happened and without opening up to critical self-evaluation.  Oftentimes, it takes an "outsider" to create awareness of such problems.  For better or for worse, such outsiders are often not appreciated and may be shut out by those who have an investment in the status quo.

I ve been documenting Quaker Stories from a Grant i received from the Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts. would like to hear more stories small and large . quakerstory@yahoo.com is my email  . love to hear more , I ve been to 50 meetings in 10 countries including a small quaker worship group in Cambodia , Prague, Vienna Berlin and my home meeting NYC , thanks IN Friendship robert Baldridge


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