Friday, 8 January 2010

Come and get 'threshed' this Sunday

I thought it might be a good idea to post this (below) from elders, in advance of Sunday's 'Threshing Meeting' - hope you can make it. As ever you can also leave your comments below, but anyone who really wants to be part of the final discernment process needs to be at the Meeting for Worship for Business on 7th February.

Numbers of people attending the 10:30am Sunday Meeting has been steadily increasing over the last year, and on several occasions this Autumn numbers of people in the main meeting room have exceeded the capacity it was designed for.

This has led to some discussions amongst Friends. It raises questions- including how the meeting ensures the spiritual needs of all are catered for, as well as practical considerations about health and safety.

Friends are joyously varied group, with differing preference and needs, and discerning the right way to respond to this exciting time of growth needs us all to both contribute and to listen well to each other.

Elders have been giving this much attention, and have been led to the view that if there are changes, that these are considered by the whole Meeting.

We don't feel it is right to bring forward recommendations, but do feel it may still be helpful to lay out some suggestions to start this important process of discernment.
Consideration of these will need to included both practical issues - room sizes, eldering and clerking arrangements, children and young people’s activities, as well as what the changes might mean for the Meeting’s spiritual and community life.

The suggestions are further down.

Special meetings to consider these issues.

1. A ‘Threshing Meeting’ on 10th January 2010. This will be held as part of the Meeting for Worship on that day (starting at around 11.00). It will be an opportunity for open dialogue – sharing views, concerns, and further suggestions but without the Meeting attempting to reach any conclusions.
2. Our Meeting for Worship for Business on 7th February 2010. This will not be an additional business meeting, but this issue will be the main item for consideration.

Some suggestions

1. Should we consider holding a breakfast Meeting for Worship every week. This is currently at 8.15 followed by Meeting for Worship between 9.00 and 10.00 but could be a different time and held with or without ‘breakfast’. Should this include arrangements for additional children and young people Meetings at the same time?
2. Should we consider re-timetabling our larger 10.30 Meeting for Worship to allow for TWO hour long Meetings –perhaps 9.15 to 10.15 and 10.45 to 11.45. Should both include arrangements for children and young people Meetings at the same time?
3. Should we consider re-timetabling our larger 10.30 Meeting for Worship to allow for two Meetings, but for one of these to be for 45 minutes long?
4. Should we consider holding an additional but ‘smaller’ (i.e. limited by room size) Meeting for Worship that finished at the same time as the larger Meeting. This could be either 45 minutes or an hour long.
5. Should we consider re-starting a Sunday evening Meeting for Worship. Should this included arrangements for the children and young people Meetings at the same time.
6. Should we consider whether we could start another Meeting in Sheffield – perhaps in the North of the city.
7. Should we encourage more friends to consider joining Meeting for Worship at Nether Edge Meeting – either regularly or perhaps alternate Sundays.

1 comment:

Laura Kerr said...

Thanks Craig for posting this. We have already considered that - if the weather is so bad that numbers are rather low this Sunday, 10th, -we will have to arrange one or more further opportunities for people to share their ideas.