Spiritual nurture of the Meeting

This is one of the documents used in the EMES Meeting for Learning 11-13 June 2010 held at Svartbäcken, Rimbo, Sweden

About Worship Sharing/Creative Listening

Worship sharing group is an opportunity to share and listen deeply, in the spirit of worship, with a small number of Friends. This can be especially important at larger gatherings of Friends. As facilitator, you help create a welcoming and safe space, encourage participants to share the time respectfully, ensure that everyone has a chance to speak as s/he feels called and remind Friends that silent participation is also valued. It is good if participants are able to speak in their own languages, and any interpretation is the responsibility of the group. Rather than see interpretation as a time-consuming frustration, please try to see it as a gift—it gives time for further reflection as the same message is heard in another language. Some participants may have hearing, sight or mobility needs to be met in a loving way. Often, there will be a question that the group is asked to focus on.

These reminders need to be shared with the group before beginning:

  • What is shared remains in the group. Confidentiality is important.

  • Everyone is entitled to pass—contributing is voluntary.

  • Everyone should be able to contribute once before anyone shares a second time. 

  • Participants are reminded to speak clearly and loudly enough so that everyone can hear. 
    Participants should feel free to speak in their own language if interpretation is possible.

  • Remind participants that time is limited and that everyone must have equal opportunity to share. Facilitators may need to be gentle but firm in helping Friends with this.
    Perhaps a “sign”, established at the outset, helps the speaker know when her/his time is up.

  • Allow a period of silence before beginning, between contributions and at the end. 

  • Contributions are gifts to the group. We refrain from commenting on, responding to or critiquing others’ contributions.