That of God in everyone

M&O September Update

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We do not know what George Fox looked like. But I do like Robert Spence's portrayal of George, showing him well dressed against the cold and wet he so often encountered.

Well, we will need to remember George's thick clothing in the coming months. To protect us all, our Meeting House must be well ventilated, with as many open windows and doors open. So please remember to come to Meeting not just with heart and mind prepared, but well wrapped up!


And while we about protecting everyone, it has been agreed that our young people will not come in to Meeting for the last 15 minutes, so we do not mix indoors, keeping in separate bubbles. In that way more of us will be safe if anyone one test positive for the virus.

Looking forward, we will be bringing to Preparative Meeting the results of the survey many of you completed earlier in the summer, seeing how we can best go forward together as a Meeting. We want as many as possible to stay for this discussion, to hear your further thoughts and see what practical actions we can take. One of the ideas suggested we are very keen to take forward is a short series of discussions on the topic of “Pathways for Attenders: Quaker Basics" and we will be developing these in the coming months.

We have also been discussing how we raise awareness about our Meeting's interfaith involvement, such as the City of Sanctuary, the Interfaith Forum and South Belfast Inter-Church Group. We will be seeing how we can get regular reports on these activities, and also have an "after meeting conversation" when we can safely organise these to begin again. Likewise we want to ensure that Meeting is kept up to date with the work of our very active EcoQuaker group.

Finally, on 3rd October we have WORLD QUAKER DAY. We are seeing if we can mark this with a short Meeting for Worship in a nearby public park. We will keep you updated with our plans.

The Ministry and Oversight team - Felicity, Jonathan, Kerry, Marie, Michael, Sylvia and Will

Free Woodbrooke Training

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Woodbrooke is offering a series of free Training sessions in Quaker Basics which you may wish to sign up for

More information and booking options are available on their site

How Do Quaker Meetings Work?
What is a Local Quaker Meeting and what does it do? In this session we will explore the basic unit of British Quaker organisation, the local meeting, usually a congregation who hold a public meeting for worship regularly in a specific place. We will look at the things local meetings are expected to do formally – the things listed in ‘Quaker faith & practice’ and requested of local meetings by other meetings – and the things local meetings are expected to do informally. We will ask what is necessary to a local meeting and what is optional. In the session, there will be a mix of explanation and teaching, including describing how technical terms are used in the Quaker community, and time for discussion, including space for you to bring your own questions. Suitable for those new to the Quaker community and more experienced Quakers thinking about improving our structures.

How Does Unprogrammed Quaker Worship Work?
In theory, anything can happen in unprogrammed Quaker worship. We listen in silence and God leads us wherever God wants us to go. In practice, meeting for worship can look very similar every week – an hour of silence, into which a few people might offer some careful words. In this session, we’ll explore the unwritten and sometimes secret guidelines which shape unprogrammed meeting for worship. We’ll consider which of those guidelines are really about doing meeting for worship well, which help us connect with each other and the Spirit (however we understand that), and which are accidents of the culture in which Quakers exist. We’ll address tricky areas of protocol, from lateness to predictable ministry, and there will be space for you to share your experiences and questions with the group.

How Does Quaker Membership Work?
WEDNESDAY 20 OCTOBER 19:30-21:00
One way to belong to a Quaker community is by being a member. Membership brings with it particular joys and responsibilities. This session will offer an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of membership both to individual Quakers and Quaker communities, as well as giving an overview of the Quaker membership process. All Quakers – members, attenders and those considering applying for membership – are welcome to take part. (We will not have time to discuss the future of Quaker membership, although this is an important conversation.)

When Should I Speak in Meeting For Worship?
Speaking into the silence of unprogrammed meeting for worship can be daunting. There’s the theory, that we speak when we are led to do so, and then there’s the messy reality of working out what’s really a leading and what comes from our own desires. There are the general guidelines about giving spoken ministry (speak only once in a meeting, try and be brief, and so on) and the cases where it doesn’t seem possible to follow them. And there are the touchy areas – expressing beliefs which not all Quakers will agree with, sharing something intensely personal, or getting a negative reaction after making yourself vulnerable by speaking in the first place. In this session we’ll have space to explore these issues and for you to raise any experiences or questions which are on your mind.

How Do Quakers Make Decisions?
MONDAY 6 DECEMBER 19:00-20:30
The Quaker decision-making method brings together unprogrammed worship based on silence with the need to make informed decisions which have the support of the community. It is both distinctive and flexible, being used by large and small groups, to discern spiritual and practical questions. And it can be difficult to understand. How does a group sitting in silence actually make a decision? How do questions get put to the community? What is the role of the clerk? Who has more or less power in this situation where the theory says that everyone is to be heard equally? This session will provide an opportunity to ask whatever questions you have about the process, whether you’ve been involved in using it or not, and to share different experiences.

Welcoming Our New IYM Youth Support Worker

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Hello Friends!
My name is Alex Collins, I’m a member of Enniscorthy meeting but am currently living in Belfast. It’s a pleasure to have been appointed as the Youth Support Worker for Ireland Yearly Meeting. This is a new post for IYM and in the coming months I hope to be able to take this new role and take it in a constructive direction.
Over the first lock down I started a regular game night with some fellow young Friends online, which was a great way to keep up connections. Now, within this role, I hope to bring more young Friends online and connect them across the whole island, also keeping them updated about relevant and interesting upcoming events. In addition, I will be organising a programme for young people at IYM.
I’ll also be looking at ways of connecting those working with young people online, so that we can pool together our various strengths. When everyone runs events for young Friends in their region they will have the best tools, resources and support that the Society can offer, which will include being the Designated Child Safeguarding Officer and carrying out vetting of those getting involved.
I look forward to working with you all in the future. If you have any queries, you can contact me at +353 87 134 7114 from September 13th or at
In Friendship, Alex Collins