New "Assembling" Brings New Energy

—Galen Horst-Martz, Friends Select School

One of the high points of the week at Friends Select School (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is the short walk to the Race Street Meetinghouse for weekly Meeting for Worship. Traditionally, each of the three divisions of the school had its own time slot for Meeting.

Friends Select’s Quakerism Committee, made up of students and faculty, has been seeking ways to strengthen the ties between the middle and upper school divisions. Last year, a new six day rotation schedule of classes inspired a change: we began combining the two divisions for a larger Meeting for Worship twice a month, with each group still meeting as a single division once a month. For the remaining week, one division meets alone in the Meetinghouse for unprogrammed worship while the other division remains in classrooms to have worship sharing in smaller groups.

The rearrangement has led to some very positive developments. The combined Meetings give the younger students, who usually offer little spoken ministry, a chance to observe the older students speaking in meeting, and perhaps to find their own voices. Increased oppor- tunities for worship sharing provide a smaller setting for students who may be intimidated by the large grouping, and can gain confidence in speaking in the more intimate gatherings.

At the first such combined Meeting many sensed a new energy and richness not felt each week. One speaker compared it to being at a wedding with the two families coming together to witness the beginning of a new union.


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