—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
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
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.