Friends Meeting at Cambridge offers many opportunities for deepening our Quaker practice through adult education programs. These programs focus on Quaker philosophy, theology and history, and on current events from a Quaker perspective. This is a list of what we have been doing. For current offerings, please see the events listing for the month.
Forums: Worship Centered Discussion
Sunday Mornings 9:30am – 10:15am
Forums are informal devotional discussions, usually with a leader and about a particular topic. They meet in the parlor and are designed to help those who attend prepare for meeting for worship. All are welcome; forums provide good opportunities for new members, attenders, and visitors to learn more about our Meeting and what issues are of concern to the Meeting, and to get to know other individuals in the Meeting. Childcare is provided beginning at 9:15.
Sundays 11:45 – 12:15am
Afterthoughts is a small group gathering that meets in the parlor immediately following meeting for worship which offers the opportunity for anyone to ask questions or discuss their experiences in meeting for worship. It meets most Sundays at 11:45am, with somewhere between 5 to 20 people attending this half-hour gathering, and it is generally a mix of new and seasoned Friends. Afterthoughts has a myriad of purposes. For attenders, it can be helpful to attend if you’re new and have questions, have lingering thoughts from worship that you want to share or explore, or are interested in joining this meeting and want to know about the process. For members and those steeped in Quakerism, it can be helpful to attend when challenging questions arise for you in Meeting or when you have a deeply moving experience in Meeting and want to explore this further with others. Afterthoughts is led by members of the Membership Committee.
All-day Saturday workshops at the Friends Center, 5 Longfellow Park, have been given on vocal ministry, our unity and diversity, forgiveness, Transition Towns, racial justice, home energy efficiency, the New Story, and other topics. Interest groups frequently present workshops on Sunday afternoon, often showing films and encouraging discussion. Visitors from other meetings also present workshops.
An introduction to Quakerism course is given periodically for newcomers and old-timers alike. From October 8 through November 19, 2017, Elizabeth Claggett-Borne of FMC and Marty Grundy of Wellesley Monthly Meeting offered a course on “Exploring Quakerism.” This six-session course explored Quaker practice, worship, and history. Readings for each week were offered online. The group engaged with one another through worship, exercises, readings, and stories. There were talks that consider how worship, personal and communal spiritual life, strong community, and active witness interact. How can we open to the Spirit’s power to transform us and our meetings?
All-meeting family weekend retreats at the monastery in Alfred, Maine, have provided time for fun and contemplation as well as exploration of such topics as non-violent communication and compassionate listening or simplicity and environmental stewardship.
Women’s weekend silent retreats have been held regularly at Glastonbury Abbey.
Groups of Friends often gather at the Friends Center for discussion on topics of special interest, such as worship, theism and how we view Jesus, and historical Quakers and their teachings.
In addition, small groups of Friends gather in homes for fellowship and worship.