“Faithful Always will uncover best practices for end-of-congregational-life and share these through the lens of a Quaker-specific theology. ”
While the wider Christian church has excellent guidance and support for congregational closure, there are no such resources in the context of Quaker community. This leads to constant reinvention in isolated groups at considerable spiritual (and sometimes financial) cost.
As a traveling minister working across and between Quaker institutions, I’ve developed a strong sense of our communications networks and informal information-sharing systems, and I’ve already been convening a small and growing group of Friends in a variety of positions to consider this topic. Starting from this foundation, I will conduct interviews with Quakers who have engaged with closing meetings and churches, consult ecumenical experts, and study ecumenical materials to gather best practices and understand more deeply the state of congregational closure among Friends. Then, I’ll use what I’ve learned to (1) create and distribute discernment support materials and other publications for Friends in meetings considering the end of their life cycles, with particular attention to faithfulness and legacy, and (2) publish a book with more detailed information, rooted in a Quaker-specific theology of endings, for Friends with a desire or need to go deeper, including those in institutional positions who may find themselves called to walk alongside a closing church or meeting.