This study guide provides Quaker meetings with ways to interact with the booklet "An Introduction to Quaker Testimonies," which describes the basic concepts of each Quaker testimony and how the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) strives to practice that testimony in its work.
Please use this guide in adult religious education settings or with high school Friends—and please let us know how you’ve used the booklet and study guide and if you have suggestions for additions or changes to either.
One testimony at a time
- Set up an adult religious education forum series in which one testimony is featured each session.
- Read aloud the description of each testimony, followed by the quotations (invite different people to read each quotation).
- Spend some time in worship.
- Out of the silence consider each query in a worship sharing format (see the description of worship sharing below).
- Set up a series of adult religious education sessions that include the reading of the description of each testimony, followed by a personal testimony or story from a member of the meeting describing how they have striven to live out the particular testimony in their lives.
- The sessions described above could alternate with the members’ testimonials.
How do we live out this testimony?
- For an adult religious education session, read through the description of one testimony.
- Take time to read a few of the quotations.
- Then ask, “How does our meeting as a collective body live out this testimony? How might we be called to join together to more fully witness to this testimony?”
- Respond in the style of worship sharing, as described below.
Worship sharing is a kind of guided meditation. By focusing on a particular question (or questions), it helps us to explore our own experience and share with each other more deeply than we would in normal conversation. It seeks to draw us into sacred space, where we can take down our usual defenses, and encounter each other in “that which is eternal.”
- Written by FGC, you can find the full set of worship sharing guidelines at fgcquaker.org/ao/worship-sharing.
- Alternative worship sharing guidelines can be found at imym.org/worshipsharingmaterials/wsresources/patricialoringguidelines/view).