Thursday, February 12, 2009

Adult Education Committee Report

The Adult Religious Education (ARE) committee has a complicated ministry to our community. Through regular sessions each Sunday morning, the ARE program works to build community by nurturing increased understanding of Quaker history, process, and activities, and by providing a place and time for people to share their beliefs and feelings.

Traditionally, Quakers have relied on three sources in their search for Truth: (1) Various religious traditions and scriptures, (2) the experiences and work of Quakers over the centuries, and (3) our own experiences in our spiritual seeking and life. If Quakers only cared about the first two, ARE's job would be easy. We could just assign readings and make up study questions.

The experiential side of Quaker spiritual life means ARE must look for ways to approach topics of interest such as homelessness, prison reform, or war where people share their different perspectives in a worshipful way. It is in such sharing that participants synthesize a much deeper human insight into the topic than could be reached by just doing readings.

In search of topics, ARE committee members keep their ears to the community, trying to pick up on our individual and communal needs and interests. Many people within our community are following deep personal leadings in their life and work and often have much to share about how the Light works within and among us to do good works. We try to give them a place to come talk with us about it.

-- Rick E, Adult Education Committee