Leadings and Actions for Adelphis Future
Adelphi Friends Meeting
Long-Range Planning Report
June 14, 2009
We are a loving and blessed Quaker community, seeking the leadings of the
Spirit to deepen our faith and practice, nurture our community, and strengthen
our individual and collective witness and service. This corporate seeking
began as we approached Adelphis fiftieth anniversary. Together, and
at the initiative of our Trustees, we undertook to create a vision of our
future by reaching greater clearness about what God is calling us to do and
be as a faith community.
In the journey of discernment on which we embarked nearly three years ago,
we have remembered, searched, reflected, listened, dreamed, worshipped, sung,
disagreed, laughed, played, broken bread, and opened our homes and our hearts
to one another. We have generated and weighed ideas and have sought guidance
from the Spirit as we have upheld some ideas while setting others aside.
We have captured our dreams and leadings in writing, which has allowed us
to share them more widely and to be able to revisit them, when necessary.
Now, the Long-Range Planning Committee offers its gathered sense of the Meeting
about our leadings for this imagined future and the actions that we have
said will help us follow those leadings.
We are led to open ourselves more deeply to the working of the Spirit
in our community and in our lives. We want to feel a sense of renewal and
recommitment within our faith community, deepening the joy and hope that
comes from sharing a life of faith. In our individual lives and in our life
together, we want to be grounded more deeply in practices that nurture our
spiritual growth and are guided more clearly and consistently by Quaker
Nurture spiritual growth by reclaiming the traditional role of eldering as
one of identifying and nurturing the gifts of our members and attenders,
encouraging a new generation of seasoned Friends to nurture the spiritual
growth of others in the Meeting.
Encourage committees to be more mindful of calling forth and supporting the
gifts of their members and others at Meeting, recognizing the special
responsibility of Nominating Committee in this regard.
Recognize the importance of small groups for building community and nurturing
the spiritual life of group members and encourage everyone at Meeting to
participate in a small group. Examples of small groups include committees,
mens and womens groups, spiritual exploration groups, and other
groups formed around shared interests.
Create more Meeting-wide opportunities that enable us to put God at the center
of our lives. This could include holding adult religious education on most
First Days, introducing a time for sharing after the rise of Meeting for
Worship, and holding retreats and other Meeting-wide gatherings.
We are led to be more thoughtful, flexible, and efficient in how we organize
our community life to encourage deeper engagement by a wider number of people,
acknowledging that many in our community struggle with competing demands
on their time.
Change the schedule of First Day to allow time for more frequent adult religious
education and committee meetings, strengthen outreach opportunities, and
encourage more adults to teach First Day School.
Assist committees to improve their functioning, including by convening a
meeting of committee clerks on a regular basis and encouraging committees
to take full advantage of resources such as the Yearly Meeting and to seek
mentoring from others to develop individual skills and committee resources.
Create more coordinator positions and more discrete opportunities for individual
Find ways to include Young Friends in the discernment and decision-making
processes of Meeting.
Consider hiring a part-time staff person for Meeting.
We are led to expand and deepen our friendships with one another, including
Hold Meeting-wide events that are fun, provide an opportunity for service,
and allow people to get to know each other, building on our current traditions
of sharing joys and concerns, potlucks, singing, and after-Meeting snacks.
Affirming our desire to live plainly and simply, celebrate our differences
with the larger culture and support one another in our
differentness by gathering in one anothers homes.
Listen to Meeting kids to find out what kind of activities they would like.
We are led to enhance our efforts to nurture the spiritual growth of our
children and youth.
Revise the religious education (RE) curriculum to be more hands-on, outdoors,
intergenerational, and action-oriented.
Imbue our RE program with the practice of treating others with loving kindness.
Provide time in our RE plan for children and youth to simply have fun together,
thus providing the building blocks for creating a spiritual community that
they can turn to throughout adulthood.
Integrate earth-centered spirituality into First Day School curriculum and
Incorporate service to the Meeting and the wider world into the programs
for children and youth.
Plan Meeting-wide intergenerational social activities to build community
and create connections outside the classroom and outside the family.
We are led to resolve issues within our Meeting that have festered without
clearness or unity, better resolve conflicts as they arise, and deepen our
fluency in Quaker practices that may enable us to communicate better
and achieve unity.
Engage Adelphi Friends Meeting (AFM) members and outside resource people
to develop spirit-led conflict resolution practices and methods in Meeting
and work to reach greater clearness within the Meeting on issues that have
been long-standing concerns, including the Meetings relationship with
Friends Community School and with the Takoma Park Preparative Meeting.
Revisit and practice the unique aspects of Quaker interaction and decision-making
processes by holding forums, workshops, and Second Hour sessions.
Learn to differentiate differences of opinion from conflicts arising out
of deeply-held, but differing, beliefs and learn to recognize when a conflict
has been resolved.
We are led to be more responsible stewards of our facilities and properties
and to make them into a safe and welcoming place of refuge and restoration.
Develop a master plan for our physical plant with the goals of
accessibility, non-obsolescence, sustainability, efficiency, comfort, beautiful
space, adequate parking that identifies constraints and
Develop new ways to ensure regular maintenance and upkeep of physical plant.
Consider a full range of options for meeting our facilities needs, including
the possibility of co-locating with other organizations, as well as possibilities
for using our property more intensively and expansively considering
how others might use it during the course of the week.
Effect the changes and opportunities identified in the master plan assessment.
Learn through practice to be better stewards and then demonstrate good practices
Explore ways of partnering and cooperating with other organizations to achieve
efficiencies in the maintenance of our facilities and move toward becoming
Improve accessibility of all spaces in our buildings, recognizing that as
our community ages, hearing and mobility impairments will affect an increasing
number of Friends.
We are led to nurture our reverence and concern for the earth and all
of creation so that it becomes integral to our faith and spirituality and
guides our decisions and actions as individuals and as a community.
Share and deepen our understanding of earth-centered and creation-centered
spirituality and their connection to Quaker beliefs and integrate our
relationship with the earth and our own Meeting grounds into our spiritual
practice and community life.
Establish partnerships with others to take steps needed to make AFM carbon
We are led to be more creative and far-reaching in discerning the ways
we can be of service to our local community and the wider world.
Allocate annual budget resources to support service and outreach projects
started by small groups in Meeting and enlist other kinds of expertise and
engagement from within Meeting to support these projects
Include projects at the local community and international levels and an
Include at least one project developed and run by Young Friends. Define a
process for organizing and identifying project ideas, with the RE adults
playing key facilitation roles.
Discern the ways we can contribute not just our money, but our time and talent
to make the world a better place.
To ensure that all Meeting members have an opportunity to participate in
the creation of the outreach projects, Quaker processes will be used to determine
which projects will Go Forth with financial backing of Adelphi.
Establish a mechanism to monitor outcomes on an ongoing basis.
We are led to create visions for action and clearness of purpose that
will call us to deepen our financial commitments.
Take stock of our financial assets.
Raise additional funds for outreach and service from within Meeting
Develop a process for staged, long-term planning to identify funding and
income avenues and ways to finance mid-range needs that fall between what
is covered by the annual budget and the Reserve for Replacement.
We are led to establish Spirit-led processes for monitoring and reflecting
on our efforts to create our future and for continuing to discern the way
Charge the Trustees with proposing such processes for consideration by the
Long-Range Planning Committee Members:
Ann Marie Moriarty
Cheryl Morden, Clerk