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Where Are the New Quakers?

Published: July 9, 2021



This message is to tell you that I have started an online discussion on a topic which I understand may appeal to you (see below).  I don't know any other source of tested ideas for inviting would-be Quakers to get to know us - if you do know of one, please post it on the discussion board.  I will be posting excerpts from State of the Meeting reports that describe outreach efforts (if any). Feel free to inform other Friends of the existence of this discussion.

from Eric Sabelman, Palo Alto Friends Meeting (7/6/2021)


Click here to read (and join) the conversation “Reaching out: Where are the new Quakers? And how do we invite them in?”

First entry, by Eric Sabelman:

For too long I have listened to lamentations among Friends that our Meetings are aging and diminishing in spiritual energy.  What I have not heard are reports on what we are doing about it, and whether our efforts are succeeding.  It is as if we have taken our traditional reluctance to proselytize to be an absolute prohibition against telling anyone who we are and where to find us.

Rather than another place to publish our worries about Quakerly extinction, this discussion will focus on specific decisions and actions to encourage non-Friends to attend Meetings for Worship, Quarterly and Yearly gatherings, Quaker-sponsored events advertised to the public, and non-Quaker events having a Quaker presence.  As such, it is related to more general topics posted in "Quaker Conversation for the Future."

The idea is to create a collection of best practices for reaching out, described in sufficient detail that other groups of Friends can try them too.  Since not every effort is successful, analyses of attempts that didn't work are welcome, as are stories of discontinued past practices that could be revived.  Also, tell us about anything you do to overcome your reluctance and prepare to reach out (for example, playing the "Ask me about Quakerism" game.)