Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Grow Our Meetings Toolkit - Welcoming & Integrating Newcomers

Photo by: Mike Goren
Meeting Resource

The simple act of preparing to welcome visitors can give new life to a meeting.

Many meetings have a regular stream of visitors walking through their doors on Sunday mornings, but wonder why visitors don’t stick around and become part of the meeting community.  A key component of meeting growth is being intentional about responding to the needs of newcomers with grace and welcoming, guiding them through the process of practicing the Quaker way, and offering opportunities for building meaningful connections within the meeting.

Welcoming meetings are those that invite newcomers to learn about the Quaker way, Quaker processes, and Quaker worship, AND to build connections and relationships with Friends in the meeting.  Inreach activities or renewal opportunities that allow everyone in the meeting to explore their spirituality and the Quaker way together can meet the needs of newcomers and be a gift to the entire community.  After all, we’re all on a spiritual journey!

Sample Agenda: A 3-hour Session on Welcoming and Integrating Newcomers
Centering Worship15 minutes
Spiritual Hospitality for Newcomers60-75 minutes
Newcomer Timeline Activity45-60 minutes
Double Circles: Breaking the Quaker Code30 minutes

*The starred files below include facilitation guides for activities you can implement TODAY in your meeting.

 ► *Spiritual Hospitality for Newcomers Activities

 ► Opportunities to Learn about the Quaker Way and Grow in the Spirit

 ► *Welcoming Role Play

 ► *Using Letters to a Fellow Seeker in Meeting Discussion Groups

 ► *Integrating Newcomers Activity: Newcomer Timeline

 ► Holding Space for Newcomers: Friendly Sevens

 ► Knitting Newcomers into the Community

 ► *You Are Welcome Here! Discussion Guide

 ► Integrating Newcomers (and others!) with the Quaker Minute

 ► *Discussion Guide: Exploring Worship

 ► *Activity: Being a Quaker