"Friendly Eights" groups have officially launched--have you connected with one? The following 11 small groups with diverse themes are being generously offered and you're welcome to sign up to one or more! Groups generally meet monthly at a mutually convenient place/time, and we have a rich harvest this year. If you missed connecting with a group(s), simply email the convener(s) below and join in.
Aging and Sharing it
In this group we can share our ideas, questions, challenges, and hopes and examine the meaning that aging has for us. We will meet to decide upon a flexible agenda based on the interests of group members. Some interests which have been expressed include intentional communities, choices we face in the various stages in the aging process, and information sharing. There is also interest in the spiritual aspects of aging and the fears and opportunities that this stage presents. PYM has a wealth of resources which we can use and these may provide helpful queries for our sharing. We can share reading materials which might be helpful to explore.
art Study Group
This evening group is an opportunity to share our art - all media, all ages - and to try new things. Each monthly gathering will have a group-discerned theme (for example, shadows or harvest or journey). Everyone who attends will be encouraged to bring their artistic response to that theme to share. (And if the theme doesn't inspire, any current piece would be welcome.)
Community Singing for Faith and Fun
This drop-in group will sing songs both energetic and contemplative to our heart's content. There will be song suggestions to get the ball rolling but the goal is eliciting preferences from the participants. Bring songs or chants to share, teach or request. Available songbooks include Worship in Song (the Quaker Hymnal), Rise Up Singing, and Rise Again. We will gather in the meeting room on the third Saturday each month, from 4-5:30 or so, followed by an optional pot luck supper until 6:30.
Exploring Four Doors: William Taber’s Pamphlet, “Four Doors to Meeting for Worship.”
This can be a big help for newcomers, members and attenders settle into worship, improving the quality of our meeting for worship. Group members would read, discuss and practice the "Four Doors" and meet once a month to discuss their own insights, ideally in someone's home. From Ron: “This is excellent, especially for newer members or members who have never read this wonderful pamphlet. I do not have time/energy to convene but hope that someone will recognize the value of this and take on the of convening this group.”
The purpose here is to have fun. We chose a game each night. We each bring a little snack. We are thinking to meet the second Saturday of the month at 7pm, perhaps at the Meeting House, or possibly at each other’s house in rotation, these details to be decided by the participants. The games usually call for a limited number of participants, but if more sign up we can always have more than one going at a time.
Lies my Teacher told me
The Healing Racism Working Group is initiating a Friendly Eights group called Lies My Teacher Told Me. It will be a book/podcast group to look at issues of race in America. There will be two people from the Healing Racism Working Group attending the group each month to facilitate discussion. Group will determine place/times.
Moving and grooving in the spirit
Being more fully embodied, with increased fluency and confidence in our own creative spontaneous movement, is my goal for us in this very un-heady friendly eights (or sixteens!). Warning: movement/dance has been known to relieve stress, reveal personal/spiritual insights, create community and generate joy! Each month, we use a movement form, including those from the group like InterPlay, Five Rhythms, East Coast Swing, Contact Improvisation, Open Score/Underscore and Argentine Tango, ideally, spending 3+ sessions with each form to get comfortable with the structures and more freely improvise, i.e., have fun! Tentative time: October 20 and then Second Saturdays 7-9 PM in the Worship Room.
Looking for other soul-journers who enjoy writing and reading poetry. Let’s gather at someone’s home once a month and write on soulful topics, perhaps to soft inspiring music. For those who feel moved to do so, time will be devoted to reading aloud what has arisen. Leadership and choice of topic to be alternated within the group each month. Members are encouraged to bring and share with the group poetry that has touched you since the last month’s meeting.
Selected Readings & Videos on Awakening & Enlightenment from somewhat Buddhist perspectives
What is the Nature of Enlightenment and Awakening from the Buddhist perspective? The hope of this friendly-eights group is to meet monthly to read, watch and discuss authors and teachings of a decidedly Buddhist path.
topical discussion group
We will discuss topics chosen by the group. Examples (when the group originally formed) are Forgiveness, Resentment, Sincerity, Kindness, Letting go, Contentment, Truth. Group members are encouraged to think deeply on the topic in the days and weeks prior to the meeting, and if inclined, do some research. Though discussions can be intellectual and analytical, group members are encouraged to think about the topics in terms of their own lives and to speak from their hearts as to how, for example, forgiveness or resentment may be met with difficulty in one's own life. Group will determine meeting time/place.
Learn and practice having meaningful conversations with white people (who disagree with me) around race. I would like to work through "The White Ally Toolkit Workbook: Using active listening, empathy, and personal storytelling to promote racial equity," by David W. Campt. This would involve some homework between gatherings. Meeting once a month at Meeting or rotate to people's houses; flexible scheduling.