WT-4: Preparations for “Worshiping Together”

Are there differences between “now” and the steps we have for getting everybody started  moving toward “normal Sundays? “WT-4” is devoted to that thinking. WT-4 is a separate page from WT-3 in order to keep the plan for the next Sundays as clear as possible. Old versions of this discussion are at the bottom.

Updated on Sept 26

Every Sunday through October we will have a “WT Discussion Table” during Fellowship time

Here’s the Sunday schedule through the end of the year, with commentary:

* September 26

Our first attempt was a great success!

“All the children & teachers in the room with everybody else, awesome!”

* October 3 – Family Meeting

(No Worshiping Together” in the meetingroom)

*** Oct. 10, Oct. 17 & Oct. 24: Three WT Sundays in a row

* Lesson from 9/26: The kids made themselves name tags. We need to develop a system for keeping them where they can be found.

The guideline for all teachers is

  • Bring your students to the doors of the meetingroom at 11:45. However,
  • All teachers have some discretion, for instance
    • Teachers of younger students might want to wait a bit later, until some of the congestion in the hall has cleared, and so that their students are expected to sit quietly for a shorter time.
    • A teacher may choose not to take the class to the meetingroom, keeping students in the classroom until Noon.

ADVICE TO TEACHERS: While we respect and encourage the autonomy of your class, we are also concerned about the living wholeness of the entire worshiping body, students and adults, sitting in worship together.
Therefore, while you may feel your class is “not ready,” it may still be important to bring them into worship at 11:45 or 11:50. When the class enters the meetingroom it will affect both the class and the body already sitting in worship. We need that. The class may be quieted; the adults energized. Or something else. It is the living wholeness of the worshiping community we are looking for here. The whole point, eventually, is to get everyone in the room together, where Spirit can work on us all at once, as a whole. So we encourage both your efforts to have your students’ experience be as good as possible and also a letting go, on your part. There is mystery here, and our striving and our relaxing are two arms with which it embraces us.

OUTSTANDING ISSUES, to be considered in light of October’s experience:

  • Will Advancement Committee door tenders make efforts during the initial 10:55-11:00 seating to ensure that there are a large number of fairly-accessible seats near the doors?
  • Do we want to arrange the chairs so that the aisles leading in from the main doors are broader?
  • Might a class decide to enter the worship earlier than 11:45?

* Oct. 31 – Inter-generational Worship
* November 7 – Family Day

Two weeks in a row, no Worshiping Together” in the meetingroom.

* Nov.14

Another sequence of three WT Sundays.
Having skipped the two previous Sundays will require a little recovery.

* Nov. 21

* Nov. 28

* Dec. 5 – Family Day

* Dec. 12

A WT Sunday. Classrooms are likely to be focused on preparations for their presentations next week.

* Dec. 19

FDS classes make their holiday presentations. These songs and skits are presented in the meetingroom starting about half way into the worship hour.

* Dec. 26

A WT Sunday

* How much discretion can we give to individual classes, especially the teachers, about whether they come to Meeting for Worship on a given day?


We should have a time limit (one year?) for giving it a good-faith effort.
With a commitment to do an evaluation at the end of that period.

Out-dated on Sept 16

“Getting-Ready” Timeline
Sketched in so far.

In September

Every Sunday, during Fellowship time: a “WT Planning Discussion Table”

9/11, Saturday, 9AM-Noon:

  • FDS Teacher Orientation
    (Yes, that’s at the same time as MWB)

9/12, first Sunday after Labor Day:

  • Adult Ed program, on experiences in other meetings.
  • Draft “edit-or-implement” Plan available

9/19, Sunday:

  • First day of FDS classes (Families meet with teachers in the Fellowship Room at 11AM)
    No children attend adult worship this day. Kids come into meetingroom at Noon, as in the past.

9/26, Sunday:

  • Try draft plan or consult on remaining issues

* What additional meetings or consultations do we want to have in advance, and when?
A special meeting for FDS teachers
(in addition to the 9/11 teacher orientation)?

How do we decide on what Sunday this starts?

* An FDSC member writes: I’d suggest the kids not go into adult worship in the beginning weeks.

  • Teachers set the scene for what is to come. Maybe do an in-classroom “practice” at 11:45.
  • On a Sunday that may only have been determined a week ahead of time at least one or two of the older classes come in.

* At M&C it was suggested:
During the weeks of preparation for WT, adults from 11:00 worship might come to each of the FDS classes and “invite” them, and explain why (that particular adult) was excited to have the class coming into worship near the end, instead of at the beginning.

* How long will children be in worship?
The assumption has been 15 minutes, just like before. Do we want to revisit this assumption?

PROPOSAL: Each class decides on the week they are “ready to start going to the meetingroom.” The teacher would present the idea and the class would discuss it, perhaps for more than a week. The class would know that, if they wanted to go in, they would need to be outside the doors at 11:45, when they would be invited in.

One parent asks:
“When our children read these messages on the topic of children in worship at TCFM, will they feel loved? In other words, will we as a community remember to write as those who are blessed with children (“children” equals “ones who are becoming young adult Quakers of tomorrow”) in our shared life together?

We should have a time limit (one year?) for giving it a good-faith effort.
With a commitment to do an evaluation at the end of that period.

Outline of the WT posts on the TCFM website:

  • WT-1: Current updates to Worshiping Together process
  • WT-2: Introduction to the “Worshiping Together” process
  • WT-3: What we expect the next few Sundays to look like, before further tweaking.
  • WT-3-OLD: “WT-3” will always reflect the current thinking. To keep WT-3 as uncomplicated as possible we will remove ideas that have been discussed and set aside. Friends who want to see what WT-3 looked like BEFORE the current version can go to WT-3-OLD.
  • WT-4: Preparations we as a community may need to make to achieve the goal of a rewarding inter-generational worship experience. THIS IS now THE MAIN PAGE FOR YOUR BEST THOUGHTS
  • WT-5: Open issues, concerns, exceptions, things to be mindful of. As we approach general agreement about “how are we going to do this,” I imagine this will be a place to record and keep track of “paths not (currently) taken.” If we agree on a course of action over the objections of some, let those objections be recorded here, with proposed alternatives, if possible. Then if things develop the way the objectors feared they would, we have a record in community memory, and perhaps some suggestions about alternative ways to proceed. This will be a place to stockpile dissenting opinions, and outstanding issues that we will do well to remember as we encounter the realities of the process as it unfolds. I will also use this area to archive all comments made, after they have been incorporated into the body of the work.
  • WT-6: Jokes about what is happening, or might happen.

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