The discussion was led by Alice Maxfield, using as a springboard two articles by Donald W. McCormick from Friends Journal: “Can Quakerism Survive?” and “What People Really Want from Church and Quaker Meeting.” There was general agreement in the group that our Wrightstown Meeting is small and perhaps declining, and that this was a concern. We discussed various ideas for correcting this problem, mostly in terms with how we respond to new attenders: greeting them warmly, offering literature and – where there is sufficient interest -- offering a copy of Faith and Practice. Not all agreed that we should initiate more aggressive outreach in the form of advertising, but it was suggested that we inquire of other organizations and PYM as to how membership has been built in other Meetings with success.
There was some discussion about what brought us to this Meeting, what has kept us coming, and what others might be seeking when they come. We also considered the people we need to attract: specifically, former Quakers who drift away (especially young people) and those who are seeking a different sort of spiritual home from the one they were raised in.
At the close of the discussion, some expressed interest in continuing the discussion to identify specific initiatives for building and retaining membership. Alice suggested that individuals commit to following up on specific suggestions that had been discussed.
To learn more about the Spiritual Exploration Group, or SEG, click here.