Queries for Meetings in Transition
by Anne Pomeroy
New Paltz Meeting
Taking Stock of the Life of the Meeting
- What has been the spiritual journey of the meeting? How has the meeting grown or transformed in its journey? How would you describe the spiritual vitality of the meeting now?
- What spiritual gifts has the meeting carried? Have any been laid down?
- Who is in the meeting community now? Who are we now?
- What would you tell a beloved Friend about the meeting? What would you share of its history?
- What do you hold dear about the meeting? How can you acknowledge this gift and the way you will carry it forward?
- What is important for the meeting to let go of? Are there aspects of the meeting’s shadow that can be addressed before the meeting is laid down? What healing can occur through the transition of the meeting?
Care of Members
- How will the members and attenders of the meeting be accompanied in their grieving and letting go? (by individuals beyond the meeting community)
- What does saying goodbye to the meeting mean for individuals and for the meeting as a whole?
- What issues arise around grief and grieving for individuals in the community? For example, does it bring up unresolved grief?
- What aspects of the meeting are you individually grateful for?
- What rises for people around the ending of a spiritual community?
- What impact does laying down the meeting have on an individual’s identity? On their identity as a Quaker?
- Where will the members/attenders turn next on their spiritual journey?
Care of the Collective
- What supports are available in the wider Quaker community to accompany the meeting in the transition?
- Are there gifts of the community that could be looked at as legacy —to pass on—to send forth? What might this look like?
- Will laying down the meeting impact the broader Quaker community? How might this be tended?
- What relationships in the larger Quaker community will be impacted? How will the larger community accompany the Meeting in this transition? How will the mutual relationship of care between the meeting and the larger Quaker community be present?
Care of a Meetinghouse(s) (where applicable)
- Is there enough of the meeting community available to have a meaningful Meeting for Business? What are the resources available in the wider Quaker community to support the decisions that need to be made for the meeting?
- Are there items in the meetinghouse that it would be meaningful to donate? (Donate to _______?)
- What values are important in stewarding the transition of the meetinghouse?
- How will the transitioning of the meetinghouse happen? Is there guidance within Faith and Practice to guide this process? Are there individuals/committees to help with this process?
- Will the ownership of the meetinghouse return to the yearly meeting? If the meetinghouse is sold, what will the meeting do with the proceeds of the sale? Is there a spiritual legacy in this transition?
- How will the community listen spiritually throughout this process?
Care of Cemeteries
• How will the care of the cemetery be transitioned?
Care of Finances
- Are there individuals or committees within the yearly meeting that can help guide the financial decisions/implications of the transition of the meeting?
- Are there designated funds?
- How will any remaining funds be expended?
Role of the Quarterly/Regional Meeting
• How will the larger Quaker community be involved in the transition? (The Quarter/Region is responsible for saying that the process occurred with good order.)