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Living Faith Gatherings
“Living Faith”—what’s this all about?
Living Faith is a day-long gathering of Friends from throughout New England. The event is a chance for Friends to worship together, get to know each other, share the different ways we experience and live our faith, and build community.
The next Living Faith gathering will be held on April 6, 2019 at Friends Academy just outside of New Bedford, MA.
What will the gathering look like?
This year's Living Faith will be held just outisde New Bedford, MA at Friends Academy.
Registration will open at 8:45 a.m. with the gathering starting at 9:30. After some brief welcoming and orienting remarks, we’ll join together in intergenerational worship to help us center in the Life and Source of our living faith.
Following worship, children will meet with the youth staff and start their concurrent programming. Adults and teens will attend one of three morning program offerings of their choice. All ages will come together at noon for a delicious lunch and fellowship. After lunch, children will rejoin their program and adults and teens will attend workshops.
You can view a list of the April 2019 workshops here. The day will close with waiting (unprogrammed) worship.When will registration open?
If you have more questions about Living Faith events you can visit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
A Special Opportunity for Young Adult Friends (ages 18-35)
Want to make a weekend out of it? On April 5-7th, there will be a weekend-long retreat for young adults interested in attending Living Faith as well as spending time with other Quaker young adults. More information here.
Where will the event be held?
This year's Living Faith will be held at Friends Academy in North Dartmouth, Mass. The school is just a 10-15 minute drive from historic New Bedford Massaschusetts.
Living Faith is a one-day event. However, we’re all encouraged to consider the weekend surrounding that day as an opportunity for intervisitation among local Friends and exploring the historic New Bedford area. Opportunities abound – like the New Bedford Whaling Museum and its Paul Cuffe exhibit (African-American Friend, whaler and abolitionist); the museum is open both Friday and Sunday from 9am to 4pm. In addition, everyone is warmly welcomed to worship on Sunday with Friends at various nearby active and historical meetinghouses in Sandwich Quarter. Those within 10 miles of Living Faith include: New Bedford, Mattapoissett, Darmouth at Smith Neck, Allen’s Neck and Westport Meetings.
Will there be evening activites?
The Living Faith program concludes at 4pm, however in partnership with local meetings there are two additional opportunities to gather that evening.
Friends are invited to a potluck supper at 5:30 p.m. at New Bedford Meeting after Living Faith, with food generously provided by Friends across Sandwich Quarter and NEYM Young Adult Friends. The New Bedford Meetinghouse, located at 83 Spring Street in downtown New Bedford, is just a ten minute drive from Friends Academy. (There should be ample opportunities to carpool. Also, there is some parking available behind New Bedford Meeting as well as additional parking on nearby streets.)
Before the potluck, at 4:30 p.m., interested Friends will meet at New Bedford Meetinghouse for a tour of the historic “Abolition Row” neighborhood near the meetinghouse – a neighborhood once home to Frederick Douglass as well as to a large Quaker community. (Douglass wrote in his 1855 memoir that one of his initial impressions of New Bedford when he arrived there in 1838, was of the Quaker community: “The sight of the broad brim and the plain, Quaker dress, which met me at every turn, greatly increased my sense of freedom and security. ‘I am among the Quakers,’ thought I, ‘and am safe.’")
Living Faith Gatherings are a new initiative of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (NEYM) bringing together Quakers from across our region to nourish our faith, grow our communities, and strengthen our witness.
These semiannual, day-long gatherings include large group worship, fellowship and relationship-building, workshops led by dynamic Friends, an integrated youth program, and opportunities to connect on shared concerns. NEYM exists to support and nurture New England Quakers, and we hope the new Living Faith gatherings will equip individual Friends and local meetings with resources, tools, and connections to more fully live our faith.
Through worship reflecting the diversity of Quaker practice in New England, inspiring speakers and experiential workshops, Living Faith Gatherings will nourish our spirits and strengthen our ability to live our faith through action. A concurrent youth program will explore these same themes in ways accessible to kids. The day will open and close with programming for all generations, allowing us to be together as a multigenerational community. Families with young children are especially encouraged to attend. We hope that this new initiative will engage Friends who have participated in wider Quaker events before, and welcome many who haven’t. Please join us, and help spread the word!
Questions or suggestions? Contact the Living Faith planning team by email.