The Welcoming Friend Project is a part of the Spiritual Deepening program at FGC and is connected to the efforts of the Ministry on Racism program. One goal of the Spiritual Deepening program is to help newcomers interested in Quaker faith and practice to gain a good foundation in our tradition quickly. Obtaining a working understanding of Quaker faith and practice requires immersion in the community. A further goal of this project is to create a climate in more meetings where People of Color are embraced as part of the worshiping community. Allied to this, work will also be done to help meetings be more welcoming to people of all ages, incomes, sexual orientations, and more.
The Welcoming Friend Project tests and evaluates practices for welcoming newcomers with the goal of sharing effective practices that will help introduce newcomers to the depth of Quaker faith and practice while bringing them into the life of the meeting. To achieve this, the Welcoming Friend Project will create a collection of resources, an online training module, and a workshop at the FGC Gathering in July 2019, all geared toward helping Friends in monthly and yearly meetings adopt welcoming practices. An additional goal of the project is to also create a community of practice and a volunteer leadership team that will carry the work after the initial project phases are over by maintaining and updating the resource collection while offering online training and Gathering workshops on an on-going basis. The program design and end products may shift as the work unfolds and we gain a better understanding of what is really needed to achieve our goals.