Our First Day Schools are an entry point to meeting life for our children. In addition to FDS on Sunday mornings, Friends involved with this work are the Friends who know the children best and are always looking for how to draw them into the life of the Spirit while also making sure there are enough crayons in the cupboard. The First Day School Threadletter is a regular way of sharing ideas, wisdom, struggles and inbreaking of Light among Friends who are led in this ministry. You can subscribe to receive the Threadletter via email or view this Threadletter Blog anytime.
How to Contribute
Share news of your meeting’s work, ask for help from others or let Friends know about an upcoming event by submitting information and stories to the threadletter blog; click below. You can also share ideas for the featured stories in the Threadletter. To contribute, contact the Associate Secretary for Program & Religious Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-241-7008.
- Spring 2015 Post
- Fall 2014 Posts
- Summer 2014 Posts
- March 2013 Posts
- January 2013 Posts
- November 2012 Posts
- September 2012 Posts
Announcing the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative
In this post, we interviewed Melinda Wenner-Bradley, who is one of the current leaders of the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative. This is a network of people across the United States interested in supporting each other in the care and religious education of our youth. Read the full article.
First Day School Consultants Program
Check out the First Day School Consultants Program, which offers Friends and meetings needed expertise in the art of First Day School. Also email Marty Smith if you are interested in becoming a First Day School Consultant.
View the full archived Threadletter.
Update on the Convergences!
In our 2014 summer issue of the First Day School Threadletter, we published an article from the Coordinator of Western Quarterly Meeting about a new program called “First Day School Convergences.” Then, the program was still in development. Now that one event has happened, we thought we’d update Friends. In the update, we highlight words from Coleen Kennedy, the Religious Education Coordinator at West Grove Meeting, where the first convergence was held. She writes, “The spark in the eye of our individual and collective youth is grounding like little else! Thank you to the loving soul of our Quarter for this to be.”
View the full Fall 2014 First Day School Thread Letter.
First Day School Convergence
This story is from Zac Dutton, the Coordinator for Western Quarterly Meeting
I was curious. Some kind of mental bifurcation formed in the minds of those for whom I began to work about two years ago as Coordinator for Western Quarterly Meeting. Somehow our Monthly Meetings were so separate from the Quarterly Meeting that it was up to the Quarterly Meeting to develop its own programming for youth and leave the “real” religious education to individual meetings. Yet out of all eleven meetings and one worship group, only five had relatively robust religious education programs. They were known informally as, “the big five.” I wondered how this rather purely conceptual division between the monthly and quarterly meetings could prevent us from seeing the value of working together.
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Religious Education Listening Circles
Friends who hold a sense of stewardship for the faith formation of Quaker children are invited to explore that passion together and share it with the wider community. The new Quaker RE Collaborative (QREC)offers queries and a way of sharing responses across many Yearly Meetings. Find out how you can be part of this!
Worship and Children
True worship may be experienced at any time; in any place-alone on the hills or in the busy daily life-we may find God, in whom we live and move and have our being. But this individual experience is not sufficient, and in a meeting held in the Spirit there is a giving and receiving between its members, one helping another with or without words. So there may come a wider vision and a deeper experience.
London Yearly Meeting Revision Committee
This sense of true worship is a foundation of our faith. The practice of it then is foundational for our children. This issue of the FDS Threadletter includes stories, reflections and tools to help meetings nurture their children’s experience of worship. Friends who are also subscribed to the Worship & Ministry Threadletter will notice that these same stories are featured in that newsletter this month because this is a concern for all Friends, not just those teaching First Day School.
- Message from the Field: Worship with Children: Play and Practice
- Reflection from Experience: Children in Quaker Meeting for Worship
- Resource: Downloadable resources from the PYM Website
How to Grow Multigenerational Community from a Seed
Wilmington Meeting just needs a pumpkin seed to grow an experience for our whole Quaker community. From multigenerational community to Friends’ discernment process, this annual event has it all in a simple program any meeting can do. Read the full story…
Perspectives on the Holidays
Friends’ approach to holidays and “the day the world calls Christmas” offer quite a range – from keeping the day holy as every other day in the old traditional manner of Friends, to pageants, choirs, service and dinners. This month’s Threadletter shares some perspectives and wisdom on Christmas from around the Yearly Meeting.
- Message from the Field: Keeping Christmas
- Reflection from Experience: Celebrating the holidays with joy and simplicity
- Resource: Christmas Resources for First Day School
The Threads of our Ministries Weave Us Together
This is the inaugural issue of PYM First Day School Threadletter! Threadletters are bi-monthly e-newsletters which allow us to share the work, wisdom and resources for a thread of ministry that weaves through our meetings. This threadletter is for Friends who are called to nurture the spiritual lives of our children.
- A Message from the Field: The Yearly Meeting Supports the Spiritual Lives of Children
- Reflection from Experience: Beginning a New First Day School Year
- Resource: Faith & Play™ Website and New Faith & Play™ Curriculum