For QVS to be successful, we need the support of local Friends. In April 2018, we gathered some of our most dedicated local supporters at Pendle Hill, the historic Quaker retreat center just outside Philadelphia. It was the first gathering of its kind; a chance for Friends who serve on QVS Local Support Committees to meet one another and learn from one another. Just as importantly, the gathering brought together Friends who anchor the Spiritual Nurturer program in each of our cities.
We had long hoped to gather local Friends together in this manner, to learn across our city programs what’s being done well and where we have collective growing edges. Never before had Friends from each our five programs been in the same room — and there was a deep power in holding physical space together.
Over the course of four days together, over 15 Friends from around the country took a systematic look at the partnership between QVS and local Friends. We listened deeply to Spirit and to one another. We asked questions like: What inspires Friends? What gets in the way? What is the QVS Way of doing this work and how can we build consistency in our work across our city programs?
Knowing that relationships take time and the way of love is hard to measure, what does it mean for a Spiritual Nurturer to be successful? When might a Spiritual Nurturer Anchor have authority to make unilateral decisions? When might she share in decision-making authority with others?
This invested time together brought immense clarity and deepened our commitment to one another and the work we do across so many miles. As we grow and expand, we recognize the importance of creating focal moments like these, so that we can equip our local supporters with more comprehensive training and best practices, and share these practices across our national network.
We need local Friends to be active in the work we do. We need Friends to keep this work grounded in worship. We need Friends gifts of hospitality. We need Friends to increase awareness of QVS through your network of relationships and invite others to invest in our work.