We offer a community that starts with simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and earth care. We are Christ-centered as a meeting, but open to the religious experiences and convictions of all individuals, believing that direct knowledge of God is available to all people everywhere, whatever their religious or cultural background. We believe that children have a special connection to the life of the Spirit, and work to be a warm, nurturing community for children, young people, and their families. Adult spiritual enrichment opportunities include Bible study, book discussions, communication workshops, etc., nurturing individual lives and group dynamics in a vital faith for the twenty-first century. Meals, celebrations, and other fun events also help us enjoy one another.
Members of the First Friends Meeting have been active in the larger community as well. The membership is about 100, with an average weekly attendance of about 50 in meeting for worship. Many are second- and third-generation members. A “gathered” meeting is frequently experienced with about 15 minutes of open worship during which a number of congregants often share a vocal ministry. We are open and affirming. We are theologically diverse, with considerable acceptance of varied viewpoints and openness to new experiences and ideas as we are led by the Holy Spirit.
The following is a guide for the Meeting and the pastor. It names all significant tasks for a successful Meeting. This list can assist a pastor to make sure all tasks are covered with the pastor focusing on preaching & teaching, the coordinator’s role with committee chairs to cover others. We believe that First Friends is a place for each person to grow as led by the light within and by a nurturing community. We are a semi-programmed Meeting with a diversity of theological views, and values open worship while retaining a commitment to Quaker values and testimonies. We are an open and affirming Meeting. We are looking for a pastor familiar with Quaker testimonies, has good communication skills, team skills, and facility with the computer and internet. We do not expect a pastor to have all of the gifts listed below.
I.Skills we are looking for in our Meeting
(We encourage the candidate to tell us which three of the following are your personal strengths.)
1.Preaching: We appreciate education and inspirational messages, reserving 15-20 minutes for open worship. Meeting for Worship may extend past one hour should the Spirit lead.
2.Teaching – a.Using classes, retreats, etc. to encourage gifts of ministry in our congregation. b.Sharing information on courses by other Quaker organizations.
3.Visitation – Welcome new attenders, visit the sick and infirm, Coordinate with Care team and Amaryllis to correspond or meet with those in need of support and encouragement.
4.Meeting Administration, smooth administration of business, in coordination with Monthly Meeting Clerk, and the office manager:
●Coordinate the work of the meetinghouse staff.
●Keep in touch with the major activities and issues before the various commissions/committees of the Meeting.
●Be aware of the calendar.
●Be in regular communication with the Presiding Clerk of Monthly Meeting
●prepared to offer a monthly report to Monthly Meeting on the state of affairs of the Meeting.
1.Visioning – Pray, imagine, and nurture visions of what we could be as a Quaker Meeting, engaged in community, engaged in worship and engaged in the world.
2.Commission/Committee work – the Pastor is an ex-officio member of the Ministry and Oversight Commission. a.Meet with other commissions/committees occasionally, or as needs warrant, to support their efforts to accomplish their various tasks.
2 b.Nurture and encourage the gifts of those who are members of the committees.
3.Finances – Be aware of and nurture the fiscal health of the Meeting.
4.Pastoral Counseling – Counsel for short term needs and/or be prepared to refer the person to needed services. These sessions might involve personal issues or such other concerns as pre-marital counseling.
5.Spiritual Direction – Different from counseling. In-person or through correspondence, offering guidance to those who seek spiritual direction.
6.Special events – These include weddings, funerals, memorial services, speeches, etc.
7.Study and prayer – The need to nurture one’s own spirit is crucial and needs dedicated time.
II. The Richmond Community: (as the pastor is led)
A.Speaker and resource person according to leadings and gifts.
B.Continuing relationship with other congregations, including the Jewish and Catholic faith communities.
C.Continuing relationship with Local academic institutions, including Earlham College, The Earlham School of Religion, Bethany Theological Seminary and Indiana University East.
D.Open Arms Ministry
E.Direct social action.
III. The Wider Quaker Community:
(We encourage our members to be engaged in the wider Quaker Community and share what they learn with the Meeting)
●New Association of Friends
●Friends United Meeting and Friends General Conference
●Recruit ESR interns
IV. Ecumenical Work: (as the pastor is led)
A.Richmond Area Ministerial Association
B.Friendships across congregations.
C.Quaker Pastors Group We recognize that pastoral leadership calls for long hours to contact, understand, and nurture the faith community. We hope that our pastor can enjoy life within the fellowship and preserve personal time for family, recreation and freedom from the demands of the Meeting.
Understanding of and appreciation for Quaker values
Full-time professional position 40-50 hours a week
Email Bonita Porter.