Participating in an ongoing faithfulness group has provided crucial accompaniment in my spiritual journey. This practice can be of great value to anyone seeking to follow God’s guidance in their lives, anyone wanting to live according to their deepest purpose, or seeking to be true to the evolutionary impulse that is collectively leading humanity into the way of Love and Truth. What is required? A group of about 4 to 6 people able to meet together for two hours every month or so, people who are willing to listen to each other on deep spiritual levels and help one another better notice the call and inner guidance of the Spirit. Faithfulness groups are appropriate for people seeking to be faithful in their daily lives, and also for those following a call or leading of any kind, whether to education; serving those in need; the work of peace and justice; sustainability, deep ecology, and addressing climate change; witnessing for a new way of life, nurturing community, or encouraging faith.
A few years ago I recognized a call to share this practice as widely as possible. Now Inner Light Books has published a book that introduces practices for helping one another notice the sometimes humble ways the Spirit makes itself known to each of us. These practices can be of great use in spiritual friendships, spiritual journey groups, clearness committees, and faithfulness groups. A Guide to Faithfulness Groups explains what faithfulness is and how it can be cultivated by a community that practices ways to listen inwardly together for divine guidance. Above all, this book shows the potential that the practice of faithfulness groups holds for supporting individuals of any faith to allow the work of the Spirit to become manifest through them and their communities.
In this 25-minute video, An Introduction to Faithfulness Groups, seven Friends (including me) speak about Faithfulness Groups and their potential for renewing spiritual vitality.
A video of a sample faithfulness group session, recorded at a Nov 23, 2019 workshop is available on my web page about Faithfulness Groups.
@ 2019 Marcelle Martin
Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey describes the transformational spiritual journey of the first Quakers, who turned to the Light of Christ within and allowed it to be their guide. Many Friends today use different language, but are still called to make the same journey. In our time people seeking deeper access to the profound teachings of Christianity want more than just beliefs, they want direct experience. Focusing on ten elements of the spiritual journey, this book is a guide to a Spirit-filled life in this world, in our time. The book was designed to be a resource for both individuals and groups to explore their spiritual experiences. It describes the journey of faithfulness that leads people to actively engage in God’s work of making this world a better place for all. Our Life is Love has been reviewed by Marty Grundy in Friends Journal, by Carole Spencer in Quaker Religious Thought, and by Stuart Masters on A Quaker Stew.
Both Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey and A Guide to Faithfulness Groups are available from Inner Light Books in hardback, paperback, and ebook. (An excerpt and a study guide are also available on that website for Our Life is Love: the Quaker Spiritual Journey.)
To order multiple copies of either book, postage free, contact us.
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Marcelle, I wondered if you are planning to post this on the Wisdom Community’s FB page, and maybe some of the other Wisdom related FB pages. Don’t you think it would be something that that community would appreciate? If you didn’t want to yourself, I’d certainly like to do it for you.
This is quite an achievement, and I”m so happy for you!
I love your use of the term “Faithfulness Groups.” You mention parenthetically that they can also be called “Spiritual Accountability Groups.” I have been troubled by the spreading use of the word “accountability” among Friends; it feels quite judgmental. Thank you for offering more inviting words for Friends to meet in the Spirit. ~Love to you
Dear Paula, Thanks for writing. My hope in choosing the term Faithfulness Groups was to be inviting and also to reflect as accurately as possible the purpose and focus of the group. Accountability can be a very loving form of help and accompaniment, but it can sometimes be offered in a way that falls short of that, I think. Love back to you!