MORE ON LISTENING SESSIONS
What's a listening session like?
Many conversations are very broad. In most cases, a listening session takes 60-90 minutes, although that can vary. If you sign up for a listening session, we will open with a brief description of the project, and then some silence. After that, we ask questions as we are led. We do not have a set number of questions or a firm time limit. We often run interviews in the form of worship-sharing, which balances words and silence. Some words describe this mode as adding a "frame of silence" around the words. Some interviews, however, run more like a conversation. Different speakers have different styles.
Do you have certain questions that you use?
We do not have a set of predetermined questions that we ask. We follow our curiosity to find out what's alive in the room. What's interesting to you? Where do you find Spirit in your life? Who is your spiritual community? What do you wish for, or yearn for, inside the Quaker world? What feeds you? These, and many other questions, might come up.
What happens at the end?
When we feel as a group that we have landed on our purpose, or something close to it, then we savor the moment and wrap up there. Sometimes, there is still more to say. In those cases, we agree to meet again later. We finish with either a communal silence or one more question.
Can I sign up for a session?
We are working hard to balance our desire for service with our need for self-care. At this time, we are not able to accept public nominations. We need to gather more financial support to help us continue this work. We are in a stage of applying for grants, and will update this page when that changes. To date, we have donated more than 170 hours of our time to listening, transcribing, and publicizing what we learn.
What do you do with the information?
This depends on the will of the speaker. Some people want us to hold their words in confidence. Others want to share their words more widely. If people want to publicize their transcript, we move into a detailed editing process.
Who are you interviewing?
In our first round of interviews, we focused on new attenders, young people, youth coordinators, and folks who can act as a bridge between different generations in their meetings. Our second round of interviews focuses on people who have a named ministry, and includes conversations about the culture of Quakerism.