A grassroots network of Friends holding a sense of stewardship for life-long Quaker faith formation
Formed in April 2014, we actively engage and support Friends across languages and continents
We share leadership in our collaborative mission, using the Quaker ‘sense of the meeting’ process
Our work takes place in ‘circles’ or small groups of Friends who labor on a common task
The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is a grassroots network of Friends holding a sense of stewardship for life-long Quaker faith formation through religious education. We include Friends from all branches of our international Quaker family. We welcome all Friends involved in religious education, forming a community of practice to share resources, skills, gifts, questions and insights, and to support each other in the ministry of Quaker faith formation.
An Introduction to the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC)
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QREC is an international, cross-branch, grassroots network of Friends sharing a stewardship for lifelong Quaker faith formation through religious education. We formed in April 2014 and now serve more than 400 Friends in our network. We actively engage and support each other across languages and continents. We gather for regional and annual conferences and offer monthly Conversation Circles via an online conferencing platform.
Four essential elements shape our identity as the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative, and our interactions with each other and with the wider Quaker family.
- Independence. We are independent of other large Quaker organizations. Thus, we may partner with any Friend or Quaker organization for specific projects, but we are not under their care or supervision. We are equally free to lay down active connections when a project reaches its conclusion. As individuals, we are free to hold affiliations with multiple Quaker organizations.
- Equality. We come to this ministry as equals. We share the conviction that we are all both teachers and learners. We are non-hierarchical. While there are different roles we play in service to QREC, we actively try to minimize differences in power, access, or voice, especially resulting from access to technology. We make a conscious effort to lift up and empower younger practitioners.
- Clarity of Purpose. We are a community of practice. We hold a primary stewardship for lifelong Quaker religious education. Additional areas of work must be directly connected to Quaker faith formation, for example, supporting Quaker families and parents. This clarity has helped us to maintain our independence and keep our vision sharp. It makes it easy to discern what is our work and what work belongs to someone else.
- Faithfulness. Faithfulness is our Strategic Plan. We strive for a nimble and light-footed response to God’s leading. When faithfulness is the measure of our work, we can dare to be bold, we can release programs and patterns that have been completed or no longer serve, and we can partner with any Friend or Quaker organization that shares common purpose and sense of call.
Steering Circle / Governance
In QREC, we share leadership in keeping with our collaborative mission. Decision-making employs the Quaker “sense of the meeting” process where Friends sit in expectant, worshipful waiting for the emergence of shared truth.
Our work takes place in “circles” or small groups of Friends who labor on a common task, usually meeting by video conference due to the geographic diversity of the membership. Administration is carried by the Steering Circle, Friends who serve no more than two consecutive three-year terms. The Steering Circle is called forward from among the membership by the Nominating Circle and submitted for approval by Friends gathered at the annual retreat. Other circles arise as needed such as the Annual Retreat Planning Circle, the Library Circle and the Membership Circle.
Present Steering Circle Members are:
- Beth Collea, New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM)
- Sita Diehl, Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM)
- Marsha Holliday, Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM)
- Melinda Wenner Bradley, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PhYM)
- Liz Yeats, South Central Yearly Meeting (SCYM)
Adult Education & Outreach: Connects Friends who work on Quaker adult education and outreach.
Conversation Circles: Hosts online meetings on topics of shared interest to the QREC community of practice. Meets monthly by Zoom.
Fundraising: Works with Steering Circle and Membership Circle to identify and request funds from appropriate grant sources and individuals.
East Africa: Supports Quaker religious education in the East African region. Current project: African Quaker Archives
Gifts & Leadings: Seeks and invites Friends to serve on the Steering Circle and as officers of the organization. Meets as needed.
Latin America: Supports Quaker religious education among Spanish speaking Friends. Proposed projects: Regional virtual conference, Spanish QREC Resource Library.
Membership: Annual membership appeal, welcome new and renewing members, report to Steering Circle and annual Meeting for Business.
Planning: Responsible for planning and implementation of QREC conference. Meets as needed.
Resource Library: Curates library of Quaker RE materials on QREC website. Collection includes curricula, books, videos, book lists and other documents. Meets monthly by Zoom.
Website: Manages website content. Monitor content, post, update and delete as needed. Recommend changes as needed.
Other circles arise as needed.