With support from FCNL staff, you can share your transformational story of Quaker advocacy and carry the hopeful message of faith in action among Friends. Come join us and be the spark that helps light the fire within.
What FCNL Visiting Friends Do
Drawing on the Quaker tradition of intervisitation, FCNL Visiting Friends travel virtually and/or in person to visit Quaker communities, sharing their experience of faith in action, listening to Friends’ concerns, and inviting Friends into deeper relationship with FCNL.
Visits in the first half of 2022 will especially focus on supporting participation in setting FCNL legislative priorities. FCNL staff will offer support and opportunities for Visiting Friends to connect and learn from each other in this work.
Volunteer Selection: A Process of Mutual Discernment
There is no formal application process to become a Visiting Friend; however, we encourage prospective volunteers to sit with the volunteer responsibilities and commitments and engage in a period of individual discernment (see commitments and queries below). We also encourage prospective volunteers to seek spiritual support from their home Quaker communities in the forms of clearness committees, support committees, and/or companions in ministry (elders) to accompany Visiting Friends in their ministry visits.
When a Friend is clear they are led to serve as a Visiting Friend , that Friend can contact Quaker Outreach Coordinator, Bobby Trice (firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-903-2502) to express interest, describe their clearness process, indicate alignment with the volunteer commitments, and share any remaining questions or concerns they might have before being confirmed as a member of the program.
Volunteers will be invited based on the outcome of the mutual discernment process, the needs of the whole group, and FCNL outreach priorities. If confirmed to join the program, FCNL staff will reach out to schedule an onboarding call and start identifying Quaker communities for you to visit.
Volunteer Responsibilities and Commitments
These volunteer responsibilities and commitments represent the covenant Visiting Friends enter with FCNL staff when agreeing to serve in the program. If you cannot abide by these responsibilities and expectations, this program may not be for you. These commitments serve as a mechanism for staff to lovingly hold volunteers accountable to this mutual agreement.
- Interest and investment in the goals of this project
- Willingness to describe your own personal story and core components of FCNL’s Spirit-led approach to advocacy
- Some degree of comfort with public speaking or a willingness to learn new public speaking skills; Willingness to practice your presentation and storytelling
- Participate in monthly Zoom calls with other Visiting Friends and FCNL staff
- If applicable, participate in optional monthly check-ins with your Visiting Friend Anchor/Support Group
- Contact meetings/churches, and follow up as necessary, to arrange a time for a presentation
- Put on 3 (virtual or in-person) presentations at monthly meetings or churches in 2022 focusing on priorities process discernment facilitation, your spiritual journey and advocacy with FCNL, and/or other topics determined in collaboration with staff.
- Record information on who attended and collect evaluation information. Note your impressions of the presentation and community visited to share with staff.
- Write a letter/email of appreciation to thank the community (through the clerk) for the opportunity to visit and share some specific ways Friends might take their next step into action with FCNL.
Queries for Volunteer Discernment
- What is your story of living Quaker faith through action, both with and beyond FCNL?
- How do your gifts and experiences align with the Visiting Friends program goals and volunteer commitments? How do you hope to grow in this ministry?
- Apart from FCNL staff support, what spiritual support would you need to carry this ministry?
- In the coming year, do you have time and capacity to follow through on the volunteer commitments above?
Visiting Friends FAQ
Q: What is an FCNL Visiting Friend?
A Visiting Friend is an FCNL volunteer who visits Quaker communities on behalf of FCNL to offer a presentation or workshop related to FCNL’s work and build relationship with communities visited.
Q: What are the responsibilities of the role?
- In priorities years, facilitate priorities process discernment in communities visited
- Visit and present programs at three (3) Quaker communities per year on behalf of FCNL
- Communicate with members of Quaker communities before, during, and after visits
- Relay information from your visits to FCNL staff
- Participate in regular training and monthly community calls with FCNL staff and other volunteers
Q: What’s the time commitment?
Generally, the volunteer commitment is for one calendar year. During that year, Visiting Friend volunteers will communicate with and visit three (3) Quaker communities, participate in monthly community calls, and correspond with FCNL staff as needed. The total estimated time commitment for a year in the Visiting Friends program is two (2) hours per month on average; however, some months there may be more volunteer work required and others there may be no volunteer work required, allowing for flexibility with volunteer schedules.
Q: What information, training, and support do I receive from FCNL to equip me for this role?
Visiting Friend volunteers will participate in a 1:1 orientation and onboarding session with FCNL staff, receive training and updates as a volunteer cohort during monthly community Zoom calls, receive a comprehensive Visiting Friends program handbook and resource toolkit, and have access to FCNL staff for check-ins, requests, questions, and other forms of support.
Q: How are Visiting Friends visiting Quakers? Virtually, hybrid, in-person?
Until pandemic restrictions ease, visit format (in-person or virtual) will be determined on an ad-hoc basis with consideration of several factors including but not limited to COVID-19 risk and regulations, preferences of volunteers and meetings visited, and FCNL goals, policies, and resources. FCNL staff assume most priorities process visits through April 2022 will be virtual at which point staff will revisit the question of a standard in-person travel. We hope to be able to encourage and resource in-person travel at some point in 2022, pending the pandemic situation.
Q: How can I express interest in serving as a Visiting Friend?
Contact Quaker Outreach Coordinator Bobby Trice at email@example.com or 202-903-2502 to express interest as a prospective volunteer.
Q: How can I invite a Visiting Friend to my Quaker community?
Join our email list!
Quakers and Friends are changing public policy.