Releasing Ministry Alliance Campaign #10

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Winds of Change

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. -John 3:8
This quote from John's gospel describes Holy motion in many of our lives - change.

As Bob Schmitt, of Laughing Waters Studio, explains in this featured ministry, faithful discernment to follow God's call with assistance from seasoned Friends can lead to change. Bob's story of ministry is one of many that illuminated the need for the services of Releasing Ministry Alliance, especially for Friends whose ministry is in flux. That's why we are so delighted to have his brushwork as our new logo. 

We continue to develop the software for Releasing Ministry Alliance to provide channels for folks to contribute spiritual and material support to ministries and ministers.

We're grateful to everyone who has given generously of time, treasure, and talent. We received pro bono legal services in preparing our incorporation papers, spiritual accountability, prayer, outreach, other in-kind services, and financial contributions. We continue to grow the network of people involved and their understanding of Releasing Ministry Alliance.

Perhaps, you have something of value to offer Releasing Ministry Alliance and feel led to be a part of realizing the vision that will assist ministries serving our faith communities?  Let us know at our contact page or contribute at the link below.
Donate to Releasing Ministry Alliance
Flyer for Releasing Ministry Alliance, please share it on-line and at gatherings.

May 2015 Friends Journal news release about Releasing Ministry Alliance's campaign  (available to Friends Journal subscribers) 

Friends Journal's February 2014 article explaining Releasing Ministry.
Releasing Friends: An author chat with Vonn New and Viv Hawkins

A Friends Journal author chat about Releasing Ministry with Martin Kelly, Viv Hawkins, and Vonn New.

Featured Ministry

by Bob Schmitt,
Twin Cities Friends Meeting, St. Paul, MN, Northern YM

In the very early 90s I began receiving invitations to travel my yearly meeting under a concern for faith and practice as the yearly meeting considered whether to create its own Book of Faith and Practice. My home meeting assigned two members to support my discernment in accepting these invitations and calls to travel. At this time liberal Friends Meetings were only beginning to identify and support members who might have a particular ministry.  The understanding of the use of elders for most was limited to traumatic experiences of being shamed and corrected by scolding cranky Friends.
My experience was to pick up what I could from the few Friends I knew (Jan Hoffman and Kenneth Sutton, to name two) who were exploring the reclaiming of the true role of elders (to draw out, support, and tend emergent leadings) and reintroducing that role to contemporary liberal Friends.
In that context, the two Friends who were committed to keeping a loving eye on my leadings and myself were learning as we went about the roles of minister and elder in general as well as trying to be faithful in our discernment.
The shape of my ministry has ebbed and flowed over these 20 some years.  Periods of travel, periods of inward work, open time to care for ailing parents, time to receive the grief of loss. Opportunities to travel again followed by periods of more singular focus on my home meeting.
Now, in 2015, I find myself in a period where I have retired from all of my Quaker pastoral duties to open the space to tend to my brush painting practice and my teaching of painting.  This was perhaps the hardest of the discernments I have made with my elders and my Meeting.  The same commitment to discernment that I have practiced for over 25 years has now led me away from Quaker activities but not from Quaker practice.
The most recent fruits of my discernment has been the creation of the Nine Gates. This series of nine scrolls depicts what I see as thresholds of a spiritual journey. These images were created to illuminate the 2015 Key West Literary Seminar: How the Light Gets in – literature of the spirit. In addition to a gallery show in Key West, they were shown for 4 months at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality in St. Paul, MN.  For this setting, I offered 3 nights of program to view and explore each gate and share the experiences each provides. A donor has purchased and presented a full set of these scrolls to Wisdom Ways who will make them available for rent and travel. 

I am also seeking additional settings were the scrolls may be displayed on their own or in connection with some kind of program (evening talks, weekend retreats). Inquiries are welcomed on any and all of the above.

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