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Throughout history, those who have been guided by divine Wisdom and then faithfully followed the leading of the Spirit have experienced divine love and healing power flowing through them into the wider world. God leads faithful individuals and groups to undertake particular actions and ways of life. Some are led to follow what has been variously named a call, leading, ministry, covenant, or spiritual commitment. Courageously faithful people have catalyzed important social changes and have been a force for reconciliation, education, peace, justice, and healing. Following the divine call is not easy, however, when it guides us to live and act in ways different from the prevailing culture. To be faithful, most people require the support of at least a few companions who understand how the Spirit leads individuals and groups to undertake specific actions and ministry and who also understand how to support one another in responding to those calls. In our time, the call to faithfulness is urgent, and people need practices that support both a deeper awareness of the movement of the Spirit and a courageous responsiveness.
This book 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 is a guide to faithfulness groups, a practice that holds great potential for supporting individuals of any faith in allowing the work of the Spirit to become manifest through them and their communities.
Marcelle Martin is a member of Swarthmore Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, which has taken her ministry of spiritual nurture under its care. For four years she served as resident Quaker studies teacher at Pendle Hill Retreat and Study Center. She helped to create and was a core teacher of The Way of Ministry program under the School of the Spirit Ministry and of two nine-month programs on nurturing faithfulness held at Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center. She has traveled widely to teach and facilitate workshops in Quaker settings. She is the author of Our Life Is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey and writes the blog A Whole Heart (https: //awholeheart.com).