Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice


Workshops offer Gathering attenders the opportunity to be immersed in a topic with other interested Friends. Attenders stay in the same workshop throughout the week, helping form a mini-community within the Gathering. Each workshop meets from 9:00-11:45 AM each weekday. Most workshops include worship or worship-sharing each day.

2014 Workshop Descriptions

Click on the workshop title to read a detailed description. Use the filter tools to display workshop by audience type (age group), or by keyword. More detailed descriptions will be posted by March.

We will seek God and a sense of each other as we explore the hills of Western Pennsylvania on our bicycles.  The terrain is hilly and we will ride at least 10 miles a day.

Workshop Number 1 | Chris Hollingshead

Sharing our spiritual stories is one of the most important ways we have to build the beloved community. The stories help us discover how we struggle throughout life to translate faith into practice.  This workshop will help you tell your story and listen deeply to the stories of others.

Workshop Number 2 | Mary Ann Downey | Bill Holland

In this workshop participants will engage in a variety of improvisational "games" including drumming, vocalization, and exploring sound on melodic instruments, in an attempt to improvise music together, to be heard expressing ourselves creatively, and to work together to create something vibrant and beautiful.

Workshop Number 3 | Timothy Simmons

For those interested in engaging in peace and justice activism related to Israel and Palestine.  This workshop will provide the information needed to organize and engage in targeted boycott and divestment campaigns against companies and institutions complicit in or directly supporting human rights violations and violence in Palestine and Israel.

Workshop Number 4 | Mike Merryman-Lotze | Sandra Tamari

The workshop will focus on all aspects, theoretical and practical, of being a presiding clerk of a Friends meeting, board or committee. There will be handouts and opportunities for experience sharing. All work will be done in a whole group setting. There will be a $10 materials charge.

Workshop Number 5 | Arthur M. Larrabee

Quaker history viewed--with alarm--through the eyes of magistrates, gentry, Attorneys General, State's Counsels. Ride along with the CSI Church-State Crimes Unit as we investigate blasphemy,  terrorist plots, loyalty oaths, Bay Colony v. Dyer, COs, war tax refusers, receiving stolen property (slaves), and civil disobedience.

Workshop Number 6 | Eric Moon

We worship. Gathered in God's presence, we put ourselves in the loving care of the Spirit, the giver of true life, peace, and understanding.

Workshop Number 7 | Jorge Arauz

Simple circle dances accompanied by guitar and hand drum, done while singing phrases & Divine names from world spiritual traditions. Minimal lecturing - just enough to teach songs & movements. Time for worship-sharing & silence for processing, journaling, etc. Together we shall create an atmosphere for heart-opening.


Workshop Number 8 | Francis Gurtz | Colette Miller

By studying Quakers and other mystics, we plan to experience a greater union with the Spirit. We will study and practice worship sharing, meditation, centering prayer, and a brief Tai Chi exercise, along with teachings from George Fox, Edgar Cayce, the Bible, Rex Ambler, and Thomas Kelly.

Workshop Number 9 | Jerry Knutson

Ecstatic Dance worship with attention to right now combines aspects of Ecstatic Dance with aspects of Quaker worship, and invites in new and experimental ways to express our faith to try and reach new understandings that might not be found in silent worship.

Workshop Number 10 | Tommy Poole-Frank