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.

Short descriptions for the 2016 workshops should be available online by January 1.

Read how to submit a 2016 workshop proposal due by September 30, 2015.

Help us identify powerful workshops!

Friends General Conference is actively seeking workshop proposals for the 2016 Gathering of Friends.

•    Submit a workshop proposal.
•    Send suggestions of possible workshop topics or leaders to
•    Encourage Friends to submit workshop proposals.  (Send them the weblink or proposal form.)
•    Provide spiritual and emotional support to a Friend who is submitting a proposal.

Queries as you discern whether to propose a workshop for the Gathering or to support others in following their leadings:

•    How is the Spirit moving through us and transforming us as individuals and as a Religious Society?
•    Are we giving witness to this transformation?
•    What needs to happen at this Gathering so that our lives and our Religious Society continue to reflect the work of the Spirit?

This is for persons who have known what they call a mystical experience to come and share  their experience. These sharings will be be grounded in Quaker meeting for worship. Those who seek such an experience or wonder how to name their experiences are also invited.

Workshop Number 21 | Elaine Emily | Joe Garren

This workshop will explore the role of boycott as a practice of Quaker faith in action, starting with an exploration of boycott as used by historical Quakers including John Woolman and working through to discussions of contemporary Quaker efforts to boycott settlement products profiting from the Israeli occupation.

Workshop Number 22 | Maia Hallward | Max Carter

We’ll explore Quaker involvement in prisons from 1790 to the present day. How responsible are we for the “penitentiary experiment?” What are the differences between reform and fundamental change of a broken system? What are we called to do in an era of mass incarceration and the New Jim Crow?

Workshop Number 23 | Laura Magnani | Jerry Elster

The apostle Paul’s quotes often resonate for Friends despite the dissonance we feel toward the Paul described by Christian tradition. As a community of learners, we will re-consider Paul’s Letter to the Romans, listen for its meaning for us today, and support each other to integrate our wider Gathering experiences.


Workshop Number 24 | Andrew Wright

Shift thinking about  individual pieces of the global crises to understand the wholeness of the Sustainability Spectrum. Energy, water, food, population, money and economics, world resources, and poverty all interact  in profound ways. Come learn how Seeking Wholeness (including Spirit) can solve the greatest challenge of our time.

Workshop Number 25 | Roy Taylor

Workshop leaders will engage Friends in discussions to further develop the Shared Security platform, a tool that can be used to articulate a more constructive and peaceful future approach for the US in the world.

Workshop Number 26 | Aura Kanegis | Alissa Wilson and Raed Jarrar

Strong and shy singers are welcome to join this circle of f/Friends singing rounds, sacred chants, spirituals, peace songs, hymns, and fun songs. We will sing together to energize our bodies and nurture our souls, with music that affirms our diversity, reflects our beauty, and celebrates our unity.

Workshop Number 27 | Ruth Fitz

Individuals and meetings embody a dynamic balance among four aspects of spirituality—mystery, activism, belief, and community—which change with experience. Participants will assess their "spiritual fitness" profile and revitalize their individual spiritual practices, enhancing growth in awareness and faithfulness.

Workshop Number 28 | LVM Shelton

"Every movement begins with the telling of an untold story." Uncover stories that reinforce white dominance and tell stories that reveal pathways toward a future of equality. Draw from our spiritual roots to examine what gets us stuck, and learn tools to tell a story that can interrupt racism.

Workshop Number 29 | Lucy Duncan | Sharon Goens-Bradley

People of faith are called to work with our neighbors to foster a spiritually fulfilling, socially just, and ecologically sustainable human presence on our planet. This workshop will provide ideas and tools on how to face our global challenges through local Transition Town Movement organizing.

Workshop Number 30 | Ruah Swennerfelt | Steve Chase