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.

Body-mind awareness opens us up to direct revelation, whether in worship and or while doing the laundry. Experience mindfulness through movement. Recognize your habitual patterns of tension. Play with fun methods to release them. We'll be gentle with ourselves as we try new types of thoughtful motion.

Workshop Number 21 | Amy Ward Brimmer

The experience of the Light finds powerful expression in poetry. We sing our praises and we sing our griefs. We will use the reading and writing of poetry to touch the mystery of the Divine and the motion to love inherent in the Divine.

Workshop Number 22 | Maryhelen Snyder

We will use activities and discussion to explore Quaker life not centered on belief in God. What is spirituality for nontheist Friends? What are our challenges?  How can all Friends grow from the diversity within Quakerism? All seekers will find a safe space to celebrate and deepen their spiritual lives.

Workshop Number 23 | Robin Alpern | Elaine Ruscetta

Spiritual truths are often expressed as paradoxes. We will explore the spectrum of Quaker belief and practice by examining eight core paradoxes, ranging from the practical to the theological to the controversial.  In all cases, we will see that the dynamic center of Quakerism affirms "both/and" rather than "either/or" thinking.

Workshop Number 24 | Tom Gates

Activists or contemplatives, we seek utopia. The English Revolution fought for the kingdom--but early Friends read a better way in the Bible: God's transformed world dawning among us. What would that look like today? Using Walter Wink's take on Paul's powers-that-be; worship-sharing on difficult Biblical passages and contemporary struggles.

Workshop Number 25 | Frederick Martin

Listening for God's Spirit speaking in our lives and in the world is the foundation of Quaker witness. Reflecting on the prophetic stream from the Hebrew prophets to today, we will share stories of deep listening that help us hear patterns of the Spirit manifesting now, bringing healing to a broken world.

Workshop Number 26 | Debbie Humphries | Jonathan Vogel-Borne

Want to welcome diverse seekers but fear you'll offend? Join our circle to share stories of race and class. Learn how people experience small unintended wounds which cumulatively help sustain a culture where "race" matters. Come away with new awareness and skills to be co-creators of the inclusive beloved community.

Workshop Number 27 | Miriam Mulsow

This workshop will explore the joys and challenges of serving as a recording clerk in a Quaker meeting, committee, or organization. It will focus on the art of deep listening as central to the work of a recording clerk, as well as addressing the do's and don'ts of taking minutes.

Workshop Number 28 | Deborah Haines | Becka Haines Rosenberg

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

Workshop Number 29 | Jim Cason | Allisa Wilson

The Sacred Harp is a vigorous, four-part, a capella hymn singing tradition that many Friends find to be a powerful spiritual practice. New singers will learn and experienced singers will grow in their appreciation of the Sacred Harp. Emphasis will be given to connecting the Sacred Harp to Quaker practice.

Workshop Number 30 | Paul Landskroener | Gerald Skerbitz