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?

We will explore the triple jewels of movement, meditation, and writing as a means of being present to ourselves. Through basic yoga poses, breathing, meditation, and writing, participants will experience their own creative integration of body, mind, and spirit. All participants will develop a practice to take home with them.

Workshop Number 31 | Ann Hostetler

How often have you felt the Spirit alive in your meeting? How can we open to the Spirit's power to transform us and our meetings? With worship, exercises, readings, and stories we will engage with one another and consider how deep worship, strong community, and active witness overlap to build powerful meetings.

Workshop Number 32 | Minga Claggett-Borne | Jonathan Vogel-Borne

Jesus asked his disciples ”Who do you say I am?” For centuries, Christians and non-Christians gave different answers. Is Jesus a prophet, an ethical teacher, a healer, an ordinary man, the only Son of God? Using the Bible and other sources we’ll share our own responses and experiences of Jesus.

Workshop Number 33 | Mary Lord

We will investigate Yogic teachings and practices, and suggest what they offer Quaker practice today. We will explore each of the eight yogic limbs, partly through written reflection and discussion, but primarily through an experiential engagement with yoga's concrete social, physical, and meditative practices.

Workshop Number 34 | Katy Hawkins

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 35 | Timothy Simmons

Do you feel despair or fear about the state of the world? This experiential workshop will touch into gratitude, grief, new ways of being with the state of the world, and empowering action! We will laugh, play, cry, and free ourselves of despair through ritual, worship sharing, and creative exercises.

Workshop Number 36 | Lynn Fitz-Hugh

We’ll provide a safe environment for Friends to explore nontheism/atheism/agnosticism/etc. among Quakers. Friends of all theologies are welcome! Through interactive activities and discussions, participants explore different facets of spirituality, examine nontheist language, consider how we interact with peers with differing beliefs. Join us for discussions with like-minded Friends!


Workshop Number 37 | Elaine Ruscetta | Hanae Togami

Experience the Quaker perspective on body balancing, juggling, slacklining, rock climbing, and more. We’ll try challenging physical activities that clear mental distractions and promote the present-centeredness that helps us be aware of God’s immediate presence in our lives. Come be vibrant in body and spirit!


Workshop Number 38 | MaryHelen Lewis | Jessica Klaassen-Wright

High School Program participants will join experienced Junior Gathering leaders in creating a fun, safe, and Spirit-filled Junior Gathering environment for our youngest Gathering participants. Learn to lead, and use your talents to give back to our community! Early arrival by 8:30 am Sunday morning is mandatory.

Workshop Number 39 | Patsy Arnold Martin

Delve into various Quaker practices and processes vital to the High School community. Throughout the week we'll learn various aspects of clerking, nurturing, and discernment through discussions, activities, and practicing on issues relevant to the HS Program.

Workshop Number 40 | Erin Abbott-Haines | Andrew Esser-Haines