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?

Adult Young Friends are experiencing a variety of transitions: independent, adventurous, seeking career, finding a life partner, establishing home and family. Our AYF program needs further development to support a variety of conditions. We invite you to dream the future and playfully craft the details of your spiritual community.

Workshop Number 41 | Chad Gilmartin | Carolyn Lejuste

When was the last time your entire body relaxed, you were free of worry, and you really laughed? Wouldn’t it be great to have all this 5 mornings in a row? Learning simple energy work, massage, and meditation will deliver this gift of grace. All abilities welcome. Oodles of grace.

Workshop Number 42 | John Calvi

You are invited to experience living more from the center, grounded in God, listening to the Spirit, and present in the moment while challenged by the busyness of the Gathering. We will practice together spiritual disciplines that encourage contemplative living: worship, walking meditation, contemplative scripture reading, worship sharing, active silence.

Workshop Number 43 | Patty Levering | Jan Blodgett

Explore life transition, vocation, purpose, passion, direction and related questions to live in greater alignment with your deepest values.  In a nurturing environment, we explore poetry, prose, nature, dialogue, journaling, and movement to access your own "inner teacher."  Designed for adults over 21.

Workshop Number 44 | valerie brown

Discover how digital photography can help you see the world around you more clearly and experience it more deeply. Explore a variety of practices that will open new ways of seeing, grow your Quaker faith, and connect you more closely with yourself, your environment, and your community.

Workshop Number 45 | Peter West Nutting

Talking about the end of life makes many of us uneasy, even though we know we should make these important decisions.  We will discuss the decisions that need to be made, how our Quaker values can help guide us, and the impact of our past experiences.  This will be experiential and fun. 

Workshop Number 46 | Anita Paul | Barbara Spring

Explore your spiritual autobiography through intuitive free writing and deep listening to ourselves and each other. Using tools from group spiritual nurture, we will write in response to queries and brief readings. As we share our stories, we will find the sacred shining through the ordinary events of our lives.

Workshop Number 47 | Daphne Clement | Kathie Klein, and Lewis Fuller

We will discover the experiences of body awareness, movement, internal energy (chi), and meditative practice. Participants will be taught a simplified tai chi form called Tai Chi Chih. We'll also explore the Taoist contemplative classic, the Tao Te Ching. We will practice and examine silent waiting Quaker worship.

Workshop Number 48 | John Smallwood

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 49 | Mary Ann Downey | Bill Holland

For couples in committed relationships, this workshop includes worship, worship sharing, and experiential exercises in a group atmosphere of increasing trust. Using couple dialogue, we hope to increase communication skills, spiritual depth, intimacy, and the ability to handle conflict and anger. Our goal is enrichment of the relationship, not therapy.

Workshop Number 50 | Stephanie Bean | Dave Diller