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.

2015 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.

This tumultuous period saw the Great Separation. The Underground Railroad. Traveling ministers. Quaker schools and colleges. The Civil War and conscientious objection. Peace work and missions. Revivals and pastors. See it all through the Autobiography of Allen Jay, who Rufus Jones called “the best-loved Friend in America.”

Workshop Number 16 | Joshua Brown

Through sharing stories we make possible for Friends of Color to affirm what they know is true, they are heard, and it matters; we create space so they don't have to take care of white people’s feelings; white Friends increase awareness of how to notice and change unaware racist behaviors.

Workshop Number 18 | Kathy Miller | Victoria Greene

Do you ever feel you are constantly complaining?  What if we limited our complaining to one day a week, and chose Thursdays?  In this workshop, we will experiment with non-complaining as a spiritual practice of inward peacemaking, seeing what is, and perhaps even gaining a humorous perspective on our lives.

Workshop Number 19 | Mike Heller

Several kites will be made this week using knives, glue, tape, wood, plastic and tissue.  Slideshows and music will be incorporated beginning with worshipful silence and queries to help participants consider their experiences with wind and kites.  We will "fly into wholeness" as we explore this metaphor of the Spirit.

Workshop Number 20 | Chuck Jones

Body-mind awareness opens us to divine revelation whether in worship or doing the laundry. Experience mindfulness through daily practice of Qigong, exploring habitual everyday activities, and guided meditation. Learn to recognize stillness in movement, and movement within stillness. Cultivate compassion for ourselves and others as we lay down our burdens.

Workshop Number 21 | Amy Ward Brimmer

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 22 | 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 23 | 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 24 | 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 25 | Andrew Wright

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