Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice


Workshops offer Gathering adults and high school participants the opportunity to be immersed in a topic with other interested Friends. Friends stay in the same workshop throughout the week, forming a small community within the Gathering. Each workshop meets from 9:15 to 12:00 noon every weekday. Most workshops include daily worship or worship sharing.

2017 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. Workshops marked with * are for different levels of experience. Click here to read definitions. More detailed descriptions will be posted by March.

NOTE : Workshops are listed ten per page. Please scroll to the bottom and click on a page number or "next" to view more workshops.


Embodied mindfulness opens us to divine revelation whether in worship or doing the laundry. We will learn Qigong, practice different forms of meditation, and explore everyday movement to remember our divine nature. Show up, slow down, and cultivate compassion for yourself and others as we relax and play together.

Workshop Number 22 | Amy Ward Brimmer

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 Mallison Alpern | Rosemary Coffey

Spirit-filled worship is something we can’t make happen; it is a gift. But there are things we can do to ready ourselves to receive this gift, and to open to it. This workshop will focus on practices which can make us more ready to receive the blessed gift of powerful, nurturing worship.

Workshop Number 24 | Christopher Sammond

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

Workshop Number 25 | Tom Gates

What is essential? How much is enough? How is my use of time, energy and "things" in right balance to free me to do God's work and to contribute to right order in our world? We will consider queries and reflect on the implications of our personal choices and their ripple effects.

Workshop Number 26 | Jacqueline Stillwell

Join us in this multi-media meditation, combining poetry, photography and music--giving voice to the web of life. We'll spend reflective time with the prayer's words and images, in group sharing--and our bodies will connect with web through Sacred Circle Dance-- for 'Ripples start where Spirit moves'.

Workshop Number 27 | Maia Tapp | Maggie Moon (formerly Peggy) O'Neill

With a belief in the Inner Light, Quakers led movements in the 19th century for equal rights for women, Native Americans, and African Americans.  Reformers (especially Underground Railroad activists) created links with people of color, bridged the border between the U.S. and Canada, and also deepened divisions among Friends.

Workshop Number 28 | Judith Wellman

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

Workshop Number 29 | Ruth Fitz

How do we equip ourselves with the  skills and resources necessary to deepen our capacity to engage with the shifting political landscape?  Let us share our experiences and collective tools used for justice and peacemaking in the world.

Workshop Number 30 | Christine Ashley

New Title : Indigenous & Quakers as Allies

It is the intent of this workshop that we, as Indigenous and Euro Americans together, begin to remember the place we all call home.

With the wisdom and personal connection of Indigenous Knowing and in the spirit of Joanna Macy's "The Great Turning", we will look to find new ways forward in a community of a respectful, honest, caring, emboldened and inspired "Active Hope".

 (Tansi: Cree for 'hello.')

Workshop Number 31 | Emily Boardman | Buffy Curtis