Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

CANCELLED: Building Community: Telling Our Stories

Workshop Number: 
Mary Ann Downey, Bill Holland
Who may register?: 
Open to All (adult & high school)
Experiential Activities: 
full-time attenders only

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 Description

The path that leads each of us to a Quaker meeting community is unique and begins with our earliest understanding of God and religion.  Our own spiritual life is strengthened when we reflect on this path, and the life of our meeting is enriched when we share the story of our journey. We will create a safe and worshipful community where we can explore what helps us grow together in spiritual community, sharing stories of our lives and learning from each other.  We will consider how understanding of the spiritual life of individuals in our meeting can deepens meeting for worship.


To create a safe space for reflection, discovery and sharing

To identify key turning points in life that led us closer to or away from God or spiritual understanding

To write and share reflections on key questions about our spiritual journey

To listen to stories of others and to tell our own.

b.  Topics:

Building community and bringing our voice to this circle

Creating a map and reflecting on turning points in our journey

Journaling responses to questions about our life of faith and practice

Sharing and listening to stories

Bringing spiritual story sharing to our meeting


c.  Each day will begin with worship and worship sharing on a query, quote or poem related to our theme.  Lecture and discussion will introduce information briefly, followed by journaling for reflections with much of our time in dyads or small groups.

d. "Telling Stories of Our Spiritual Journey", Mary Ann Downey.  Friends Journal, September, 2013. 

e.  Bring a journal.

Leader Experience

We have worked together as workshop leaders at the monthly meeting, yearly meeting and Gathering workshops.  We regularly travel in the ministry together as active participants in the FGC Traveling Ministries Program.  We co-direct a non-profit, Decision Bridges that teaches Quaker based living to a broad range of groups.