Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Experiments in Spiritual Accountability

Workshop Number: 
Viv Hawkins, Lola Georg
Who may register?: 
Open to All (adult & high school)
Experiential Activities: 
full-time attenders only

All are called, few respond. Are you among the few? Our Religious Society depends on helping one another to be faithful as we support the ministries in our midst. We'll use tools and practice a process to ground a leading, enliven the meeting community, and hold all involved lovingly accountable.

Workshop Description

Experiments in Spiritual Accountability participants will support, challenge, and grow with each other as we explore best practices, most significant challenges, and growing edges of our care for leadings. In this context, spiritual accountability means being faithful to Spirit's call, our loved ones and home faith communities, and our highest dreams.

We will explore practical, spiritual, and psychological aspects of spiritual accountability; learn and use tools which will prepare us and our communities to engage Spirit's call; and support our and others' ministries.  Focal areas include sharing the depth of ministry, prayer, full-body listening, stages of group and human development, lovingly challenging inquiry, increased risk taking as called, and weaving spiritual accountability into the fabric of our lives and meetings.  We will practice a peer process to ground a leading, enliven the meeting community, and hold all involved accountable. Tools include those from traditional and contemporary times and from many disciplines. 

Each day of the workshop will include introduction of new material, worship, activities with an on-going small group, exploration of what we know and are learning about releasing a leading, and shared fellowship with ample opportunities to learn with and from each other.  

Goals of the workshop include:

  • Foster participants’ relationships with the Divine
  • Further clarity of each Friends’ leading or ministry
  • Increase understanding of the psychological and spiritual dynamics of small groups and adult human development
  • Experiment with spiritual accountability in small groups
  • Plan how to take this learning to our home faith communities

Friends are invited to bring materials that they have found helpful related to spiritual accountability.  Optionally, participants can choose to support one another after the Gathering in bringing these principles and practices back to our home faith communities.

Viv Hawkins has been practicing, studying, researching, and teaching this material for several years.  Lola Georg is a licensed pastoral counselor.


Leader Experience

Viv has offered workshops at the Gathering and served as elder for FGC workshops for Barbarjene Williams, Hollister Knowlton, and Vonn New.  She has also led workshops with Woolman Hill Quaker Study Center, Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center, AVP in various settings including India and US prisons, and several through her yearly and monthly meetings.  Lola is an experienced trainer who has led many Quaker Quest sessions and coordinated meetings throughout her 30 year professional career including among large Quaker institutions.