Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Friends' Peace Testimony Today

Workshop Number: 
Rosemary Coffey
Who may register?: 
Open to All (adult & high school)
Experiential Activities: 
full-time attenders only

In this time of never-ending conflict, how does our peace testimony find expression--not only in the world, but in the nation, in our Meetings and communities, in our families and ourselves? What can we discover from sharing and reflecting on our own experiences? Let's come together and learn from each other.

Workshop Description

I have organized this workshop in the same way as the one I have led many times on the testimonies in general. Everyone gets a handout with advices and queries the day before on the topic for the following morning. After a period of worship, participants respond to one or more queries of their choice. Following a 10-15 minute break, we reconvene in small groups to discuss a real-life scenario related to the day's area of consideration (world, nation, community, family, self). We start with the world, because that's where the peace testimony is most familiar to us; then we work down to our families and ourselves, in the expectation that several days of sharing and reflecting will allow us to be open with one another about those more private areas of our lives. When we come back together, we share the outcome of our discussions, allow time for participants to share their own stories if they wish, and then close with worship sharing on the topic.

Leader Experience

I have offered this workshop twice before, in 2002 and 2003, so it seemed in right order to reflect on the topic again. Sometimes we forget that the peace testimony, which can be considered a lead-in to various forms of conflict resolution, is relevant not only on the international stage, but also much closer to home. As a former schoolteacher, I look forward to sharing the insights that workshop participants, including myself, can bring to the subject.