We will assist each other to actively and boldly engage in the Great Turning towards a creative, just and sustainable world, grounded in deep spiritual practice. We will experiment with small groups, various exercises, learning new skills, worship sharing, and participating in Spirit-led public witness.
There is a Great Turning underway, even as the planetary crisis deepens, and this work needs you to be a part of it. It is a turning toward a creative, just and sustainable way of being in relation to each other, all life, and the Earth, herself. This workshop is grounded in the tradition of the holy experiment. Our intention is to support participants in being faithful, disciplined, and powerful, so that all might embrace their parts in the Beloved Earth Community, the Kin-dom, the Earth Commonwealth. We will engage in experiential exercises to build community, foster consciousness-raising, and educate about non-violent/creative direct action strategies. We will meet in small reflection groups daily to deepen our learnings and experiences.
We will draw on the work of Joanna Macy, the Work That Reconnects, Daniel Snyder's pamphlet, "Quaker Witness as Sacrament," and strategic social change thinkers across the faith spectrum in order to try on the practice of "prayer as inward activism and actions in the world as outward prayer." We will engage in the personal, group, and cosmic levels of this work. We will draw from the deep well of spiritual activists in Quakerism and elsewhere who have come before us, in order to weave a common understanding of both what is at stake and what is possible, if we would say yes to our leadings. These models may include: Wangari Maathai, Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr, Derrick Jensen, Julia Butterfly Hill, and others.
Starting each morning with worship, experiential/interactive exercises, and small and large group reflection are at the center of each session. We will balance experience, inner work, and outer work, working both intellectually and affectively to engage our process in embracing Spirit-led social change.
Sample session schedule:
20 minutes worship
45 minutes experiential activity
10 minute break
15 minutes chalk talk, video, etc.
30 minutes dialogue with elders
5 minute break
30 minutes small group reflection
10 minute closing/worship
It is recommended that participants view the documentaries A Force More Powerful and/or Fierce Light in preparation. It is also recommended that you read "Quaker Witness as Sacrament," by Daniel Snyder.
It is our intention to engage in some form of creative, non-violent and non-arrestable direction action in the community of Greeley on Thursday or Friday (this will most likely be at a time other than during the morning workshop, eg at suppertime or early evening). We are in touch with a local peace and justice center to that end. Taking part in this activity is not mandatory, but highly recommended as part of the potentially transformative aspect of this workshop.
About the leaders :
Amy Kietzman: In the late 1970's and early 80's I co-led numerous workshops and training programs in group process as well as non-violent direct action campaign building. These were all interactive workshops. For nearly 20 years I was a leader in the Phila. Re-evaluation Counseling Community and co-led and lead weekend workshops as well as taught weekly classes that were all interactive. More recently I was a member of the FGC Quaker Quest Traveling Trainers Team and was a paid Training consultant for the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting's Quaker Quest Program. I have led and co-led day-long workshops about Quaker Quest and other topics in Tacoma WA, Augusta, GA, Sandy Springs, MD, Camden, MD, Lancaster, PA, Richland, PA and Johannesburg, South Africa. All have been interactive. This past year from January-June, along with 4 other trainers I co-lead the Called to Action program of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, which was an interactive program.
Victoria Pearson: Since 1992, I have worked at varying levels of strategic community and religious social change work, primarily in the role of facilitator, organizer, and mediator. I have been trained in areas of facilitation, organizing, mediation, anti-racism and interfaith dialogue, non-violent social change, with many amazing Quaker trainers and others. I have worked as a consultant facilitator and mediator with community and religious groups in the Philadelphia area. I worked in 2003 and 2004 with Young Adult Friends in retreat and conference organizing around issues of spirituality and social change. My work with the Alternatives to Violence Project and National Coalition Building Institute has led me to work in prisons, Friends meetings, and non-profit settings. My ecological and pedagogical commitments led me to work at Westtown School from 2007-2013 as Earth Literacy Teacher, working as an experiential educator in garden and classroom to integrate earthcare and social responsibility into the K-12 curriculum.