Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

The Quaker Cycle: A New Adult Curriculum

Workshop Number: 
Martha Roberts, Loyce Forrest
Who may register?: 
Adult Only (high school with permission)
Experiential Activities: 
full-time attenders only

The 'Quaker Cycle' is a unique approach to learning about our faith, helping both those just learning about Friends as well as those well-seasoned in their understanding. The 'cycle' is a tool which can help adults of all ages understand how we worship, make decisions, and how our beliefs can be turned into action.

Workshop Description

The 'Quaker Cycle' is a unique approach to learning about and deepening our faith. It aids both those just learning about Friends as well as those well seasoned. The 'cycle' is a tool which helps adults of all ages understand and easily speak about our origins, how we worship, how our communities function and how our beliefs can be turned into action. The workshop provides a valuable tool to build an effective adult educational program in your meeting.  It includes an over view of Friends' history and beliefs through writings by historical and contemporary Friends.  Worship sharing in large and small groups and utilization of advices and queries, are integrated into this workshop.

Throughout, the 'cycle' is the centerpiece used to demonstrate Quaker process in meetings for worship and for business and helps us see how we can live our lives as Friends in our spiritual communities and in the world.   

Using the' cycle' and a timeline of Friends' History, participants become aware of where and how the Religious Society of Friends came into being, how it has evolved and where we are today.   This workshop is useful for those seeking to expand their understanding of historical and contemporary Quakerism.

Having Successfully used and seasoned this workshop for 8 years in our home meeting, we have found that active participation forges a deeper connection to our community.  We are eager to share this with Friends in other meetings.

Expectations and objectives for the week:

That participants will arrive promptly, will share from their own experiences, will take part in small and large group worship sharing and discussions, will give presenters feedback as requested.    Our objectives are to:

  1. to present our material clearly, to use visual aids as needed, to encourage participants to share from their own experiences as we move along;  
  2. to cover our material thoroughly while allowing input from those present, showing each how what they offer fits into the 'cycle';
  3. to have a good time getting to know one another and the information presented;
  4. to end the week confident that each person present has given and received what was sought.

Specific areas or topics to cover:

    1. Definition of the Quaker Cycle and how it works:  What is meant by the words experience, reflect,  discern, testify. 
    2. A Timeline of History with times pertinent to our discussion pointed out.   
    3. An in-depth look at what can occur as we enter into worship.
    4. How history has molded the Society of Friends - without the minutia of multiple details.

    A rough description of the format:

    We begin and end with worship and include worship sharing at times throughout the workshop. There will be lecture/discussion and small/large groups. The total time is roughly 30-40 minutes. Friends may be encouraged to consider various advices and     queries or other brief readings before the next day. 

    Bring to the Gathering:

    Friends are encouraged to bring a copy of their yearly meeting's Faith and Practice with them.

    Any other recommendations for group participants, such as age, occupation, or gender?

    no -- it is good to have a mix of new/less experienced friends as well as more experienced friends

    Leader Experience

    From 1981 through 1986  Martha led workshops at the Gathering.  She has also given workshops at Pendle Hill, Woolman Hill, Earlham College.  Both Martha and Loyce have had experience presenting information before groups of people of varying sizes.