Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice


The 2017 Gathering has ended. Learn more about how to submit a workshop proposal for the 2018 FGC Gathering in Toledo, OH. The workshop proposal form will be live by mid-August, and the deadline to submit a proposal is September 30, 2017.

Workshops offer Gathering adults and high school participants the opportunity to be immersed in a topic with other interested Friends. Friends stay in the same workshop throughout the week, forming a small community within the Gathering. Each workshop meets from 9:15 to 12:00 noon every weekday. Most workshops include daily worship or worship sharing.

2017 Workshop Descriptions

Click on the workshop title to read a detailed description. Use the filter tools to display workshop by audience type (age group), or by keyword. Workshops marked with * are for different levels of experience. Click here to read definitions. More detailed descriptions will be posted by March.

NOTE : Workshops are listed ten per page. Please scroll to the bottom and click on a page number or "next" to view more workshops.


A rising China will help define the 21st century. Yet despite Quaker commitments to peace, there are linguistic, cultural, and political barriers that prevent Friends from engaging with China. This workshop seeks to overcome these barriers using Quakers' long history in the country as a roadmap for future engagement.

Workshop Number 1 | Eli Blood-Patterson | Patrick Lozada

For those seeking to move with the Spirit, this workshop provides a worshipful opportunity to explore ten elements of the Quaker spiritual journey, as experienced by early Friends and by ourselves.  We'll help one another discern next steps in following our leadings, pray for each other, and go forth encouraged.

Workshop Number 2 | Marcelle Martin

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) uses experiential activities to empower us to more effectively practice peace personally, in community, and globally. Learnings come through direct experience and draw on the shared wisdom of participants and facilitators This will be a classic though slightly shortened Basic workshop.

Workshop Number 3 | Kathy Ossmann | Joe Ossmann

We will seek God and a sense of each other as we explore northwestern New York on our bicycles. We will ride at least 10 miles a day.

Workshop Number 4 | Chris Hollingshead

Chanting takes us directly to the place of Spirit. Starting simply, the music grows richer; the worship deepens. Various words for the Divine, from many traditions, will be used, and not every chant will express every worshipper's truth. Expect joy, tears, healing, and surprises! No special singing experience is necessary.

Workshop Number 5 | Beverly Shepard

This workshop will focus on all aspects, both theoretical and practical, of being a presiding clerk of a Friends meeting or committee. There will be handouts and opportunities for experience sharing. All work will be done in a whole group setting. There will be a $10 materials charge.

Workshop Number 6 | Arthur M. Larrabee

We gather in God's presence, turning our attention to the transforming power of Spirit, letting the Source of true life rise in our souls and lead us in the way of love and peace.

Workshop Number 7 | Jorge Arauz

Caring for others asks a lot of those engaged in this service - mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This workshop for parents and caregivers will invite us to connect with and listen to ourselves, each other, and Spirit, as we explore these dimensions and their inter-connectedness through movement and dance.

Workshop Number 8 | Jaya Karsemeyer Bone | Rachel McQuail

Together we will discern what an individual or a Quaker community can do to change the inhumane practices of industries like cocoa, coffee, bananas and fashion. Learning about the empowering movement of Fair Trade can deepen our connection to the lives of the people--often children--who are most affected.

Workshop Number 9 | Yoko Koike Barnes

An advanced workshop for Friends currently engaged in racial justice work. We will share approaches that have been successful in helping people understand the impacts of racism/classism and gender bias. We will explore how to increase racial equity within the Religious Society of Friends including Friends General Conference.

Workshop Number 10 | Vanessa Julye | Janice Domanik