Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice


Workshops offer Gathering attenders the opportunity to be immersed in a topic with other interested Friends. Attenders stay in the same workshop throughout the week, helping form a mini-community within the Gathering.

Each workshop meets from 9:00-11:45 AM each weekday. Most workshops include worship or worship-sharing each day.

Short descriptions for the 2016 workshops should be available online by January 1.

Read how to submit a 2016 workshop proposal due by September 30, 2015.

Help us identify powerful workshops!

Friends General Conference is actively seeking workshop proposals for the 2016 Gathering of Friends.

•    Submit a workshop proposal.
•    Send suggestions of possible workshop topics or leaders to
•    Encourage Friends to submit workshop proposals.  (Send them the weblink or proposal form.)
•    Provide spiritual and emotional support to a Friend who is submitting a proposal.

Queries as you discern whether to propose a workshop for the Gathering or to support others in following their leadings:

•    How is the Spirit moving through us and transforming us as individuals and as a Religious Society?
•    Are we giving witness to this transformation?
•    What needs to happen at this Gathering so that our lives and our Religious Society continue to reflect the work of the Spirit?

For those wanting to become more whole-heartedly responsive to God's call to faithfulness and deep transformation.   In this workshop we'll explore the radical Quaker spiritual journey toward wholeness in God and help each other discern next steps in following our leadings. We'll pray for each other and go forth encouraged.

Workshop Number 1 | Marcelle Martin

The workshop will advance understanding and convey skills in identifying and engaging with conflict within Quaker meetings. How can engagement with conflict transform us and our meetings? What are the costs of ignoring conflict? How can we approach conflict in ways that are in alignment with our faith?

Workshop Number 2 | Heather M. Cook | F. Peter Phillips

Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) uses experiential activities to practice peace personally, in community, and  globally.  This  will be a  classic though slightly shortened Basic workshop. We will experience the work directly while being introduced to applications which make a powerful contribution in the US and around the world.

Workshop Number 3 | Nancy Shippen | Diane Butler

We will seek God and a sense of each other as we explore the mountains of North Carolina on our bicycles. The terrain is mountainous and beautiful. We will ride at least 10 miles a day.

Workshop Number 4 | Chris Hollingshead

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

Workshop Number 5 | Beverly Shepard

The 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

Through story sharing, interactive exercises, in-depth discussion, and personal reflection, participants will explore root causes of migration, discuss US-Mexico border issues, and review sociopolitical realities affecting immigration. Participants will gain tools and techniques to take back to their Meetings to join the struggle in support of immigrant justice.

Workshop Number 7 | Lori Fernald Khamala | Chia-Chia Wang, and Pedro Rios

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

Workshop Number 8 | Jorge Arauz

This workshop offers Friends who love to dance -- any kind of dance -- a chance to reflect on dancing as spiritual practice : physical, emotional, communal, sexual, playful, grounding, transcendent. Sessions will have a balance of worship, dance, and discussion activities.

Workshop Number 9 | Jenny Beer

Couples Social Dancing as a Spiritual Discipline. Dancing gets a bad rap in Western religions. Explore responding to "that of the Divine" on the dance floor -- a 21st century rebuttal of 17th century Quaker fears of artistic expression. Soft-soled shoes required -- partner optional.

Workshop Number 10 | Demi Miller