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?

By studying Quakers and other mystics, we plan to experience a greater union with the Spirit in our lives. We will study and practice worship sharing, meditation, centering prayer, and a brief Tai Chi exercise, along with teachings from George Fox, Edgar Cayce, the Bible, Rex Ambler, and Thomas Kelly.

Workshop Number 11 | Jerry Knutson

An advanced workshop for Friends actively engaged in racial justice work. Through interactive activities and discussion, we will focus on enhancing our understanding of racial and ethnic divisions. We will share approaches that have succeeded in helping people understand the impact of racism/classism and gender bias.

Workshop Number 12 | Vanessa Julye | Marijke van Roojen

Anger, fear, hurt, and pain hinder us from feeling connected with Spirit and our own healing energies. Choosing to practice forgiveness can move us towards inner peace and renew our relationship with self and others. Focus is on tools and techniques for doing forgiveness work, not on therapy.

Workshop Number 13 | Sue Regen

An opportunity for non-economists to identify big issues and dynamics in our economic system; clarify links with environment, politics and culture; apply lens of faith values; and engage in spiritual muscle-building as we consider what we’re called to as individuals, community members, and citizens of this nation and earth.

Workshop Number 14 | Pamela Haines

This tumultuous period saw the Great Separation. The Underground Railroad. Traveling ministers. Quaker schools and colleges. The Civil War and conscientious objection. Peace work and missions. Revivals and pastors. See it all through the Autobiography of Allen Jay, who Rufus Jones called “the best-loved Friend in America.”

Workshop Number 15 | Joshua Brown

Does it help to examine dreams? How? Dreams bring waking self-knowledge from our unconscious. Do they have greater meaning beyond ourselves? “Dream Groups” answer these questions. This workshop is a hands-on exploration of participants’ actual dreams and shows how exploring our dreaming can expand our understanding of self and God.

Workshop Number 16 | Larry Kelly-Mahaffey | Katya Walter

Through sharing stories we make possible for Friends of Color to affirm what they know is true, they are heard, and it matters; we create space so they don't have to take care of white people’s feelings; white Friends increase awareness of how to notice and change unaware racist behaviors.

Workshop Number 17 | Kathy Miller | Victoria Greene

Do you ever feel you are constantly complaining?  What if we limited our complaining to one day a week, and chose Thursdays?  In this workshop, we will experiment with non-complaining as a spiritual practice of inward peacemaking, seeing what is, and perhaps even gaining a humorous perspective on our lives.

Workshop Number 18 | Mike Heller

Several kites will be made this week using knives, glue, tape, wood, plastic, and tissue.  Slideshows and music will be incorporated beginning with worshipful silence and queries to help participants consider their experiences with wind and kites.  We will "fly into wholeness" as we explore this metaphor of the Spirit.

Workshop Number 19 | Chuck Jones

Body-mind awareness opens us to divine revelation whether in worship or doing the laundry. Experience mindfulness through daily practice of Qigong, exploring habitual everyday activities, and guided meditation. Learn to recognize stillness in movement, and movement within stillness. Cultivate compassion for ourselves and others as we lay down our burdens.

Workshop Number 20 | Amy Ward Brimmer