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.

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. 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.

Spiritual truths are often expressed as paradoxes.   We will explore the spectrum of Quaker belief and practice by examining eight core paradoxes that are central to our individual and corporate lives. In all cases, we will see that the dynamic center of Quakerism affirms "both/and" rather than "either/or" thinking.  

Workshop Number 21 | Tom Gates

Join us in this multi-media meditation, combining poetry, photography and music--giving voice to the web of life. We'll spend reflective time with the prayer's words and images, in group sharing--and our bodies will connect with web through Sacred Circle Dance-- for 'Ripples start where Spirit moves'.

Workshop Number 23 | Maia Tapp | Maggie Moon (formerly Peggy) O'Neill

Strong and shy singers are welcome to join this circle of f/Friends singing rounds, spirituals, sacred chants, peace, fun and world songs in the oral tradition. Singing together will energize our bodies and nurture our souls, with music that affirms our diversity, reflects our beauty, and celebrates our unity.

Workshop Number 25 | Ruth Fitz

The ecological worldview provides guidance for coping with the breakdown of industrial-consumer civilization and rebuilding a life-centered economy. We will bookmark the origin and trajectory of this breakdown, investigate modes of response (including Friends testimonies), consider fatalism, and focus on the place of beauty in ecological guidance.

Workshop Number 28 | Keith Helmuth | Bruce Birchard

This workshop on faith and nonviolent direct action will be highly experiential, and will integrate intergenerational stories of action and radical faithfulness into each day, while participants of all ages learn the basics of nonviolent direct action campaigning. On Thursday, participants will have an opportunity to practice worshipful action.

Workshop Number 34 | Lina Blount | Walter Hjelt Sullivan

We plan to experience a greater union with the Spirit in our lives.  We will study the teachings of George Fox, Rex Ambler, Thomas Kelly, Edgar Cayce, and the Bible and strengthen these with guided meditations and worship sharing. We will also learn and daily practice an easy Tai Chi.

Workshop Number 37 | Jerry Knutson

When was the last time you were free of worry, really laughed, and your entire body relaxed? This workshop is for seekers and the weary to rest. We’ll learn simple forms of energy work, clothes-on massage, or meditation each morning, working in pairs. All abilities welcome. Oodles of grace.

Workshop Number 38 | John Calvi

This is principally a movement workshop. We will discover the experiences of body awareness, movement, internal energy (chi), and meditative practice. Participants will be taught a simplified tai chi form called Tai Chi Chih. We'll also explore selections of the Taoist contemplative classic, the Tao Te Ching.

Workshop Number 46 | John Smallwood

This writing workshop will encourage you to look back over your spiritual journey and explore its struggles, questions, and experiences. The part of you that is always listening to the whispers of God will open more fully, listen more deeply, and guide you into sharing that journey in narrative form.

Workshop Number 48 | Ellen Michaud

Start a ripple of conversation in your relationship that radiates into communities in desperate need of love. As couples we use witnessed dialogues and other practices to say and hear what's most important. Experience deep connection and new understandings. Let your relationship grow and change in the Spirit of love.

Workshop Number 49 | Nancy Bronder | Philip Major