Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Conversation with Christ: The Gospel of John

Workshop Number: 
Doug Gwyn
Who may register?: 
Adult Only (high school with permission)
Experiential Activities: 
full-time attenders only

Friends sometimes call John "the Quaker Gospel," owing to its evocative language of the light, and the way Jesus' conversations take people to another level of consciousness and faithfulness. We'll "listen in" on five conversations, using discussion, reflective exercises, and early Quaker understandings to  reach that next level together.

Workshop Description

Participants will gain a general grasp of the Gospel of John and its unique approach to the story of Jesus of Nazareth.  They will also gain a grounding in traditional Quaker understandings of John and an experiential way of reading the Bible. The workshop is based on Doug Gwyn's book by the same title (FGC, Quaker Press, 2011).

Each session will begin with a time of centering silence.  Then then we will move on to one of the conversations in John, adding some social, historical and theological context to help make sense of the conversation as it unfolds. We will read the text section by section, allowing good space for participants' insights and questions. 

When we have explored the text adequately, we will listen to an early or traditional Quaker writer who addresses the theme of that conversation in some way.  Their witness helps confirm the experiential way of reading John that we have already been exploring. 

We will complete each section with an experiential exercise -- a guided meditation, Rex Ambler's "Experiment with Light," a Joanna Macy group exercise, a time to journal, or other. 

The five conversations will include the calling of the disciples and the conversations with Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and Mary Magdalene at the tomb. 

"The plot thickens" as we follow the arc of John's Gospel, the conversations and themes inter-connect, and we develop as a working group.

BYOBible -- you may have a translation you prefer.  But we will have some extra copies for anyone who forgot to bring one or doesn't have one.