Event Date: Thursday, January 18, 2024 -through Sunday, January 21, 2024
Event Time: All day
All events are Eastern Time
In These Changing Times, How is Spirit Rising Among Us?
Join Friends from North America in seeking what messages Spirit offers us as we explore Spirit led growth and transformation. We will have time to deepen our spiritual lives, share ideas across yearly meetings and explore new ones as we meet remotely.
This conference grew from the seeds of desire expressed by Friends in Gathering Anew Focus groups to have opportunities to share across Yearly and Monthly Meetings. Yearly Meeting Clerks and Secretaries again and again, expressed a deep desire to seek the Divine together. What messages might Spirit be offering to us at this time? The major issues they expressed are now the main components of the conference.
The program includes four main components:
- Connection to Spirit
- Becoming an Actively Anti-racist Faith Community
- Changing Structures for Changing Times
- The Future of the Religious Society of Friends.
Thursday we will have opening worship and welcome. On Friday and Saturday there will be an opportunity to join together in worship in the morning hours. There will then be a plenary followed by workshops. Sunday there will be a plenary followed by Closing Worship. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday will conclude with Reflection Groups and an opportunity to socialize online.
Thursday night, we will open with worship. Friends will have an opportunity to explore what our hopes are for the conference. We’ll meet in reflection groups, which will meet daily. Reflection groups offer an opportunity to process the conference on both a personal level and a structural level. How might the ideas you are hearing apply to your yearly meeting, monthly meeting, or other Quaker groups?
Friday is the first full day of the conference. We will explore ways to connect and deepen our connection with Spirit. We’ll focus on both personal and communal aspects of this connection.
Francisco Burgos will be our plenary speaker on Friday. He is the executive director at Pendle Hill and has facilitated spiritual retreats and lectio divina sessions for many audiences. Francisco was a De La Salle Christian Brother for almost ten years, serving in Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, and has been a Friend since 2004. He is a member of Harrisburg Friends Meeting and an attender of meetings including Monteverde Friends Meeting in Costa Rica and Adelphi Friends Meeting in Maryland.
Saturday has two tracks that occur at the same time. Each track includes a plenary followed by workshops. Friends can choose between:
- Next Steps in becoming an actively anti-racist faith community
- Changing Structures for Changing Times
Next Steps in Becoming and Actively Anti-racist Faith Community Plenary
Living into Continuing Revelation
Vanessa Julye, Friends General Conference’s Associate Secretary for Organizational Cultural Transformation works on increasing awareness of White Supremacy and its impact in the Quaker and sectarian communities. She meets with and provides programs for BIPOC Quakers throughout the world both in-person and virtually. She has been recognized among Quakers as having a calling to a ministry with a concern for helping the Religious Society of Friends become a whole blessed community. Vanessa travels throughout the country and abroad, with a travel minute from Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, speaking on this topic and leading workshops about racism focusing on its eradication and the healing of racism’s wounds. Vanessa is a co-author of the book, Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African Americans and the Myth of Racial Justice and several pamphlets.
Changing Structures for Changing Times Plenary Speakers
Empower, Support, Cross-Fertilize, and Encourage with Paul Buckley, OVYM Restructuring Committee Clerk
Restorative Quaker Design with Rashid Darden, FGC Associate Secretary for Communications and Outreach
The economic and sociologic context of contemporary Quaker experience and how it informs our future with Barry Crossno, Friends General Conference General Secretary
Sunday Plenary: Speak and Be Heard
Sunday includes a presentation, “Speak and Be Heard: Voices of Younger Friends.” Several younger Friends will speak about Quakerism, Quaker structure, or their sense of belonging. Then, we will move into discussion groups groups to reflect on the messages we’ve heard. We will join together in worship as we close the conference.
FGC incurs costs for our virtual events, including staff costs, technology costs and modest honoraria for non-staff presenters. With our projected attendance and budgeted costs, we anticipate the approximate cost per attender to be $150.
We are asking that all Friends who are able pay $125 for the retreat. Friends whose income is more limited are asked to pay a minimum of $75. If this amount is still too much, we hope that some of your Monthly Meetings or your Yearly Meeting might be able to assist. if someone still needs aid, we ask them to reach out to Ruth Reber firstname.lastname@example.org We do not want anyone to stay away because of a lack of funds. Additional donations towards our programs are always welcome and appreciated.
Cancellations are accepted up to one week before the event begins. Friends who cancel their virtual event registration on or before January 12 will be charged $25 per person or 20% of the sliding scale amount, whichever is less. Please allow us two weeks to process your refund.
For cancellations on or after January 13, there will be no refunds. Some exceptions may be made for extraordinary circumstances. You may transfer your registration to another Friend. Please email email@example.com to make the substitution. Once the conference has begun, no refunds or substitutions will be allowed.
All cancellations must be submitted in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations are not refundable.
Registration has now closed for the conference. We hope to record the plenary sessions and share them on our website at a later date. Join the Vitality mailing list for updates.