In These Changing Times, How is Spirit Rising Among Us?
Event Date: Thursday, January 18, 2024 -through Sunday, January 21, 2024
Event Time: All day
All events are Eastern Time
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.
Registration for this event will open soon.
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 worship sharing and Closing Worship. The day will conclude with Reflection Groups and an opportunity to socialize online. Workshop listings coming soon!
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. 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
Paul Buckley, OVYM Restructuring Committee Clerk
Rashid Darden, Associate Secretary for Communications and Outreach
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.
Save the Date!
Registration will open in December 2023. Join the Vitality mailing list to be notified when registration opens.