Workshop Number: 10
Leaders: Sue Regen, Lu and Kenn Harper
Who May Register?: Open to All
Worship/Worship-Sharing: 20%
Lecture: 10%
Discussion: 25%
Experiential Activities: 45%

Who May Attend?
only full time attenders (participants should attend all week)

Anger, fear, grief, and pain hinder us from feeling connected with the Spirit and our own healing energies. Transformation occurs when we practice forgiveness, opening to a more peaceful way of being with self and others. This workshop focuses on tools and techniques for doing forgiveness work, not on therapy.

Workshop Description

Leader: Sue Regen
Elders: Lu & Kenn Harper

A. Expectations and objectives for the week.

  1. to introduce participants to a way of looking at forgiveness that can increase
    spiritual and emotional healing.
  2. to develop a list of tools and techniques for engaging in forgiveness work.
  3. to practice/experience as many tools and techniques as possible.
  4. to create a safe “community” in which group members can move as fast or as
    slowly as they choose in practicing forgiveness.

B. Specific areas or topics that I expect to cover.

Sample of topics to be covered: a definition of forgiveness and an analogy for working with it; what does it take to successfully forgive?; what needs are being met by not forgiving?; things I give myself permission to not forgive; family teachings about forgiveness; self-forgiveness; acceptance vs. forgiveness; boundary setting; impact on one’s health of not forgiving; role of apology; next steps in the forgiveness practice/work.

C. Rough description of the format

Overall: Each session will begin with a reading or recorded music and 20 to 30
minutes of worship, be interspersed with small periods of worship as needed, and
end with worship. Some lecture, particularly during the first session, small group
or pair work, individual meditation and/or writing time, guided meditation, and
shared discussion will be the mode. There will be time each day for questions and/or
reflections about the work.

Daily focus:

Monday: topic—introductions, grounding, and successful forgiving

Includes an introduction to the people, program and materials that will be used
and closes with a guided meditation. Discover how it feels to successfully
forgive or not to forgive through worship sharing, pair work and group

Tuesday: topic—tools and techniques for successful forgiving

Begin the list/chart of tools and techniques for doing forgiveness work (T & T.) Examine what keeps me from forgiving. Explore my family tree of forgiveness. Practice Miller’s 7 steps for doing forgiveness (a T & T.)

Wednesday: topic—forgiveness and health and self-forgiveness

Focus is on self-forgiveness, including the health benefits of forgiveness
work. Using the song, “Let Her Go” and pair work, continue with self-
forgiveness and effective tools.

Thursday: topic—boundary work

Begin the concept of setting boundaries as a way to minimize the need to
forgive. Practice boundary setting. Discuss acceptance vs. forgiveness.
Add to the list of tools and techniques. Think about self-care. Guided imagery

Friday: topic—apologies, future, closing

Consider the role of apology. Create a safe place for doing forgiveness work.  Address any issues that are “on hold.”  Meditate and write on next steps. Worship share and closing.

NOTE: The actual flow and content of each day and of the week will be open to the Spirit’s leading with awareness of discerning individual and group needs. Timing will also depend on the number of people in the group. Each session will have a break at an appropriate time in the process.

D. Recommendations for advanced reading, or reading assignments during the Gathering and what to bring.

During the workshop we will use D. Patrick Miller’s “The Way of Forgiveness.”
It is not necessary to read this ahead of time. A bibliography of other forgiveness
books will be provided. Those who journal or like to write should bring writing

Leader Experience

In Nov. 2020 I led my first online (zoom) workshop for 23 members of Patapsco, MD Friends Meeting.  It went so well, Friends encouraged me to submit a last minute proposal to the Gathering.  They also offered to serve as references.  In 2021, I was the Monday part of the Sampler Workshop.  (In 2020, I was recovering from a hip replacement and unable to attend the Gathering.)

I have been attending the Gathering since 1999.  I have been leading workshops on the topic of forgiveness as a spiritual practice since 2004. This is such a deep topic, that often people take the workshop a second or third time.

Experience in Leading Workshops: In the fall of 2002, I began a series of short Quaker dialogues on the topic of forgiveness.  In February, 2004, I expanded this to an 8 hour workshop in Attica Prison with 15 inmates.  I have now given this workshop 5 times in Attica. I have led over 80 workshops at: the FGC Gathering, the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology , Pendle Hill, Woolman Center, Ben Lomond Center, Powell House Retreat Center, and numerous Monthly Meetings around the country, including my home Meeting, Rochester, NY.  I also have led the Great Plains Yearly Meeting fall retreat, been a plenary speaker at Baltimore Yearly Meeting (Aug. 2014) and led the Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Spiritual Formation retreat (Sept. 2017.) Other recent workshops were at Austin Friends Meeting (Jan. 2015), Pima (Tucson) Friends Meeting (Feb. 2015), Charlotte, NC Meeting (Oct. 2019), Patapsco Friends Meeting zoom (Nov. 2020), QIVC by zoom (Jan. 2022), and FGC Gathering 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. This ministry is a passion of mine, and I am always grateful for the opportunity to walk the path of forgiveness with others.

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