Workshop Number: 11
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. Listening to self, others, and Spirit as we practice forgiveness opens us to living in a more peaceful way. 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:

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.

D.   No advanced reading required.  Bring writing material/paper.

Leader Experience

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 85 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 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, 2021 by zoom, and 2022. 

This ministry is a passion of mine, and I am always grateful for the opportunity to walk the path of forgiveness with others.

Kenn & Lu Harper are members of Rochester Meeting (NYYM) and have served on Sue Regen’s forgiveness support committee since its inception.  They have served as Sue’s elders at workshops at Powell House (NYYM), Woolman Hill (NEYM), Pendle Hill, numerous monthly meetings and at FGC Gatherings both in-person and virtual.  They find that the spiritual practice of forgiveness is live in their lives, and they often incorporate elements of it in one-on-one spiritual accompaniment.

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