Workshop Number: 32
Leaders: Andrew Wright
Who May Register?: Open to All
Experiential Activities: 20%
Who May Attend?
half gathering attenders welcome
Half-Gathering Attenders Welcome:
First half (Monday-Wednesday)
Conservative Friends are a small branch of the Quaker stream. This workshop will explore the historical roots and current practices of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) in order to offer participants an opportunity to explore their own beliefs and commitments.
Goals/ Hopes for the Workshop:
- That participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the diversity of history, language and practice among Friends.
- That participants will find it useful to peer inside and reflect upon the culture of one yearly meeting as a way to reflect on their own experience among Friends.
- That as a workshop cohort we can explore together some of the dynamics of spiritual formation and spiritual growth in faith communities.
- That we can deeply respect each other’s spiritual experiences enough to listen below specific words and differences in religious language.
- That we can worship deeply together and listen well to each other so that we can come to a fuller understanding for how the Spirit is working in our communities and in our own lives.
Format for the Workshop
The flow of each morning will be roughly the same so that participants can settle into a routine that will allow opportunities for listening for the Spirit.
Worship (15 min)
Consider faith and practice of NCYMC through a short written text (15 min)
Personal response/ journaling to the written text (15 min)
Sharing in small groups from individual’s personal response to the written text (30 min)
Break (15 min)
Short theological lecture reflecting on Conservative Quakerism (30 min)
Large group discussion – (15 min)
Worship (or worship-sharing) (30 minutes)
As leader, each day I will offer a short written text published by North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative). We will take extensive time with this short text through introduction, personal response, and group sharing.
After the break, I will offer a few theological reflections to further frame how we might want to understand Conservative Quakerism today. This teaching after the break will be less descriptive of my yearly meeting and more suggestive of how I personally understand my faith commitments as a Conservative Friends. We will then take some time to discuss what I have proposed.
No advance reading will be required for this workshop. As mentioned above, we will consider short written texts each day, but those will be read and considered together during the workshop time. I will offer reading that Friends can do before, during, or after the Gathering if they are interested to learn more.
All written materials to be used in the workshop will be accessible in a digital format in order to avoid printing costs, so you may want to bring a laptop if you have one. I will make copies for folks who need them for a small materials fee of $5-10. Participants may want to bring a journal if they have one, otherwise I will pass out paper for personal response / journaling times.
I am a member of Durham Friends Meeting and am especially active in working with children and youth programs in both North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) and Piedmont Friends Fellowship. I have led Bible study and courses on Quakerism in a variety of communities and contexts both with adults and youth. These opportunities have included various online classes through Quaker Studies Committee in New England, a week long family camp course at Friends Camp in Maine and leading the morning Bible study at North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) annual sessions. I have led FGC workshops at the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021 Gatherings and feel that these were well received. Topics I have taught include the Historical Jesus, the Gospel According to Mark, Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Quakerism 101, Who Are Conservative Friends? and Quaker History among Orthodox Friends. I was also one of three leaders at Durham Friends Meeting who led a 9-month spiritual formation program with 35 participants from our monthly meeting. I was a participant in the Spiritual Nurturer Program of the School of the Spirit Ministry and am a graduate of Earlham School of Religion.
Durham Friends Meeting cares for my calling to ministry among and beyond Friends through a ministry support and accountability committee. This committee has sat with me as I have grown in understanding how to make my passion for Quakerism and Biblical study available to others.