Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Spiritual Deepening eRetreats: Becoming Patterns & Examples


This topic explores how Quakers put faith into practice. We will look at how our experience in worship leads us to a shared commitment of living our beliefs through our witness in the world. Friends work to create a world not as it is, but as it should be. This is often referred to as Quaker testimony. 

Through this eRetreat, participants will:

  • Explore the testimonies of early Friends and test them against their own inner promptings.
  • Listen to hear what other promptings there may be for new and modern-day revelations/testimonies.
  • Explore and engage in daily disciplines to create the inward space for more light to be generated.
  • Come to understand Friends’ view of social action as prompted by a transformation that reveals the Inward Spirit as the source of all action.

The themes of the four weeks: 

  • Week 1: Making Space for Spirit's Movement
  • Week 2: Listening to Nudges, Leadings, and Discernment
  • Week 3: Action Grounded in Love
  • Week 4: Coming Together in Community

The Becoming Patterns & Examples eRetreat will be offered from February 16 - March 13, 2020.  Community Building video calls are scheduled for Thursday evenings at 8pm Eastern / 7pm Central / 5pm Pacific, starting February 20th.

Becoming Patterns & Examples will be facilitated by Mary Linda McKinney and Mark Wutka

Mark Wutka and Mary Linda McKinney believe they were brought together by Divine will to do God's work as a team, to support one another in individual leadings and to serve together. They first met through their blogs in which they wrote about their spiritual lives and then met in-person as Friendly Adult Nurturers in the Quaker teen organization of Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting & Association. They are each graduates of the "On Being a Spiritual Nurturer" program and remain actively involved with School of the Spirit; Mark has served on the finance committee for several years and Mary Linda is currently co-clerk of the board. They are Friends Couple Enrichment leaders and have just launched an on-line program called Drop-in Dialogue for all couples who have ever completed an FCE event.

Mark and Mary Linda are members of Nashville Friends Meeting but have been sojourning for a while among other faith communities. Last year they attended a progressive Baptist church and this year they are attending Sunday school and some pujas with a Hindu community. When her schedule allows, Mary Linda participates in Sufi zikr and attends mid-week worship with Friends. Both Mark and Mary Linda feel that Quaker spirituality is the most true path for them but also trust that God has a purpose for sending them out to worship with folks who recognize the Divine in diverse ways. As an interfaith spiritual director, Mary Linda feels nurtured and expanded by this sojourn.

This is Mary Linda's third time facilitating a Spiritual Deepening eRetreat and Mark's first. They look forward to exploring what it means to "become patterns and examples" with you!