Friday Workshops

Annual Sessions Friday Workshops begin at 7:15 p.m. on July 25 at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. There are several all-age workshop options on Friday evening. Children’s Sessions and the Middle School program will continue as usual in peer groups during workshop time, but parents have the option to bring their child to an all-ages workshop if they choose.

To view a workshop description, click on the + sign next to the title of the workshop. More workshops are scheduled for Thursday, July 24 and are posted on the Thursday Workshops page

Workshops for All Ages (First Grade and Older):

Building the Circle: A Place for Everyone in Spiritual Formation - Melinda Wenner Bradley, Faith & Play Working Group

We will gather to explore how sacred space, silence, story and play can be woven together in spiritual formation for all ages. While Godly Play and Faith & Play can be at the heart of this work in First Day School programs for children, how can elements from that story experience be connected to our growth as a multigenerational faith? What can RE programs for adults borrow from this way of being in spiritual community with children? How can stories and play together be doorways to a deeper experience of the Divine — at any age?

Group Drumming Sharing Our Heart Beat - Carolyn Shafer

Group drumming helps people relax, connect at a cellular level, promotes listening to each other, cooperation and oneness with self and others.  Our hearts are more open to giving and receiving love.  The physical activity and rhythmic vibrational aspect have been shown to support emotional and physical healing. Carolyn Shafer’s background is in teaching and counseling and she has had several trainings in leading group drumming.

Quaker Witness in Urban America - Mercer Street Friends Trustees

Friends have felt a connection to addressing the needs of underserved communities in urban settings from the early days of the Religious Society of Friends to the present. This workshop will first offer a historical overview. We will then describe efforts within our Yearly Meeting to help individuals and communities make the journey out of poverty, such as Junior Interim Meeting’s work with SHARE and Historic Fair Hill Burial Ground, Historic Fair Hill’s work in reviving a troubled urban neighborhood in Philadelphia, the varied work of Quaker Voluntary Service, and Mercer Street Friends programs serving those in need in Trenton, New Jersey

Workshops for Middle School Age and Older:

Mapping Quaker Links to Slavery, Abolition and the Underground Railroad - Avis Wanda McClinton, Upper Dublin Meeting, Linda Lotz, Haddonfield Meeting, and Madeline Schaefer, Radnor Meeting

Research, publications, and events related to slavery, abolition and the Underground Railroad can help us better understand Quaker and American history, and create opportunities to reach out to others in our communities. Workshop participants are invited to briefly share relevant information, display historical items, and circulate printed resources regarding their family, meeting or community regarding slavery and the quest for freedom. By the end of the session, participants will have created a map of our rich history.

Workshops for Young Friends and Older:

Choosing Love in a Time of Peril: Climate Change and Our Investments - Investing with Integrity- Nancy Sleator, Lansdowne Meeting and Margaret Mansfield, Mount Holly Meeting

Could we live at a more extraordinary moment on Earth?  Are we ready for the profound spiritual awakening required to face the peril of losing all we love? This workshop will invite us all into a deeper understanding of our climate dilemma, consider how to honor our pain and still remain faithful to the future.  After a brief summary of recent climate science and its implications, participants will engage in small and large group activities which offer up our gratitude for the beauty of life, honor our pain, and consider the faith community’s proposed actions.  We will give specific attention to the opportunity provided by the newly established Friends Fiduciary Corporation’s Quaker Green Fund.

Ending Mass Incarceration: A Discussion on Federal Criminal Justice Policies - Tila Neguse, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Quakers have a long history with prisons. Now we have the opportunity to make history by ending some of the worst policies contributing to mass incarceration in the U.S. This workshop will explore the federal policies that underwrite mass incarceration, as well as recent legislation that moves us toward more just sentencing. FCNL lobbyist Tila Neguse will provide an overview of federal criminal justice legislation and lead a discussion on how Friends can impact this issue through direct advocacy.

Love and Loss - Mary Lou Hatcher

Loss is a major theme of life. Some losses are great, some small. Some of them come through the movement from one stage of life to another and some through both expected and unexpected events. This Workshop will explore ways to move through loss with grace and courage.

Native American Views on Meeting for Worship- PYM Indain Committee

When Seneca Chief Cornplanter met Quakers, he appreciated their help and taught them much about Native customs and beliefs. He appreciated much about Friends’ education and meeting for worship and saw parallels with Seneca ways. This workshop will present some of the historical and spiritual interactions and bring us up to the present in terms of Native spiritual beliefs and group social dances.

Resolving Conflicts, Deepening Relationships - Meeting Enrichment Services Group

In this workshop Friends will explore how individuals and Meetings can work with and through difficult situations – resolving conflicts and transforming relationships in the process. These may be issues that impact the entire Meeting such as same sex marriage or major changes to the meetinghouse. However, there may also be interpersonal conflicts in a meeting that seem to impact the entire meeting community. We will look at practical ways to prevent and resolve different types of conflicts while deepening our spiritual connections and strengthening our spiritual community.

The Best Ideas are Free; Develop Membership - Membership Development Support Fund Working Group

Membership development ideas – old and new – will help attendees to make their meeting more likely to attract new members and more quickly get attenders of many years to finally write the letter. Hands on activities conclude to create specific outcomes for your meeting. Grant development from Membership Development Support Fund members will help attendees develop good grant proposals likely to be approved. If you attend this workshop you will get materials proven to improve membership development in your meeting.