219 Court St
Newtown, PA 18940
Young Adult Friends (YAF) age 18-35ish come together from across the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting region and beyond for a weekend retreat: Embodying Spirit – music, dance, movement, art, and storytelling!
Expect worship sharing, workshops, games, and fellowship as our time is centered around creative expression, getting connected to our bodies, and finding a place for grounding and renewal. YAFs are at different places on our journeys, and we come together for rejuvenation, relaxation, and to deepen our connection to one another & the Spirit.Registration is closed
Registration closed Sunday, April 2
We’ll gather Friday evening at 5:30 for dinner with Friends from Newtown Meeting – they are having a lasagna dinner to raise funds for Mercer Street Friends summer preschool. Payment for dinner is not included in retreat registration (unless you have full financial aid or a workgrant), and sliding-scale donations will be accepted onsite (suggested $7-10)
After dinner, we’ll start our YAF time with opening games & get-to-know you activities, and centering worship sharing. Saturday, we’ll have a mix of workshops, free time, full group time, and meeting for business, focusing on a YAF minute responding to PYM staffing changes. We’ll end Sunday morning with a closing circle with appreciation of our outgoing YAF clerk and coordinator, and worship with the host meeting. (This is an overnight event! We’ll be staying at the meetinghouse.)
Our workshop options include:
Embodying the Spiritual Journey Through the Ritual of Performance – Julia Brandenberger
I make immersive performances for small audiences in intimate settings. In this workshop, I will share my experiences of how to create a performance around a specific question, event or season of life. I will draw from examples of my own work and encourage participants reflect on questions from their own lives which they would want to share in performance. We’ll end with collaborative performance in large or small groups and a debrief.
Laughter Yoga – Jen Bowman
Let’s reconnect with our JOY! Are you ready for total, unreserved fun and play? Are you stressed or feeling overwhelmed by the world? Do you need a good laugh? Laughter Yoga is here for you! What’s Laughter Yoga? Laughter is a universal language. Laughter yoga is a medically inspired activity that combines the act of unconditional laughter exercises with yogic breathing (Pranayama) for health and happiness. Laughter yoga was created by Dr. Madan Kataria in India in 1995. This unique and fun yoga practice is experienced in a group setting as an exercise in breathing, clapping, playfulness, eye-contact, and body movement that transforms into authentic laughter and joy.
Ecstatic Dance – Eric Peterson
Ecstatic dance provides open space for attendees to explore freedom of self-expression. It involves a little explanation, a little worship, then we listen to a playlist and people move and dance. The playlist is structured to make movement accessible for all.
Chatterboxing Closer to Spirit – Mary Crauderueff
Using these “Chatterboxes” or “Fortune Tellers” from Britain YM, we’ll explore topics combining the physical and the heart/spirit, and then create our own!
Attending a YAF Retreat
To help build a sense of community, we encourage everyone to attend the full retreat. But we realize that we all have other things going on in our lives, so you can also come part-time if that makes it more possible for you to join us. There is a spot on the registration form to say when you plan to attend. Learn more about the expectations of the YAF community.
Our Cancellation Policy: Full refunds will be given if you cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the retreat. If you cancel with less than 48 hours notice, you will instead receive credit to a future event. (This helps make sure the retreat planners buy the right amount of food & supplies!)
To make these events accessible to as many young adults as possible, we keep costs low by sharing the cooking and clean-up chores, and sleeping on the meetinghouse floor (so bring a sleeping pad or air mattress to make it more comfy!) If you have accessibility needs you’re not sure if we can meet (including needing a local homestay option), contact the Young Adult Friends Coordinator.
Arrival at the YAF Spring Retreat begins at 5:30PM on Friday, April 7, and dinner will run from 5:30-7:30 with Newtown Friends. If you register early, we can help arrange carpooling when you let us know how you intend to travel on your registration form. We don’t have a location yet, but we try to find locations that are public transit accessible.More about the Young Adult Friends program