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Transformative movements are made by grassroots change-makers. Building on insights from community organising, this course will support you to make connections with people in your area, listen to their concerns, and turn those relationships into effective campaigns. Leading change is a collective effort. If you can we recommend you join the course in a pair – although you are also welcome on your own. However you come the course, you will leave in equipped to build the foundations of ‘the peaceable kingdom’ beginning in your locality.
This course will help those with responsibility for Oversight in Quaker meetings gain a better understanding of the role and the confidence to do it. What does the role involve? What is expected? What is the spiritual basis of oversight? How can overseers respond to and meet the pastoral needs of the meeting? We will look at the range of tasks, share good practice and explore ways of handling difficult issues as well as looking at practical ideas and useful resources.
_This course focuses on oversight in Britain Yearly Meeting but may also be of interest to Friends from other Yearly Meetings._
The resurrection of Jesus was the central early Christianity claim. Unsurprisingly, many people both now and then have difficulty with that idea. What did it mean at the time? What were the relevant Jewish ideas? What did such a claim mean in other contemporary cultures? And, most importantly, what was its significance as a central element of the emerging Christian faith? This careful historical exploration will provide the material for an informed discussion on what it means for us today.
Some say we are human beings having a spiritual experience, whilst others suggest that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. The truth is, we are embodied and alive with the spirit of life. Using the 5Rhythms™ moving meditation practice, we will explore how breath and body connect us more fully to life and all things. Join us and dance into a deeper relationship with yourself, others and the spirit of life itself. Suitable for all ages and abilities.
This training and support event for meeting houses of all sizes and functions includes: Witnessing to Quaker values; workshops for staff and employers on employment law and good practice and on health and safety legislation; as well as sessions on meeting house administration matters, and on building working relationships and support networks. The course aims to respond to the needs of participants so everyone will gain increased enthusiasm, skills, confidence and knowledge to enhance the life of their meeting house.
Whether a beginner or experienced in eastern spiritual practice you will taste something of the deep peace that can be discovered through simple practices of being present. Guidance will be given on a variety of practices to encourage a sense of mindfulness. You will be invited to experiment with silence as part of this, including taking meals in silence. Run in partnership with the Community of Interbeing, who live by and share with others the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.
This writing retreat is for alumni of the Introduction to Life Writing for TransformationTM course which is run annually at Woodbrooke. It is an opportunity to re-connect with other life writers and to re-visit the power of the transformative tools. The theme for this year is love, and its many hues. There will be time for private writing, a support group for writers of longer term projects, as well as the usual space to share our unique life experiences.
‘Greet yourself in your thousand other forms. As you mount the hidden tide and travel back home’ Hafiz. Whether you are looking for practical tips to kick start your writing, or seek deeper personal transformation, this course provides a safe, inspiring retreat. Introducing key tools of Transformative Life Writing™ that minimise your inner critic, enabling you to re-connect with your authentic voice. On completion, writers join the wider community of Transformative Life Writers™. This includes newsletters, and an annual retreat at Woodbrooke.
In our time together we will explore the founding experience and vision of the Quaker movement and consider how early Friends lived a prophetic, charismatic and apocalyptic faith that very nearly turned the world upside-down. How did this vision shape the Quaker understanding of the Bible and the possibility of personal transformation? Can we see the roots for our contemporary concerns for peace, equality and creation-care? How is this vision reflected in Quaker global diversity today?
Discernment is the cornerstone of Quaker faith and practice but many of us find it challenging in everyday life. Centred in worship, this retreat will give us time to reflect and experience types of individual and corporate discernment, and explore different ways of testing our concerns and personal leadings.
For new and prospective treasurers, and those who still feel uncertain. We will cover all the main tasks, from first entries to year-end preparation of accounts, principles, responsibilities, and legal requirements. You will find sympathetic companionship with other treasurers, and explore the spiritual basis of the role.
*Please note times*: The course starts at 11:15am on the Tuesday with Basic Book-keeping (this runs to 5:45pm and will include lunch). Those without much experience need these sessions. If Tuesday attendance is difficult, the exercises will be available online to complete at home beforehand. On the Wednesday there is an optional session on the Quaker spreadsheet programme which runs from 1:30pm to 3.00pm.
What is mysticism? How do mystical experiences differ from other sorts of encounters with God? What is the relationship between mysticism and Quaker faith and practice? Those are three of the questions that participants and tutors on this course will consider together. As we reflect on those questions, we’ll pay special attention to the life and work of two authors—Rufus Jones (1863-1948) and Thomas Kelly (1893-1941)—who produced classic explorations of Quaker mysticism that can still speak to us today.
The culture of fear in which we live, coupled with our own personal anxieties, is an impediment to deepening our spiritual life. Centred in worship, this retreat will offer individual and group reflection and exploration of ways of embracing hope and optimism. Together we will seek to open ourselves to 'that perfect love which casts out fear' and thus enable our growth in the Spirit.
A weekend combining quiet retreat and opportunities for sharing and celebrating diverse gender identity and sexual orientation. Focussed on Quaker worship and fellowship, with a choice of creative activity, personal sharing, and workshops on gender and sexual diversity and faith, we will reflect on how being Quaker supports our personal journeys and lets our lives speak. This weekend will provide a safe, welcoming space for LGBT+ Friends, including those beginning to understand their sexual or gender identity, and those who have been closeted for years.
Prayer is the natural heritage of everyone, including people of spirit with no fixed or Christian faith. We will explore prayer through silence, song, walking in nature, meditation and mediation, working with the regenerative sacred source of the universe. By taking responsibility for our spiritual practice, we become fully human by our service to natural prayer, enabling us to be a blessing to others. Anyone with hospitality of soul, or who is seeking doorways to personal spiritual practice, is welcome.
As George Fox stepped away from his family home in Fenny Drayton, praying, seeking answers and looking to the Bible, we too shall immerse ourselves in this area, setting off from Fenny Drayton, visiting the church where Fox worshipped as a young man and moving on to the ‘bloody city of Lichfield’. What shaped George Fox in his early days? How did these experiences affect the beginnings of Quakerism? There will be trips out, walking tours, times for reflection and content based sessions.