Nurturing our Quaker Community

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    A Friendly Introduction to Membership

    What is Quaker membership? How do I apply and what will happen? The weekend gives an opportunity to explore the meaning of membership and belonging, and to share with others at a similar stage in their journey with Quakers. We will look at the history of Quaker membership, the practical aspects of applying for membership, and at the rewards and responsibilities belonging to a faith community brings.

    Nurturing our Meetings

    How can we make our Quaker meetings vibrant and inclusive communities in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers are welcome? In this course you will discover ways to deepen and strengthen the life of your meeting. Together we will explore a variety of spiritual practices, including the ‘ministry of welcome’. We will share our spiritual journeys, look at how we bear the burden of one another’s failings, and help one another up with a tender hand.

    Being an Inclusive Faith Community

    Do you long for your faith community to be truly inclusive? This course will give you tools to put inclusion at the heart of your faith community life. We will ask how inclusion is rooted in our theology, how inclusion is different to diversity, and how we can include all people in our faith communities, regardless of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality.

    A Friendly Introduction to Gender Diversity

    In recent years we may have become more aware of transgender people – in our meetings we may encounter a transgender newcomer seeking a spiritual home, a longstanding Friend may ‘come out’, or we might have a relative who is trans or non-binary. This weekend aims to demystify gender diversity by hearing personal stories. We will explore the distinctive role of our meetings in embracing the richness of gender diversity based on our testimonies to truth, equality and simplicity.

    Appreciative Inquiry in Quaker settings

    Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a strengths-based approach to development and change that is particularly relevant to Quaker principles and practice. This course provides basic training in AI, which will equip Friends with the understanding and skills to facilitate AI processes in their meetings or committees. It will be especially useful to Friends serving in roles, employed staff and any Friends with experience in leadership or facilitation wishing to develop their skills and learn a new approach to real issues.

    A Friendly Introduction to the Quaker Way

    Are you relatively new to Quakers and keen to find out more? This course sets out the Quaker ‘basics’. It will give you an understanding of the history and international reach of Quakerism, and the importance of spiritual experience to the Quaker Way. We will discuss what happens in a Meeting for Worship and how Quakers make decisions and organise themselves. We will explore what Quakers mean by ‘testimony’ and explain simple spiritual practices for you to experiment with. Each unit contains video, audio and written materials to engage with, and forums to share reflections and ask questions. There will be a live online Q&A on Thursday 21 February at 19.00 GMT. If you can’t join this discussion live, it will be recorded for you to watch at your convenience. This course is intended for those who have been attending a Quaker meeting for between six months and three years. This course focuses principally on Quakerism as practiced by Britain Yearly Meeting, what is known as the liberal unprogrammed tradition. Participants from other Yearly Meetings and traditions are very welcome.

    This course involves a time commitment of approximately 2-3 hours per week.

    Planning a Purposeful Retirement

    This workshop offers space to reflect on what a rich, fulfilling retirement would look like for you. The workshop is based on the first part of Richard and Heather’s book ‘Creating a Purposeful Life’. Together we will explore topics such as: my unique talents and strengths; my values; different attitudes to retirement and change; losses and gains on retirement and overcoming blockers to personal change. The workshop will be interactive, with time for personal work and small group discussions.

    Travelling in the ministry: strengthening our gifts

    An early practice within the Quaker tradition was travelling in the ministry, Friends sharing their concerns and encouragement for members of the Religious Society of Friends. We will build on this rich tradition by exploring the behaviours and patterns Quaker women and men traveling in ministry found beneficial. This workshop is intended for those who are acting as “minister” or have a desire to do so or learn about Travelling. We will discuss practical approaches to traveling in Ministry.

    Becoming a quaker diversity ally: lessons from Bayard Rustin

    : “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Audre Lorde. All of us go through different stages of understanding our own and others’ racial identity. However, we are unconsciously influenced by society, peers, family composition, politics, media and much more. We also inhabit social political structures and organisational structures have been conceived with an unequal idea of assigned gender roles which reproduce and maintain these inequalities. Moreover, people are discriminated differently according to the context in which they find themselves; social class, ethnic or religious origin, age, sexual orientation or their functional capability. The purpose of this course is to help us as Friends sort out the many messages we get about race, racism, unconscious bias and white privilege and then to explore ways of becoming more effective allies in the fight for racial justice and racial healing in our lives and beyond. Guided by Advice and Queries 33 & 34 and using Bayard Rustin as a case study, we hope to - Goals: Develop a shared understanding of key terms and ideas, including social construction of race, gender and minority marginalisation; Identify the ways in which racism and white privilege impact our daily lives; Identify manifestations of white privilege and racism in our Meetings; Develop plan for network support and resources as diversity ally. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. -- Martin Luther King, Jr

    Confronting mortality and grief

    In accepting the fact of death, we are freed to live more fully. This retreat will give you space to reflect individually and with other Friends on the end of life – your own death, preparing for death, or the experience of grief. This event is hosted by Quaker Life’s end of life cluster. This event is grounded in Quaker worship and does not offer therapy.

    Exploring Faith and Practice together

    Whether experienced or new to Quakerism, this course will give you the opportunity to share with Friends from other Meetings your insights and responses to the first and the final five challenging chapters of Quaker Faith & Practice. Two optional sessions will be devoted to creative work in words or images that may be used to support our exploration of the text.

    Exploring Sensory-being

    Sensory-being is a form of mindfulness designed for people with cognitive disabilities but accessible to all, in which an engagement with the present moment is encouraged through a calming sensory activity. On this course you will learn about the theory behind sensory-being, exploring and creating sensory-being activities for people you care for and for yourself. The course is relevant to those interested in creating more inclusive communities, as sensory-being allows more able and less able people to take part in an activity as equals.

    Experimental Worship

    How many ways are there of doing Quaker worship? This course will ask how we can enrich and expand our worship in ways that are in keeping with the Quaker tradition. We will take risks with song, images and words, finding new ways to hear the voice of the Spirit in our midst. Participants will receive an electronic copy of Terry’s book Consider The Rock which will serve as a starting point for our reflections.

    ‘Take time’: a weekend for people caring for someone who has problems with their mental health.

    'Take Time’ is a weekend for people who care for someone who needs care because of their mental health problems. Supporting someone can be life changing, revelatory – and exhausting and isolating. Look after your needs to enhance your caring. Come and meet Friends, enjoy quiet, share in optional activities, hear about rights and resources. The Retreat Benevolent Fund could give grants to those who cannot afford whatever respite care is needed by the person they support. Apply at:

    Quaker Fellowship for Afterlife Studies (QFAS) and the Friends Fellowship of Healing (FFH) Conference

    This joint conference of the Quaker Fellowship for Afterlife Studies (QFAS) and the Friends Fellowship of Healing (FFH) is open to all. For nearly twenty years QFAS has gathered and shared evidence of experiences beyond the body, which goes to the very heart of what it means to be human. FFH was founded in 1935 and is one of the largest interest groups within the Religious Society of Friends in Britain. The conference will explore spiritual and psychic experiences and evidence of healing of the mind and body. We will discuss how we can integrate these experiences into our daily lives, helping us to grow stronger in faith and love.

    Leadership Amongst Friends

    How does leadership work in our non-hierarchical Society of Friends, and what does it mean to take a lead when working in relationship with others? This course is for anyone interested in questions of leading and following in a Quaker context. We will explore through discussion, refection and experiential activity the 'leaderful behaviour' that enables our meetings and structures to fulfil their spiritual purpose, including the connections between leadership and service, issues of authority and power, and being a leader in our own lives.