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Revising Quaker Faith & Practice

In this series of four live sessions, come and join members of the Book of Discipline Revision Committee as Britain Yearly Meeting begins the shared journey of revising Quaker Faith & Practice. These sessions will give an opportunity to find out about the work of the committee, engage with the process and think together about the work going forward. When it appointed the committee, Meeting for Sufferings asked them to be prayerful, joyful, creative and bold in the revision.

You can find out more about the revision process here: https://quaker.org.uk/resources/quaker-faith-and-practice/revising-quaker-faith-practice.

We will work in a variety of ways across the four sessions – join us for all or come to the one that most appeals to you. Just tick to add the sessions you wish to attend and then click 'Join the course'

These are all 90 minute Pay as Led sessions. We ask that you make a donation when you have booked to support us in continuing to offer learning to many people as possible.

Make a donation to Woodbrooke

Exploring the Swarthmore Lecture: Openings to the Infinite Ocean

This series of four live sessions will explore the Swarthmore Lecture with Tom Shakespeare and Mark Russ. Each session will explore one of four main themes of the lecture. You can join us for one session, sign up for all four or pick those that interest you most.

To book multiple sessions, add them in the list in this course entry and click 'join this course'.

For information about the Swarthmore Lecture go to https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/learn/about/swarthmore-lecture/.

Bayard Rustin: reflections on his life and witness

Bayard Rustin was one of the most important civil, human and labour rights activists. African American and gay, his life’s work was in standing up for marginalised people. He was an important influence on Martin Luther King, persuading him to adopt the principles of non-violent resistance in the struggle for civil rights. This online course will explore how he put his Quaker faith into action. A study of his writings and songs, as well as literature, film and art inspired by him, will allow us to approach his life from a variety of perspectives.

The suggested time commitment for this course is two to three hours a week and the course includes written and video material along with forums and activities. There are no live sessions for this course so you can work on the materials at times that suit you.

What do we actually mean by privilege?

The word 'privilege' can have several meanings in English – we use it to talk about good things, like feeling privileged to have an opportunity, but we also use it to talk about the way some people in our society are given chances or treatment which should be granted to everyone, like being treated as a unique individual. This live discussion session will introduce some common forms of privilege – white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege – and explore why the concept is useful.

This is a live discussion session.

This is a Pay as Led online workshop. We ask that you make a donation at the time of booking to support us in continuing to offer learning to many people as possible. You will also need to complete the booking form below.

Make a donation to Woodbrooke

Creatively Revising Quaker Faith & Practice

Explore the revision of our book of discipline with imagination, thoughtfulness and originality alongside members of the Revision Committee. Hear about our progress so far, ask questions, and join with us in considering how our revision process can ensure that all the diverse voices within our Quaker community are heard. Who is excluded and what do they need to be included? What are the social and technological issues?

Woodbrooke and the Book of Discipline Revision Committee working in partnership.

This is a Pay as Led live online session. We ask that you make a donation at the time of booking to support us in continuing to offer learning to many people as possible. You will also need to complete the booking form below.

Make a donation to Woodbrooke

If you would like to book multiple sessions in this series, you can do so at https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/item/revising-quaker-faith-practice/.

Bringing Quaker and Buddhist Practice Together: a joint online retreat with Woodbrooke and Plum Village UK

Many Quakers today are drawn to the clarity of guidance on mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition. Buddhists are often interested in the distinctive combination of Quaker silence and social action. These complementary interests have been nurtured by the regular retreats at Woodbrooke over the past twenty years. In this online retreat we will continue this exploration, with opportunities throughout the weekend to join together for mindful sitting and walking meditation, meeting for worship, talks, sharing groups and deep relaxation. For those who have been on Mindfully Together retreats or Being Peace weekends, this will be a valuable chance to reconnect, and for rest and renewal.  For those who are new to Buddhism or Quakerism, explanations and support will be given. The programme will include an option to join with others online for an early morning period of sitting meditation each day.

European Quaker Voices

This is a 6-week online retreat for European Quakers, using devotional and inspirational material by European Quakers. In addition to readings, there will be suggestions for activities and exercises appropriate to a retreat. Participants will share reflections and experiences with each other along the way. The retreat is thus an opportunity for individual and group spiritual development, as well as an opportunity to learn from the rich experience of European Friends.

This course involves live discussion sessions, written and visual material and a private discussion forum. The expected time commitment is approximately two to three hours per week.

Live sessions will take place at 17:00-18-00 (UK time) on Wednesdays September 16th and 30th and October 14th. The sessions will be recorded for participants who are unable to attend at these times.

Essentials of Quakerism (September 2020)

This course, designed particularly for those new to the Quaker way, will introduce the basic and essential elements of Quakerism: the expectation of a transforming encounter with the Divine (however we describe it); the use of a distinctive form of collective worship to nurture that encounter; discernment; and witness - the life that emerges as an outcome of our faith. There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions and a forum for additional conversation between the sessions. Everyone is very welcome, whether or not you have experienced Quaker worship.

This course will include live speaker sessions with Q&A and a private discussion forum.

Live sessions will take place weekly on Mondays at 19:00-20:30 (UK time) and will be recorded for participants who are unable to attend.

Boldly Revising Quaker Faith & Practice

Explore the revision of our book of discipline with bravery, openness and spirit alongside members of the Revision Committee. Hear about our progress so far, ask questions, and join with us in considering how our revision can reflect the dynamic views, needs and practices of all Friends, including younger generations. How do aging and different stages of life shape our needs? Does your generation affect your approach to discipline and books?

Woodbrooke and the Book of Discipline Revision Committee working in partnership.

This is a 90 minute Pay as Led live online session. We ask that you make a donation when you have booked to support us in continuing to offer learning to many people as possible. You will need to complete a booking form.

Make a donation to Woodbrooke

If you would like to book multiple sessions in this series, you can do so at https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/item/revising-quaker-faith-practice/.

Eldership and Oversight online – September

This six-week online course will help all those serving in eldership and oversight to gain better understanding and confidence in their role – whatever the system in their meeting. The six modules cover the full range of topics included in the separate and combined eldership and oversight onsite courses, with options to focus on elements of particular relevance. You should allow two to three hours a week for pursuing this course.

There is no requirement to be online at a particular time except for a one-hour webinar once a week. These Zoom video meetings are planned to allow for different time zones. Times and dates will be provided as early as possible in advance of the course start date.

Being a Quaker Community of Witness and Welcome

Quakers have a treasure to share with the world – the liberating power of following the promptings of love and truth in our hearts. How do we make this treasure known to those who have never heard of Friends? How do we welcome people who seek this treasure when they arrive at our meeting house doors?

This course aims to reframe how we think about ‘outreach’. We will not ask how we can get more ‘bums on seats’ or find more people for the flower rota. Instead, asking how we can warmly welcome those who seek us so that our Quaker communities confidently witness to the power of the Quaker discovery.

This course is structured around 5 questions across 5 weeks:

  • Why do we want new people anyway?
  • What do newcomers experience in our meetings?
  • How do we set ourselves free to be truly inclusive?
  • What is the point of your Meeting?
  • How do we talk about Quakerism in a way that actually helps newcomers?

Each week will have video and audio resources exploring the topic and lively discussion forums – some weeks will include guest speakers. We will also have two live sessions via Zoom:

  • Wednesday 16th September from 7:30 to 9 pm (UK time)
  • Wednesday 7th October from 7:30 to 9 pm (UK time)

This course is a collaboration between Quaker Life and Woodbrooke.

Quakers Do What! Why?

Why do (many) Quakers hold their worship in silence? How do Quaker communities make decisions? If you've recently discovered Quakers or don't know much about us yet, you might have lots of questions about what we do and why. This course, based on Rhiannon Grant's book of the same name, will address some of the most common questions people ask about Quakers and make space for you to ask your own. Through six live Zoom meetings (recorded in case you miss one), and with some reading and a discussion forum in between sessions, this course will provide a relaxed and informal space for anyone new to or curious about Quakers to get some answers.

Live sessions will be on Thursday evenings between 7.30 and 9.00 pm (UK time).

The book, Quakers do What! Why?, is available at https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/christian-alternative-books/our-books/quaker-quicks-quakers-do-what-why

Multiple Religious Belonging

This online conference will be run jointly by the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies at Woodbrooke and the Hyphen Project at the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion. It will take place across four Tuesday evenings in September and October 2020.

Welcoming researchers from all fields, we will explore multiple religious belonging, the complexities of conversion, and hyphenated religious identities. We look forward to hearing from a range of perspectives.

All sessions will last for one hour with discussion following until 21:00.

Tuesday 15 September (19:30 UK) – Keynote address
Tuesday 22 September (19:30 UK) – Papers and discussion
Tuesday 29 September (19:30 UK) – Papers and discussion
Tuesday 6 October (19:30 UK) – Roundtable discussion

The Multiple Religious Belonging Conference aims to provide a safe, supportive and encouraging atmosphere for all presenters and delegates.

Living the Peace Testimony

Please note that this course description has changed since our PDF brochure was published.

What is the peace testimony and how can we live it today? Quakers have witnessed against war and violence and worked for peace for centuries. We have learnt much about what works and what doesn’t but peace is complex. Each generation faces new issues and new manifestations of war and violence.  How do we work effectively on peace today? What are the issues we should focus on?

This series of 4 live sessions looks at what we can learn from Quakers living the peace testimony in the past and present and explores how we might bear witness on peace locally, nationally and globally today.

Session 1: An end to all wars: a look at how Quakers have tried to stop war in the past and the issues we need to focus on today
Session 2: Conscientious objectors: then and now
Session 3: Peace in our own society: what are the issues we need to address today?
Session 4: Peacemaking and climate and social injustice

Live sessions will be led by Quakers who have done research on the peace testimony or who have lived experience of working for peace. Names, details and dates for the webinars will be available nearer the time.

Exploring the Swarthmore Lecture: Openings to the Infinite Ocean Session 1

Letting your life preach: Quakerism and hope
One of a series of four sessions exploring the Swarthmore Lecture with Tom Shakespeare and Mark Russ. Each session will explore one of four main themes of the lecture. You can join us for one session, sign up for all four or pick those that interest you most. More details to follow.

To book for more than one session in this series go to: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/item/exploring-the-swarthmore-lecture-openings-to-the-infinite-ocean.

For information about the Swarthmore Lecture go to https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/learn/about/swarthmore-lecture/.

A Taste of Life Writing for Transformation™

Course search results Woodbrooke Quaker Conference CentreThis self-paced course introduces a process of writing for authentic, creative self-expression and personal development. A “no red pens” approach results in greater awareness, mindfulness and self-acceptance through a gentle stream of guided tools you can use just five minutes at a time. The course includes six multimedia modules and a workbook, based on the work of Joanne Klassen, creator of Life Writing for Transformation™. Each module introduces key concepts from the book followed by exercises, examples, a review and additional optional learning activities. This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

Exploring the Swarthmore Lecture: Openings to the Infinite Ocean Session 2

Faith, hope and love: Biblical sources for hope
One of a series of four sessions exploring the Swarthmore Lecture with Tom Shakespeare and Mark Russ. Each session will explore one of four main themes of the lecture. You can join us for one session, sign up for all four or pick those that interest you most. More details to follow.

To book for more than one session in this series go to: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/item/exploring-the-swarthmore-lecture-openings-to-the-infinite-ocean.

For information about the Swarthmore Lecture go to https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/learn/about/swarthmore-lecture/.

Exploring the Swarthmore Lecture: Openings to the Infinite Ocean Session 3

We have no time but this present time: finding stories of hope
One of a series of four sessions exploring the Swarthmore Lecture with Tom Shakespeare and Mark Russ. Each session will explore one of four main themes of the lecture. You can join us for one session, sign up for all four or pick those that interest you most. More details to follow.

To book for more than one session in this series go to: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/item/exploring-the-swarthmore-lecture-openings-to-the-infinite-ocean.

For information about the Swarthmore Lecture go to https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/learn/about/swarthmore-lecture/.

Being a Quaker Clerk online – October

This online course, for new or prospective clerks with little or no experience of Quaker clerking, is based on the on-site course with the same name. The five modules cover the clerk’s role before, during and after a Meeting for Worship for Business. We also consider why we use our particular business style in our meetings. We will focus on clerking local meetings, but clerks of other meetings, including area meetings, will also find they can learn much about their role.

This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

Exploring the Swarthmore Lecture: Openings to the Infinite Ocean Session 4

Optimism of the will: what is required of us?
One of a series of four sessions exploring the Swarthmore Lecture with Tom Shakespeare and Mark Russ. Each session will explore one of four main themes of the lecture. You can join us for one session, sign up for all four or pick those that interest you most. More details to follow.

To book for more than one session in this series go to: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/item/exploring-the-swarthmore-lecture-openings-to-the-infinite-ocean.

For information about the Swarthmore Lecture go to https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/learn/about/swarthmore-lecture/.

Quaker Nominations online – October

An entirely online course for anyone involved in Quaker nominations. We will aim to root ourselves in good practices of discernment whilst responding to the particular issues that face us. Nominations are at the quiet heart of the way we live together as Friends, when we listen faithfully to the Spirit. By taking two to three hours a week over six weeks to reflect, we hope you will gain a renewed insight into the potential of nominations to strengthen meetings and enable them to flourish.

This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

The Life Stirring Within: a week-long online retreat with Isaac Penington

Isaac Penington was one of the most creative spiritual writers among the early Friends, much of his writing being in the form of letters of encouragement and ‘spiritual counsel’ to fellow travellers in the Quaker community. Topics he focusses on include: the interior life; surrendering to the Divine presence within; understanding Christ and scripture; discernment and spiritual growth; suffering as a way to spiritual growth; witness and testimony. On each day of the retreat you will receive a section of his writing with specially written commentary, as well as other complementary spiritual writing. To help your own reflection you will receive a spiritual exercise and questions to focus on. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings between 6.30 and 7.30pm, you have the option of joining Timothy Ashworth and others on the retreat for a period of worship and listening and sharing together.

The Quaker Way

Are you relatively new to Quakers and keen to find out more? Have you been attending meeting for a while, but feel you could be better informed about Quaker beliefs and practices? Are you a life-long Friend who needs their Quaker knowledge refreshed? 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.

This course will give you a solid foundation in continuing your journey on the Quaker way.

Each week there will be video, audio and written materials to engage with, and forums to share reflections and ask questions.

There will be the opportunity for live online discussion (19.00-20.00 GMT) on Tuesday 10th November and Tuesday 8th December. If you can’t join this discussion live, it will be recorded for you to watch at your convenience. This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week.

The Meaning of the Cross: punishment, or healing and reconciliation?

Many of us struggle with the Bible’s sacrificial imagery and are troubled by the idea that God punishes Jesus for our sins. In this course we will explore alternative understandings of the cross drawing on the early Church, peace traditions, theologies of liberation, and the work of Rene Girard. Can we move beyond violent punishment and embrace a faith based on healing and reconciliation?

This course involves a time commitment of approximately two to three hours per week. Each week there will be a range of audio-visual and written materials for you to engage with, and a discussion forum where you can share reflections and ask questions.

Expectant Waiting: reflections from the Bible and Quakers, from theology and poetry

The silence of Quaker meeting is not an end in itself. It carries a sense of waiting. At any time, this can give rise to a depth that is collectively felt by those present. Or be the occasion of inspired words, heard by one individual or shared with the whole gathering.

This online course is made of four weekly webinars in which we will explore this theme of waiting, bringing together the reflections of Quakers with words of scripture, theology and poetry. W. H. Vanstone’s The Stature of Waiting and T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets will help us identify the riches in this theme, both for Quakers and others who may well be preparing to mark Advent, the season characterized by hopeful expectation.

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