Section Meeting Workshops 2021

Here is a list of this year’s workshops!  Each registrant will be able to participate in one workshop, and we ask that you identify your top three choices when you register.  Some workshops will be limited to a certain number of participants.   

Tuesday March 16 at 5pm Pacific/6pm Mountain/7pm Central/8pm Eastern time

(NOW CLOSED) On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry, Brian Drayton and Benigno Sánchez-Eppler

  • Brian Drayton will explore the ways Early Quakers and some contemporary Friends identify, cultivate, supervise and live the “Gospel Ministry.”  Benigno Sánchez-Eppler will accompany Brian in this introduction to On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry (FGC Quaker Press, 2019), and its Spanish translation, Del vivir con un interés espiritual por el ministerio del Evangelio (FWCC, FGC, raicescuaqueras.org, 2021)

(NOW CLOSED) Listening Ear and Open Heart: Quaker Soulcare, Carl Magruder 

  • Douglas Steere wrote: “To listen another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service one human being ever performs for another.”  How do we provide Soulcare in our communities in a time of upheaval, division, and “existential” threats?  How do we make sacred our grief, and heal the wounds that can become a source of power?  Do you care for someone who is suffering spiritually?  Has your Friends Meeting/Church or other body charged you with a concern for the well being of others?  Come get some practical skills, and explore these challenges with Quaker Chaplain Carl Magruder, M.Div, BCC, who applies lessons from his work accompanying those with life-limiting illness to find a way towards thriving individuals and communities. 
  • Carl Magruder, M.Div., BCC, is a “cradle Quaker” of the waiting worship tradition. He lives in California, where he works as a palliative care chaplain, accompanying those with life-limiting illness.  An EarthQuaker, Carl finds that of God in the world around him—“the text God wrote Herself.”  Carl is a bicyclist, beekeeper, bibliophile, motorcyclist, tinkerer, and fountain pen restorer.  He has two kids, aged 13 and 17.  In this time of transition, Carl wonders at the Jack Pine, whose cones only open and germinate in fire.  Can Friends be a people of faith on fire, germinating spiritual seeds that bring vitality to the interconnected web of being?  
  • You can find out more about Carl at Soulways Ministries https://www.civiclight.org/soulways  Carl has begun work on his podcast, “How to Beat Cancer Even if It Kills You.”

Supporting Clearness and Faithfulness, Marcelle Martin and Jorge Arauz 

  • In this workshop we’ll discuss clearness committees and faithfulness groups, including their purpose, and the similarities and differences. We’ll practice asking evoking questions, a skill useful for supporting both clearness and faithfulness, and discuss other skills that enable us to help each other discern God’s calls and leadings, clear away any impediments, and respond whole-heartedly.
  • Here’s a link to online resources about Faithfulness Groups, including some basic info, a link to download the guidelines, and links for informational videos:  https://awholeheart.com/faithfulness-groups/
  • Here’s a link to online resources about Clearness Committees: https://awholeheart.com/clearness-committees/
  • In addition, here’s the link for the QuakerSpeak video: https://youtu.be/2gEHgoloH0A

(NOW CLOSED) Connecting with Indigenous Peoples through the Land, Paula Palmer

  • We will look deeply at the land where we live and worship. What does this land mean to me? to my meeting? What do I know about its history? About the Indigenous peoples who have lived here? How can I explore truth, justice, and right relationship through the land? This workshop will primarily address issues for meetings and indigenous peoples in the territory of the United States. It is open to Section Meeting attenders from all countries.
  • Bio: Paula Palmer is a member of Boulder MM, Intermountain YM. As co-director of Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples (a program of Friends Peace Teams), she facilitates educational workshops. She has collaborated with Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas to publish their histories, defend their rights, and protect their lands.

Connecting Little Friends: Children’s Programs in Large Online Spaces, Melinda Wenner Bradley and Cristela Martinez  

  • How can we support children and families who are unable to be together because of distance or coronavirus to stay connected to faith formation and Quaker community? Come to hear from Friends who have organized large-scale programs for children regionally and for a yearly meeting. Presentations on their two approaches will include ideas for content, themes, and program delivery, along with ideas to support the logistics of registration, child safety online, and technology. There will be time for questions and sharing from participant experiences in their own communities. In Spanish and English. 
  • Cristela Martinez, El Salvador Yearly Meeting, teaches English in elementary schools and leads religious education programs for young people locally and online. She currently serves on the FWCC Traveling Ministry Corps program group.  Melinda Wenner Bradley is the Youth Religious Life Coordinator for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and an internationally known Godly Play trainer. Both of them are part of the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative. 

Alternatives to Traditional Committee Structures, Robin Mohr

  • What are committees, as we know them, for? What works well on the committees you know? What doesn’t work? Hear some new ideas, get some new tools, share your best practices. We are grateful for what we have received. Let us be willing to try new forms for doing God’s work.  We pray for faithful seeking of God’s guidance and faithful following of God’s directions.
  • Robin Mohr, Executive Secretary for the Section of the Americas, has served on many Quaker committees at the local, quarterly and yearly meeting, and international level over the last 30 years. There has to be a better way. She has some ideas.

Wednesday March 17 at 12 noon Pacific/1pm Mountain/2pm Central/3pm Eastern time  

Friends worldwide working together on sustainability, Susanna Mattingly and Faith Biddle

  • The UN climate talks are set to take place in Glasgow, UK in November. Leading up to and during the conference, Quakers around the world will be taking action together to call on governments to commit to essential climate targets and place justice at the heart of solutions to climate breakdown, to protect God’s creation. Join this conversation to find out how to get involved and hear about how young Friends worldwide are organizing for climate justice.
  • Susanna Mattingly runs the sustainability program for Friends World Committee for Consultation at the World Office in London, UK. She is a young Friend and is passionate about working with other Quakers to address the climate crisis. Faith Biddle is the Communications Officer for FWCC World Office. They will be joined by a member of the Young Friends Worldwide for Climate Action, Peace, and Justice committee.

(NOW CLOSED) A Practical Guide to Spiritual Discernment, Jerry Knutson

  • This workshop will focus on developing skills of spiritual discernment: receiving, testing, and implementing divine guidance, and spiritual practices that support discernment. The workshop will include presentation, guided meditation and small group discussion and practice. Breakout groups will be organized by language; if you are bilingual, we request that you join the group of your non-dominant language for greater group diversity. Please bring an issue, question, or situation on which you are seeking spiritual guidance.
  • Jerry Knutson is the author of the bestselling Pendle Hill Pamphlet #443 “Individual Spiritual Discernment: Receiving, Testing and Implementing Guidance from a Higher Power”.

Flourishing Pathways for Local Meetings, Scott Wagoner

  • One of the images Scripture offers for the intention of God’s people is that of flourishing. In the Old Testament, Hosea 12:7 reads, “…they will flourish like a garden…” and it offers a vision of a life that is the opposite of languishing and even surviving. This workshop will explore what it looks like for a faith community to flourish and the pathways local meetings can journey on towards flourishing so they can move beyond languishing or even simply surviving. We’ll explore what it looks like to begin from a place of formation that moves us through fruitfulness and faithfulness and leads us to functioning in a way that both the individual and community flourish.
  • Scott Wagoner is in his 19th year as Pastoral Minister of Deep River Friends meeting (North Carolina Fellowship of Friends). He serves on the Friends United Meeting Board as well as the Board of the School of the Spirit. He is a graduate of the Earlham School of Religion and has been trained to lead contemplative prayer groups / retreats through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. He also offers both individual and Congregational Coaching.

A Friendly Response to Natural Disasters, Walter Shore

  • Natural disasters continue to grow in size and frequency in the Americas. Disaster recovery is not just a short term emergency. The North Carolina Friends Disaster Service has been helping people recover after catastrophic natural disasters for over 25 years. Walter Shore, North Carolina Friends Church, will tell some stories, show some slides, and answer questions about how you too can help both neighbors and folks far away when they need it most. Who else is doing this work? How do you find out what is already being done and what still needs to be done? Bring your questions and your own examples of how Friends are already helping. Meet other folks across the branches of Friends who feel called to be a friend in times of disaster. 

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