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Awakening the Witness: Convincement and Belonging in Quaker Community

Nov 6, 2023

A First Monday Lecture with Matt Rosen
7:30pm - 9pm Eastern Time (US & Canada) via Zoom.

Free to the public! Registration required.

Call us for more information!

610-566-4507, ext. 137

There are ongoing conversations across the global Quaker community about belonging, the structure and meaning of membership, and the shape and purpose of outreach work. Often, these are tied to widespread anxiety about the future of the Religious Society of Friends and the possibility of its renewal. As these conversations develop, it can be helpful for us to remember that early Friends had no system of membership as we understand it today. Instead, their writings center on an experience they called convincement: when they found themselves without any outward help or guidance, at the end of their own resources, they encountered God and were transformed – not just once, but again and again. For these first Friends, the unity of community was found through the shared experience of this transformation and its fruits.  

Drawing on descriptions of convincement experiences from early and contemporary Quakers, as well as Matt’s own experience as a convinced Friend, this lecture will explore what makes us Friends, the significance of membership, and the diversity of ways to belong in Quaker communities.

Read more about Matt Rosen and the spiritual journey that led him to this Lecture in the letter from former Resident Scholar, Chris Stern. 

Thanks to the generous support of the Friends Foundation for the Aging, we’re able to make this and other free, online programs accessible to f/Friends of all ages.


Matt Rosen is a convinced Friend and member of Oxford & Swindon Area Meeting, Britain Yearly Meeting. He was the 2023 Henry J. Cadbury Scholar at Pendle Hill, where he explored the significance of convincement experiences across the generations of Friends. He currently travels in the ministry in Britain, and is also a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Oxford. He serves as an elder in Britain Yearly Meeting and Oxford & Swindon Area Meeting, where he helps to organize the local Young Adult Friends worship group. He carries a concern for the inclusion of younger Friends in worship and Quaker community and for the importance of listening to the Inward Christ among Friends of all stripes.

Travel directions to Pendle Hill. Please make sure to review our health and safety expectations at