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Clearness Committees: Spiritual Discernment in Community for Personal and Social Transformation

Mar 22-24, 2024

Waitlist Only: A retreat for deepening skills and spiritual practice with Valerie Brown and John Baird.
This workshop begins with a registration window from 4:30-6:00pm on the opening day and ends with lunch from 12pm-1pm on the closing day.

$540/private room; $490/shared room; $395/commuter.

If these options are financially inaccessible, please wait to register and first apply for financial assistance below.

This event is at capacity. Please reach out to with additional questions, or join the waitlist below.

Call us for more information!

610-566-4507, ext. 137

The Way of Clearness

Are you seeking clarity about life transitions, purpose, direction, or meaning, and how to offer your most authentic gifts into the world? Are you facing uncertain or complex choices and wanting to listen to the depths of your own inner wisdom within a caring community? Are you looking to engage in deep, soulful listening that supports connection with the Living Spirit?

The journey toward reinventing and transforming limiting beliefs takes courage, self-awareness, a growth mindset, a vision of a just and equitable society, a supportive, caring community, and more. The Quaker Clearness Committee is a unique process of individual and communal spiritual discernment that can support you in this journey. Discover a vision of your life re-imagined and hear the call of your inspired, actionable dreams. In this retreat, you will learn an energized version of the Clearness Committee based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal®. Leave the retreat with a deeper understanding of the Clearness Committee to support your own practice, your communities, and a society where peace and justice prevail. Rewrite the next chapter of your life in a safe, dynamic, caring and supportive community.

This is a Spring Term workshop that’s being offered to the public, meaning participants will be studying alongside Spring Term students and scholars for this time. If you’d like to extend your stay around this workshop, you can book yourself a room and speak with someone from to join the Spring Term in some work and worship opportunities during your stay.

To learn more, watch Valerie and John’s First Monday Lecture on Clearness Committees.

A pre-retreat reading list, questionnaire, and materials will be provided to those registered for the program.

Download the flyer to share with your community


Valerie Brown is an author, an ordained Buddhist-Quaker Dharma teacher in the lineage of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition, a Courage & Renewal® Facilitator, and an executive coach specializing in leadership development and mindfulness practices with a focus on diversity, social equity, and inclusion. A former lawyer and lobbyist, Valerie transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career into serving leaders and nonprofits to create trustworthy, authentic, compassionate, and connected workspaces.

Her latest book, Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace (Broadleaf, 2022), received the Nautilus Gold Award for Eastern Spirituality in 2023. She has authored several popular Pendle Hill pamphlets, including Coming to Light: Cultivating Spiritual Discernment through the Quaker Clearness Committee (PHP #446). She is a member of Solebury Monthly Meeting (PA). She leads an annual pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain. Learn more at

John BairdJohn Baird has served as clerk of two Friends meetings, head of two Friends schools, a board member at Pendle Hill and the Friends Council on Education, a religion and a biology teacher, and a Friend in Residence at Pendle Hill and Woodbrooke Study Centre. He has been prepared as a facilitator by the Center for Courage & Renewal® and has led retreats and workshops for schools, meetings, conference centers, and churches. He loves working collaboratively to create space for listening to one another in such a way that we can hear our Inner Teacher, discover our gifts, and support and encourage each other in bringing them into the world. John is a member of Durham (NC) Monthly Meeting. He and his wife are the parents of three grown children.

Financial aid may be available. If you are seeking funds to participate in this program, click to review and complete our Financial Assistance Application and a Pendle Hill staff member will follow-up with you shortly (please do NOT register online). Thank you for your interest.

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