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How can we make sure that our lives and our actions align with those values we care about most deeply? This year’s young adult conference will look specifically at four areas that impact us as young adults: work, love and relationships, justice, and spiritual practice. Each day will feature different workshops and presenters, as well as opportunities to connect with other like-minded young adults from across the world, as we examine our relationship to each of the four main topics. Participants will have the opportunity to establish routines in their lives that lead to personal and communal transformation. Additionally, there will be regular worship and skill-building workshops, while enjoying the nurturing atmosphere of Pendle Hill’s campus.
What to expect: This conference will help chart a road map to your life, a plan to help you achieve a life of intention and integrity. You will be led in an exploration of your relationship to topics that are both central and often the most confusing: Justice, Love, Work, and Spirituality.
Each day will focus on a different topic with guest facilitators (see below) introducing new perspectives to help guide you. Evening exercises will help apply the day’s learning as you chart out daily, seasonal and annual routines and exercises to foster growth, balance and direction.
We begin each day with Quaker meeting for worship, 30 minutes of contemplative “listening” in the manner of Friends. Participants are invited to engage with this group practice as they can, but they are not expected to “be Quakers” and may find worship time helpfully spent in silent meditation.
Continuing Revolution emphasizes practical skill building. Morning and afternoon workshops will be broken up by a series of “Skills to Survive the Apocalypse,” such as bread making, carpentry, foraging, and gardening.
Pendle Hill is located on 24 beautiful acres with a mile-long woodchip trail, a pond, and 140 species of trees and flowering shrubs. Participants will have access to the art studio, library, and the grounds.
Most food served, including bread and other staples, is homemade. We make extensive use of organic fruits and vegetables from our garden. All meals include vegan and vegetarian options and can be customized for specific dietary needs.
On Tuesday night, the musical group Falsa will be performing. Described as a “cure for alienation” and “music that’s not about means to ends but about meaning and transcendence,” Falsa is an amazing musical experience rooted in 14th century Sufi music of North India and Pakistan. The effect of listening to Falsa is to be transported both inwards and across centuries of joys, sorrows, and longings.
Hilary Burgin works for Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) as the Boston City Coordinator and New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) as the Young Adult Engagement Coordinator. In this work, Hilary has the opportunity support young adults engaged in the never-ending questions of living an integrated life. Additionally, she works with Quaker meetings on welcoming and outreach, and coordinates with young adult Friends (YAFs) of New England. Some questions she thinks about include: How does a person use their spiritual foundation to live a life full of witness and justice? How does Quakerism fit into the context of our world today? How can Friends’ communities support individuals, particularly “young adults,” in claiming and following their leadings? Hilary grew up as a Quaker in New England, attended Oberlin College, and became a Bostonian in fall of 2010. She’s learning how to knit and wears a bike helmet when she rides around the city.
Francisco Burgos is the Director of Education at Pendle Hill and has facilitated spiritual retreats and lectio divina sessions for different audiences. Francisco was a De La Salle Christian Brother for almost 10 years serving in Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, and has been a Friend since 2004. He is a member of Harrisburg Friends Meeting and has attended several monthly meetings including Monteverde Friends Meeting in Costa Rica and Adelphi Friends Meeting in Maryland.
Oskar Pierre Castro is an artist/analyst/non-violent activist/father & husband with over twenty years of service in the non-profit sector working on youth development, career development, peace activism, and labor rights. Oskar is a 1992 graduate of Rowan University where he majored in Law & Justice. The human rights part of the curriculum stimulated his belief in working for social justice when it is absent. Oskar’s non-profit experiences include things like leading a national office program at the American Friends Service Committee and helping talented youth-of-color navigate corporate America with INROADS. Originally from South Jersey, Oskar moved to Philadelphia in 1994, and as a multi-faceted artist there he employs music, poetry, and graphic art to communicate his ideas about the world creatively. Oskar currently works for Quaker Voluntary Service as the Director of Equity and Inclusion.
Ross Hennesy received his MA in Religious Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia. He is a member of Germantown Monthly Meeting, down the street from the intentional community he has called home for the last ten years. Ross served as the Program Director for Quaker Voluntary Service for five years and now owns a small business rehabbing houses. He also coordinates Continuing Revolution, the annual Young Adult Friends conference at Pendle Hill.
Madelyn Hjertmann is an entrepreneur and world traveler based in magical Valle Crucis, NC. With an MBA from Duke University and a BA in Dance from Columbia College in Chicago, she applies a unique combination of business expertise and creativity to all of her projects. Madelyn founded IdealSpace Consulting in 2010, and has helped over 100 individuals, businesses, and nonprofits articulate their goals and streamline their processes. She is the Program Director at Ascent Business Network focusing on rural economic development, and also owns and operates the Valle Crucis Lavender House, a seasonal agritourist destination in the High Country. With additional projects ranging from the performing arts to impact investing, Madelyn believes that good business has the potential to change the world.
Kim Huynh serves as the Campaign Director for EQAT (Earth Quaker Action Team). Previously, she worked for Democracy Spring, where she led trainings for hundreds of activists who were converging in Washington, DC for one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in our country’s history. She has deep roots in environmental activism, especially on the front lines in Texas battling the oil companies that are poisoning communities.
Lucia Kearney started her farming education at permaculture farms in Central America, and has since worked on a small-scale organic CSA farm in the Lehigh Valley, Mill Creek Farm in West Philadelphia, and with the Philadelphia Orchard Project. She has completed an organic farming course through Penn State Extension, and is a Master Gardener trainee in Philadelphia County. Earlier this year she also completed a course in Food Forest Design with Dave Jacke. Lucia started managing the Pendle Hill Garden in fall of 2016, believing gardening/farming can be a leverage point for enacting positive change, capable of addressing at their root the interconnected crises of our time, from environmental degradation to inequality, public health, alienation, and the fracturing of communities.
Christopher Sammond is a member of Poplar Ridge Monthly Meeting. For over twenty-five years he has led workshops and retreats in a wide variety of Friends’ contexts. He is trained in spiritual direction and the spiritual formation of whole congregations and has served as a chaplain in hospice, hospital, and drug and alcohol treatment center settings. He carries a concern for faithfulness, and has traveled extensively in the ministry. Until recently, Christopher served New York Yearly Meeting as its General Secretary. He lives in Central New York with his wife Barbara, their dog, Gabe, and cats Harriet and Lil.
Vessna Scheff is a self-taught wielder of the uke and vocal chords. Beginning in San Francisco performing at venues such as The Bazaar Café, The Lost Church, and The Fillmore, she is now an active performer in the Philly music scene. Pairing jazzy tones with soulful resonance atop the delicate sounds of the uke, she mesmerizes ears.
Janaki Spickard-Keeler, M.S.S., L.S.W. is a life-long Quaker, writer, and family therapist. She has a masters degree in social work from Bryn Mawr College and did her undergraduate study at Smith College in political science and mathematics. As a clinical social worker, she unites writing with sacred change, helping people re-author the narratives of their lives in a direction that better fits their deep truths. She is a member of Adelphi Monthly Meeting (Baltimore Yearly Meeting), currently sojourning at Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting). She stewards the Pendle Hill Pamphlets series of essays on Quaker perspectives on contemporary themes, and blogs occasionally at https://quietistquaker.wordpress.com/.
Cathy Walling and Scott Bell are trained Friends Couple Enrichment facilitators, experienced elders in the Quaker tradition, parents of four grown children, lovers of wilderness, Spirit, movement, and voice. We have led Couple Enrichment work shops in many settings to both non-Quakers and Quakers of many genders, sexual orientations and ages. Topics have included “Whether or Not You Are in One” and “Nurturing Spirit in Your Relationship.” Healthy relationships need attention and intention to keep them alive and growing, whether as lovers, friends, co-workers, or family members, the CE dialoguing skills build caring relationships. Cathy and Scott are members of Chena Ridge Friends Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Terrence Williams is an educator, entrepreneur, and activist originally from Washington D.C. He serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the team at UC, he served as the Dean of Studies at Pendle Hill in Wallingford, PA, leading all educational initiatives, including the residential education program and the short term educational programs. Prior to this appointment, he was a part of the Haverford College Community for over five years, serving in several roles and ending his tenure as the Associate Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.
José Woss is the Legislative Manager for Criminal Justice and Election Integrity. He leads FCNL’s work on criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform (election integrity), and police militarization. He co-Chairs the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition, an alliance of more than 40 national faith groups advocating to end mass incarceration.