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Pendle Hill Quaker Institute

Friday, April 28 – Monday, May 1, 2023

Provocation to Love: A Prophetic Future for Friends (Keynote Address)
Friday, April 28, 7:30-8:30pm in the Barn
Leader(s): Windy Cooler
Description: Margaret Fell asked Friends to “provoke one another to love.” Is this what we practice in our meetings and other institutions? In this year’s plenary, Windy Cooler will outline a three-part strategy for strengthening public ministry, promoting trauma-informed community practices, and fostering robust corporate discernment as interrelated and vital components of a prophetic future for Friends and Friends’ institutions. Windy’s research since 2018 into the identities, lives, and practices of modern Quakers has culminated in a prophetic theory about how Friends can experiment with this early vision of who we can be based on what we say we are today.

Pendle Hill’s Quaker Institute Welcome
Saturday, April 29, 10-11am
Leader(s): Francisco Burgos and Frances Kreimer

Pendle Hill Quaker Institute

Workshop Descriptions

Saturday and Sunday, 2-5:30pm

Acting in Beloved Community with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) & Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
Leader(s): Sofia DiPietro (AFSC) and Bobby Trice (FCNL)
Description: We know you’re excited about Quaker activism – but how can you share that enthusiasm with others and witness together in beloved community? There are so many ways to be involved. In this workshop, we’ll offer and brainstorm different ways you can work with AFSC and FCNL to advance Quaker action grounded in shared vision and community. These opportunities for involvement are perfect for engaging your Quaker meeting or church in collective action.

Anti-racist Practices for Beloved Community from the Ministry on Racism at Friends General Conference (FGC)
Leader(s): Vanessa Julye, Hanae Togami, and Linnea Halsten 
Description: Join FGC’s Ministry on Racism as we share about our practices for shaping an actively anti-racist organization and community. We will share our tools for addressing and dismantling white supremacy within Quaker programming and interpersonal relationships, as well as the challenges of this work and our strategies for meeting resistance.

Everyday Spirituality, Every Day with FGC
Leader(s): Rachel Ernst Stahlut and nova george
Description: How might we allow for spiritual deepening in our meetings using traditional Quaker practices and embracing Continuing Revelation? Join FGC’s Spiritual Deepening Program in discovering strategies and tools for co-creating worshipful community, playful community, and virtual community.

Immersion in Languages of Place and Signs: Baptism into the Tongues of Our Spiritual Home and Witness
Leader(s): Benigno Sanchez-Eppler
Description: The worshipful silence, so dear to Quakers, has functions and meanings that need to be experienced to be understood. It may feel like a denial of language, and yet it has evolved; it keeps being transformed and is transforming; it has vocabularies and grammar, and there are Friends fluent in it, joined by seekers trying it out and by prophets finding God’s message in it. The Holy Spirit keeps making demands on our worshipful silence, and on all who soak in it. All communities have languages; all prophetic discourse has purpose, tone, large signs, smaller metaphors, conservative energies that work reliably as patterns that last, and radical departures that sweep out dis-use, mis-use, or overuse seeking equally reliable patterns of evolution and renewal.

These queries and paths of exploration will seed others, and with these in our hearts we will immerse into a reading of the Genesis account of Babel, and the account of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles.

  • What Language will be spoken and dwelt-in by A People To Be Gathered Today?
  • Will it speak to the condition of those who need to join us, and the condition of those with whom we need to be joined – today?
  • How can we make it welcoming enough to seekers and newcomers to be worth their efforts of immersion?
  • How could we immerse ourselves in the language needed to sustain a dynamic relationship to earlier Quakers?
  • Will we be able to soak in the grace of their capacity to listen to God, and to let their lives speak?
  • Will we recognize the 17th and 18th century linguistic efforts they made to stay in community with early Christianity, and the language of the Bible?

Experimenting with Spirit in Our Lives: Discerning New Testimonies Together
Leader(s): Beth Collea and Nadine Hoover
Description: When one becomes a Quaker, one takes on the roles of minister, steward, and witness. We experience Spirit and tend our inward lives. We mind the Light – the truth working within us – which shapes our outward lives to reflect that inward experience. We test this experiment with Spirit through writing and with spiritual companions and community. The experience gained from transforming our lives prepares us to be reliable witnesses to testify to what makes loving, conscientious, just communities and societies and opposes that which does not.

What do you need to have or let go to stay aware of, and grounded in, Spirit in every moment? What truth is working in you? When you record and share that, can others offer feedback on whether they feel the power and life in it? Is what rings true for one, true for more or for all? If we return to this simple Quaker practice, would we create new testimonies?

Ministry of Space
Leader(s): Jen Newman, Todd Drake, and Anton Flores-Maisonet
Description: We live in a time when people and institutions are discovering new and beneficial repurposes for physical spaces. How can Quakers re-envision the spaces under our stewardship to make them dynamic tools of our mission and testimony? Join Friends in answering this query with hands-on activities, brainstorming, and discussions. Our time together will give you a more extensive tool chest of ideas and considerations for putting your Quaker spaces to work in following your faith community’s vocation.

The Spiritual Consequences of Scarcity Thinking
Leader(s): Lori Pineiro Sinitzky
Description: Beloved Community can only exist when the fullness of G-d is present in the worship room and the boardroom. The same is true for Divine Prophetic Witness.

As Quakers struggle with the question of relevancy and survival, they must surrender to the truth of the spiritual consequences of scarcity thinking. Is our historical commitment to “free Gospel ministry” still relevant?

We are grappling with low meeting attendance, membership, and engagement, and the lack of diversity and vibrancy in our North American Quaker communities. Meanwhile, our money is sitting in restricted funds and endowments awaiting a future we don’t have if we don’t attend to it now. There is no future for Quakers and Quakerism if we don’t change our relationship with money. To survive, Quakers must commit to creating conditions that release ministry from all people including and especially People of Color, other marginalized groups, traveling ministers, and employees of Quaker organizations.

Join us as we explore how we can transform our relationship with money to nurture Beloved Community and Prophetic Witness among Friends and rescue Quakerism.

Wait For It: Designing Quakerism for the Future
Leader(s): Rashid Darden
Description: Rashid Darden (Friends Meeting of Washington) will teach participants how to use design thinking to facilitate continuing revelation. Spirituality and innovation will collide as participants discover tools (both new and timeless) to create a Quakerism that will last for generations, transcending the societal ills which plague us, namely racism and classism.

Witnessing the Battered Earth
Leader(s): Beverly Ward and Ruth Darlington
Description: In Beverly Ward’s Pendle Hill First Monday Lecture, the field secretary for Earthcare of Southeastern Yearly Meeting sits with this concern: “We consider that Quakers could be poised to become midwives and comforters of the challenging times ahead of us.” Beverly’s reflections include lived experiences with environmental and climate justice advocacy and research, decolonization, and service. Join us in sharing concerns on the urgency of climate collapse and reflecting on the environmental, interspecies, and intraspecies impacts of humans. Ruth Darlington will facilitate the in-person discussion following a screening of Beverly’s lecture.

Creating Cultures of Beloved Community within Quaker Institutions (AFSC and FCNL)
Leader(s): Lauren Brownlee (FCNL)
Description: When implemented with integrity, the practices that support strong clerking and Quaker decision making processes are great tools in a beloved community building toolbox. Additionally, Quaker principles such as answering that of God in everyone, holding friends in the light, and plain speaking can be gifts to any community. In this workshop we will explore how both within and beyond Quaker spaces, Quaker principles and practices can support the strength of communities.