FGC discount to White Privilege Conference April 28-30 2017

This year’s White Privilege Conference will be in Kansas City, Missouri, April 28-30,  2017. FGC is offering discounts to all Friends. This conference has been attended by a large contingent of Quakers for a number of years. Marvin Barnes of Birmingham Meeting will be attending and has offered to serve as a resource person for new attenders.  There will also be a Quaker Hospitality room at the conference and possible opportunities for local hospitality for traveling Friends.

What is the White Privilege Conference?

1. WPC is a conference that examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world.

2. It is not a conference designed to attack, degrade or beat up on white folks.

3. It is not a conference designed to rally white supremacist groups.

4. WPC is a conference designed to examine issues of privilege beyond skin color. WPC is open to everyone and invites diverse perspectives to provide a comprehensive look at issues of privilege including: race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc. — the ways we all experience some form of privilege, and how we’re all affected by that privilege.

5. WPC attracts students, professionals, activists, parents, and community leaders/members from diverse perspectives. WPC welcomes folks with varying levels of experience addressing issues of diversity, cultural competency, and multiculturalism.

6. WPC is committed to a philosophy of “understanding, respecting and connecting.”

Who attends the WPC?

The conference is unique in its ability to bring together high school and college students, teachers, university faculty and higher education professionals, nonprofit staff, activists, social workers and counselors, healthcare workers, and members of the spiritual community and corporate arena. Annually, more than 1,500 attend from more than 35 states, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, and Germany.

Friends General Conference pre-registration for the White Privilege Conference is open. You must complete the Friends General Conference pre-registration form in order to receive the FGC group discount. Instructions for how to complete the whole registration process are provided on our pre-registration form. Additionally, folks requesting home hospitality will have the opportunity to sign up on this form. Click here to pre-register:

We encourage you to complete the registration form on the White Privilege Conference website as soon as possible because completing the FGC pre-registration does not reserve you a spot at the Conference. Your spot at WPC18 will only be confirmed after you complete registration on their website.  The White Privilege Conference registration can be found here: http://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com/registration.html

If you have questions please contact FGC Ministry on Racism folks:

Vanessa Julye at 215-561-1700 x 3066 or vanessaj@fgcquaker.org

Lena Glickman at 215-561-1700 x 3022 or lenag@fgcquaker.org


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Peace and Justice Workshop for Young Adult Friends June 2-7 2017 at Pendle Hill

Continuing Revolution is Pendle Hill’s annual conference for young adult Friends (ages 18-35) and seekers. This year, the timely, broad theme of the conference is Peace and Justice, through the lens of activism and spirituality. Built on the momentum from the past five incredibly successful years, the 2017 conference focuses on the Quaker testimony of Peace through the lens of waging nonviolence.

The conference is six days of intense, training-oriented workshops and sessions. Pendle Hill is a Quaker center outside of Philadelphia in Wallingford, Pa.

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Job opening: FGC Conference & Event Associate

Friends General Conference is looking for a new Conference & Event Associate to start in March 2017.  More information is available on FGC’s website:


If you know of anyone who might be interested in this position, please pass on the link.  FGC has a special concern to increase the diversity of the staff.  Please keep this in mind as you think of Friends or friends of Friends who might be interested in this position.

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Racial Justice and Authentic Community Workshop Feb 24-26 2017 at Pendle Hill

Say the Wrong Thing: Strategies of the H.E.A.R.T. for Racial Justice and Authentic Community

Feb 24-26, 2017
A weekend workshop with Amanda Kemp

* Are you afraid of saying the wrong thing?
* Are you frozen by guilt and fear of causing harm?
* Do you find yourself exhausted and anxious as a person of color frequently in predominantly white settings?
* Do you yearn for authentic connection and communication about racial justice within and across racial lines?

There is widespread agreement that national dialogue and conversations about the effects of systemic racism are critically important to healing our polarized and racially divided society. Despite that consensus, many of us shy away from the necessary conversations. This workshop will stretch and support you so that you can initiate and participate difficult conversations while staying grounded, open, and connected to your intention. Rooted in the five strategies of the H.E.A.R.T. approach, you will build your capacity to:

* Hold space for transformation;
* Express yourself;
* Act with intention (driven by vision);
* Reflect on yourself;
* Trust the process.

We will use a variety of small group exercises, mindfulness and selfcompassion techniques, and artistic expression, as well as film clips and readings.

By the end of the weekend you will be able to have uncomfortable conversations to further racial justice and oneness; break through your own sticking points; practice hearing and giving authentic feedback from a place of love; and connect systemic racism with everyday resistance.

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Living Our Ministry in a Secular World – Retreat, March 17-19, 2017

Facilitated by Marge Abbott and Honor Woodrow

Apparently insignificant gestures, such as not tipping a hat, can have far reaching consequences. Is the grand gesture a necessary act of faithfulness and when is it right to be obedient in the small actions of daily life? Friends whose religious faith grounds their work in the world often encounter secular organizations which leave them feeling frustrated or isolated. What might happen if we develop a more ecological orientation to ministry, celebrate the everyday motions, and see how they might grow the strength and the community to sustain a public witness of our faith as it undergirds our work in the world?

We are each called to be faithful, to take up whatever cross is ours to carry. Noticing and attending to God’s call to service that is potentially there for all of us is at the heart of life among Friends. How do we find our base community that helps spread the vision and provide accountability? How do we develop the daily disciplines that aid in sorting through the anger that may surround us and avoiding the isolation that can cut us from our roots? How do we find ways to avoid getting caught up in pressure to be successful in the world’s terms?

We can stand with each other and hear our agonized cries, and we can testify to the sustaining joy that fills our hearts. We can bless each other as we walk together, reminding each other of the flavor of the divine touch that sent us on this path, as we acknowledge the false steps and the helpful learning — the despair and the hope — which have brought us thus far.

Our hope for this weekend is that we might raise up the everyday ways in which our lives are intertwined and knit together in and with Christ’s Spirit. May we better be able to go forth into the world bearing witness to the Inward Guide in ordinary actions as much as in radical proclamation.

The Friends Center in Barnesville, Ohio, is a retreat and conference center for exploring Christian unprogrammed Quakerism and its meaning today. It is rooted in Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative).

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Transition Movement training for sustainable communities Feb. 25-26, 2017

Many Quakers today, and others, feel called to a spiritually fulfilling, socially just, and ecologically sustainable human presence on our planet. The Transition Network began in the UK in 2006. Transition communities around the world are developing their own ways to confront issues such as climate change and peak oil, developing positive alternatives to “business as usual”. Transition is grass-roots and local, working to improve quality of life now and into the future in a sustainable, resilient, and enjoyable manner.

Friends in Bluffton, Ohio are involved in organizing a Transition initiative in Bluffton. Our group is sponsoring a Transition Training weekend seminar with experienced trainers from Transition US to learn about launching a local Transition initiative. Anyone interested in learning more about the Transition movement or starting something in your community is invited to attend. The training will be held February 25-26 in Bluffton. Details and registration information can be found on the Transition Bluffton website.

Transition Bluffton website
Quakers in Transition website of New England Yearly Meeting
Transition US website

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Black Lives Matter: Discriminatory Baltimore City Police Agree to Changes

Our plenary speaker at LEYM Annual Sessions in 2016, Natalie Finegar, who is in charge of public defence in Baltimore, shared with us her experiences of systemic violation of lower-income and black people’s civil rights by the police there.

A news article from the Associated Press that appeared in The Blade (Toledo, Ohio newspaper) on January 13, 2017, outlines an agreement reached between the city police department and the U.S. Justice Department, which had investiged discriminatory policing practices there after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Intended to correct consitutional violations particularly in poor, black neighborhoods which were identified in a scathing report released last year,  the agreement mandates that officers only stop and/or search people for cause, and has them use de-escalation techniques.

Now for the hard work of implementing the changes.

For a UPI article on the same subject, search on “Baltimore agrees to reform police department after damning race report”.


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Contemplation & Action: Contemplative Retreat April 27-30, 2017

Join April Allison and Roger Hansen for “Contemplation and Action: A Contemplative Retreat in the Manner of Friends,” at The Siena Retreat Center, Racine, Wisconsin from April 27 – 30, 2017. The Siena Center, on the Lake Michigan lakefront, will be beautiful as we move into the season of rebirth and growth.

April Allison of Red Cedar Friends Meeting in Lansing, Michigan, and Roger Hansen of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Meeting will lead the retreat, which is offered through The School of the Spirit.

Participants will experience the distinctly Quaker manner of knowing solitude in community. Along with individual silent times for prayer, reflection, time in nature, contemplative interaction with scripture, and meeting one-on-one with retreat leaders, there will also be group silence at meals; ‘active silence’ with participants gathered doing individual handwork, reading, journaling, artwork; and time for contemplative work.

At its heart, the retreat is a time when we can simply be with God, attend to the divine stirrings in our souls, and open to grace.

There is a flexible fee schedule; if the full fee seems challenging, you can pay a lower cost without asking for a scholarship while other attendees are invited to contribute more.

Details and registration

You can also reach April Allison at spiritualdirection@heronrising.com for additional information.

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Spiritual Deepening eLearning Program from FGC starting Jan. 9, 2017

FGC is offering an online learning opportunity for those interested in learning about the Quaker Way and seasoned Friends. Go deeper in your personal spiritual practice and build an online spiritual community through an 8-week exploration of Quaker thought and practice, beginning Jan. 9.

LEYM’s Advancement & Outreach Committee encourages Friends to take advantage of FGC’s new Spiritual Deepening program, which is also available for meetings to use locally.

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Exploring the Quaker Way – Pendle Hill on-line course Jan. 15-Apr. 5, 2017

Exploring the Quaker Way

A Pendle Hill Online Course

January 15 through April 5, 2017

“Exploring the Quaker Way” is an extended online course for people who want to learn more about the simple, radical, and contemporary spiritual path of Quakers, and explore its relevance to their own spiritual journeys. It will be of particular interest to North American seekers, especially those attracted to US and Canadian Quaker congregations that practice silent group worship, do not have paid pastors, and try to lead faithful lives of simplicity, integrity, nonviolence, community, sustainability, and justice. In this tradition, we believe every woman, man, and child on this planet has the capacity to directly experience divine love, presence, and guidance. We also believe that if we listen carefully to this “still, small voice” of God we can find the wisdom and power to help heal our personal lives, our families, our communities, and we hope, someday, the world.

The goals of this course are to help seekers, attenders, and interested members of Friends meetings: 1) deepen their understanding of the Quaker movement; 2) better understand the spiritual journey common among early and current Quakers; 3) reflect on their own spiritual journeys within this spiritual tradition; and 4) become more familiar with several key elements of building vibrant and caring Quaker meetings. It is designed for people who want to explore these themes through personal reflection, focused study, and deep dialog within a lively learning community gently guided by seasoned Quaker educators.

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