New Monastics and Convergent Friends Retreat Outline

Martin Kelley and I will be leading a weekend retreat at Pendle Hill in just a couple weeks (May 14-16) and I’m starting to get really excited about it! Martin and I have been collaborating a lot together over the past few months in preparation for this weekend and I wanted to share a little more of what we have planned for those of you who are interested in coming (or still on the fence). During the weekend we will be encouraging conversations around building communities, convergent Friends and how this looks in our local meetings. I wanted to give the description of the weekend, some of the queries we’ll be touching on, and the outline for the weekend. And of course, I want to invite all of you interested parties to join us!

Here’s our description: Friends have long sought to model tight-knit, intensive faith communities. Lately, however, much of Quaker life has devolved into bland institutionalism, endless committees, and hour-a-week worship. Learn how to slow down and come back together as a community rooted in the kind of holy obedience Thomas Kelly wrote about. Join Convergent Friends to explore afresh Christian and Quaker models and new experiments like the “New Monastic” movement. Discover ways to re-root ourselves and our communities in living faith.

A few of the big picture queries we are working with:

  • What can we learn from New Monastics and what can we offer?
  • What are the ways we can foster deeper community in our meetings?
  • What does an intentionally convergent community look like and how does it live?

During the weekend we will engage in these four conversations:

Session 1. Introductory items, ice-breakers, etc.

Session 2. Who are the New Monastics? Who are the Convergent Friends? And What Can They Learn from Each Other?

Query: What can convergent friends learn from the new monastics? What can the new monastics learn from convergent friends?

Session 3. Building on Quaker Examples of “Monastic” Communities

Query: What resources and examples are there within the Quaker tradition for re-imagining Quaker community?

Session 4. The Marks of a Convergent Friends Community

Query: In what ways has convergence already helped to foster deeper community? In what ways can it grow and do better?

Session 5. Cultivating Convergent Communities Off and Online, Inside and Outside the Existing Structures While Seeing the Importance of Both.

Query: How do we encourage experiments and a new vision for Quakerism where we are located? Where may the Spirit of God be leading us?

We hope you can make it.

New Monastics and Convergent Friends at Pendle Hill.

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

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