In the Quaker tradition of Midweek (Wednesday) worship, we at the Friends House are excited to bring you MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness. This is a weekly, one-hour, facilitated spiritual practice with Quaker flavor and an experimental ethos. Each week, a guest facilitator will engage us in a unique spiritual practice. Check out our line up to see details about our facilitators and the practices they offer.
** This program is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ** If you’d like to support this initiative and all of our work, you can do so here.
ACCESSIBILITY: We are now offering closed captioning for these events!
Questions? Contact our Program Manager, Jen, at email@example.com.
Thank you for this soul-stretching series and the delightful geography-defying opportunity to be among Friends.
– Martha Penzer, Burlington, VT
In addition to these live events, we’re also offering shorter recordings of these spiritual practices. Each video is about 10-20 minutes long, and includes the entire explanation of the practice! So join us live or join us later!Take me to the videos
Who is God? What do you “know” about God? What were you taught? What images come to your mind? What if you gave yourself time to name those things, and permission to let some, or even all of that go?
In this practice, we will learn from the ancient mystical tradition of apophasis — which focuses on what cannot be said about God or the divine. In our time together, we will define apophasis and learn from several short passage what it might look like. The majority of our time together will focus on exploring the concepts we have been taught to hold as “true,” about God, testing their limitations, and allowing ourselves to let go of some of them in order to embrace divine mystery and transcendence. We will allow ourselves to sit in the dis/comfort of “unsaying” what has been said about God to focus on what cannot be said.
Jen Higgins-Newman is a convinced Friend, theologian, feminist, and mystic. Jen came to Quakerism out of evangelical Christianity, and found solace in Feminist and Queer theology, which gave her new ways of redefining God, and apophatic theology, which reminds her that she does not have to define God at all in order to have faith and a spiritual practice. Jen holds a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and serves as the Program Manager at Beacon Hill Friends House where she plans programs to cultivate and nurture community and our spiritual lives.
MIDWEEK is taking a break this week.
BUT you can still have MIDWEEK with your friends — just check out our videos below.
You can also attend our event on Friday, November 27 @ 6:30 PM — GATHER: An intentional Zoom dinner to cultivate community and share in gratefulness. Register here!
“It is the task of the translator to release in [their] own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in [their] re-creation of that work.” -Walter Benjamin
Script or Psalm, writing or reflection, sometimes the words and, more importantly, the meaning of the Divine gets lost in translation. In this exercise, we will be reclaiming the passages which puzzle us by recreating them in our own language. We will spend a majority of our time together deciphering unique texts and translating them into language that is more accessible to each of us while listening to downtempo ambient and instrumental music. It is my hope that we will leave this practice with a closer connection to the texts we bring, a deeper understanding of the messages within, and a more full realization of ourselves.
For this practice you will need: a notebook/something to write on, a writing utensil, a puzzling passage (something at least 12 lines long), a quiet space, an open mind, and, perhaps, a dictionary.
Emma is a wannabe Quaker, committed youth worker, and thoughtful F/friend who’s interested in bending the spiritual and breaking into the Divine. She hails from the great Midwest and graduated in 2018 from Earlham College with a major in Human Development and Social Relations and a minor in Religious Studies. The following year she moved to Boston to participate in the Quaker Voluntary Service and currently serves as a Youth Leadership Coordinator at a Boston-based non-profit.
As Bobby Trice noted during his MIDWEEK practice on October 28, Quakers have often carried concerns about justice, some of which have led them to lobby for change. One concern for many Quakers and others right now is that in these difficult times, our undocumented siblings are especially vulnerable to political attack.
In this practice, we’ll build from Bobby’s practice to learn how to leverage our stories and testimony to convince our elected representatives in Congress to take action toward recognizing human dignity, reflect/share your experiences with immigration, and take some the first steps toward supporting undocumented people in your state.
James (he/him/his) is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Peru, a graduate student in International Development with a focus on immigration, refugees, and displaced peoples at Clark University; and recently became a member of the Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Advocacy Corps team. He grew up in Massachusetts attending NEYM Sessions and he is most proud of being a former-counselor at Friends Camp.
Reflect on your spiritual journey through making a creative “map,” noting highs and lows, turning points, landmarks, paths not taken, and the roads branching out in front of you now. Clear some space, grab some markers, and let’s discover new treasures in the twists and turns.
With a passion for creating community in every form she can think of, Rachel was active in community development in Woodstock, VT, most recently ran a coworking space in Portland, OR, and is currently taking time off to do creative exploration and incubation of whatever beautiful thing is next. She now lives in Milwaukee, WI.
While this event is free and open to the public, your donation today will help us continue putting these events on, paying our facilitators for their excellent work, and support all of our other work!CHIP IN TODAY