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
Quakers have worked to influence the government almost as long as there have been Friends. Remembering the historical context and spiritual grounding of Friends’ efforts to change government through the centuries shows where faith has taken Friends and where we have yet to go.
In this practice, we will explore some intersections of Quaker theology, history, and advocacy through the lens of A Theological Perspective on Quaker Lobbying by Margery Post Abbott (read the pamphlet at fcnl.org/quakerlobbying). We will share silence, worship, and settle down to touch the roots of Quaker advocacy together to see what wisdom they might offer us today. We will also have time to share our experiences of Quaker changemaking traditions, discuss how FCNL’s work fits in, and reflect on how Spirit is leading us to witness today.
No matter the outcome of the election, Nov 4th will be a day where we will be processing the results. Join others in this opportunity to both individually and collectively process through the creation of personal mandalas. Through guided meditation and centering music, explore your inner voice and allow it to inform the design you create. Then relax in quiet worshipful contemplation of creating your own mandala that visually symbolizes what you need to remember in this moment. Our time together will end with an optional sharing of your personal mandala. No matter your experience level, you may be surprised at what emerges when you allow yourself to relax into creative flow.
You will need to have art supplies on hand: minimally a piece of paper and a few different colors to draw with. Optimally, a nice sheet of drawing paper and a wide-range of colors in your favorite drawing material (i.e. colored pencils, markers, gel pens, watercolor markers, pastels, water color paint etc.)
LJ Boswell is a Quaker, educator, interfaith chaplain, social justice activist and artist. As such, LJ nourishes curiosity and creativity in order for us to process, heal and come alive! They offer Spiritual Direction, anti-racist education and social justice coaching to groups and individuals. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exercises for the Quiet Eye (EQE) is a series of exercises emphasizing experiences of art that encourage patient reflection, direct connection, and an attempt to avoid the premature rush to understand or determine a set interpretation, for what we see. You can see a full description of this practice here.
Annie Storr is a Quaker, scholar, museum educator, and art historian. She is a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Study Research Center and has devoted her career to exploring the intersection of art history and education, in theory, and in practice. In 2014, Annie had six months at Pendle Hill as the Minnie Jane Arts Fellow to polish EQE and develop its Quaker resonances. She is a long-time member of Adelphi Friends Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting and for several years a sojourner of North Shore Friends in Beverly. Annie has just been awarded a 2021 Frances Shaw residency at Ragdale Art Colony, north of Chicago, to finish the book on EQE.
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!
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
Gender, as it is often understood in a binary, is a myth, but it is a myth that we are trained to believe from an early age and influences the way we interact with each other and the world. If not the gender binary, then what? So many stories of these cultures we live in center people who are male or female, nothing else, but we can expand our understandings of gender at work in our lives. In this practice, we will explore notions of gender, particularly identities beyond the binary, through the lens of storytelling. Included will be myths read aloud and photographs from Cai Quirk’s upcoming book Transcendence, and time to reflect and play with our understandings of gender together. Come as you are, whether you are a gender nerd like Cai or new to these topics.
Cai Quirk (they/them or ey/em) is a lifelong Quaker with passions for Witness, personal discernment, and diverse methods of spiritual deepening. With a gender that transcends binaries, Cai is practiced at deeply questioning societal expectations and norms and in shifting towards roots of individual and group integrity. Spiritual deepening, Witness, and integrity are expanded in Cai’s music and photography practices. Eir photography series Transcendence connects themes of spirituality, mythology, and gender diversity as related to global and timeless patterns. See more at caiquirk.com.