MIDWEEK will be on hiatus for the summer beginning in May. Check back in the fall for more spiritual practices.

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 that is meaningful to them, and that we can bring into our own lives. Check out our line up to see details about our facilitators and the practices they offer.

All of our practices will be held on Zoom. For some MIDWEEKs we will be experimenting with offering hybrid programming from Zoom and live from Beacon Hill Friends House in Boston. 

 

ACCESSIBILITY: We offer closed captioning for these events. If you have additional ways we can make these events more accessible for you, please let us know on your registration form! 

 

** 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.

 

Questions? Contact our Program Director, Jen, at program@bhfh.org. 

Thank you for this soul-stretching series and the delightful geography-defying opportunity to be among Friends.
– Martha Penzer, Burlington, VT

Missed a MIDWEEK? Curious about these practices?

WATCH OUR SHORT MIDWEEK VIDEOS

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! 

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Register for an upcoming practice:

September 15, 2021
LJ Boswell | heArt Filled Racial Justice: Creating a Personal Mandala

Racial Justice work can feel challenging in many different ways. What is it you most need to remember at this moment?  What gifts and strengths do you bring? What is it you are challenged to do? What does faithfulness look like for you in regards to racial justice? What do you need to renew? Through a heart-centered guided meditation, take the time to reflect on these and other queries. Then accompanied by centering music, create a personal mandala you can later use to remind yourself of your own journey towards racial justice. 

 

LJ Boswell is white, a spiritual director, 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! For more info: lj@spiritheals.me | www.spiritheals.me

 

Interested in going deeper? Join LJ in these upcoming courses for BHFH: 

1) HeArt Journaling drop-in sessions

2) HeArt-filled racial justice (two series)

September 22, 2021
Egan Millard & Jeff Edenberg | The Poetic Spirit of Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver (1935-2019), the most widely beloved American poet of the 21st century, used the natural beauty of Cape Cod as a source of spiritual insight. We’ll read her poetry, share what it evokes in us, and use creative exercises to enter the meditative space she creates.

 

Egan Millard is a poet and journalist. His poetry has been published in anthologies in Alaska and New England. Currently, he lives in Boston and works as an assistant editor and writer for the Episcopal News Service.

 

Jeff Edenberg is the Residency and Operations Director here at Beacon Hill Friends House.

September 29, 2021
Susannah Larry | Listening to Trauma Survivors in Scripture

Often, readers of the Bible can become overwhelmed by the violence of the text, especially if they are trauma survivors themselves. But what if we could refocus our reading of the Bible to center the voices of trauma survivors, especially those who have experienced sexual violence? Join Dr. Susannah Larry as she explores how we can re-read Scripture attuned to the wholeness of survivors of sexual violence, both in the Bible and in our world.

 

Susannah is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and author of Leaving: Silence: Sexualized Violence, the Bible, and Standing with Survivors. She has three young daughters and lives in Elkhart, Indiana.  

October 6, 2021
Keira Wilson | Foundations In Community - Living Authentically Together in a Challenging World

In this MIDWEEK, Keira will offer us practice in understanding our personal positionality (how who we are/our identities show up differently in different communities and contexts), finding power in being our own change-maker, and learning how small steps can build a habit of radical self-love – and the foundation of our community in Quakerism.  

 

Keira Wilson acts as a civic boundary spanner and career coach at Grinnell College, building creative spaces and leveraging service with community through a futurist and feminist lens. She believes we learn who we are through a tenacious pursuit of self-knowledge, the letting go of fear to offer our unique form of generosity, and living genuinely through challenging spaces. Utilizing Quaker values in her work, Keira is a host for The Dinner Party, navigating conversations on grief, co-clerk for FGC’s 2022 Gathering, and community engagement coordinator of Philadelphia’s Vaudevillian New Year Brigade. You can connect with Keira at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keira-wilson/

October 13, 2021
Shulamith (Barbara) Clearbridge | Developing a “Regeneration of Joy! Plan”

Ask yourself, What nurtures my spirit? What daily practices do I need to do to develop my spiritual muscles? What’s standing in my way? Developing a “Rule of Life” has helped people for hundreds of years to get specific and serious—though with joy and hope and a light touch—about becoming the person they want to be.

 

Instead of a Rule of Life, call it “Way to an Exuberance of Life!” or “Guide to Inspiration” or “Celebration of My Gifts.” Or perhaps “Regeneration of Joy Plan,” “Plan for Delighting in God!” or “Guide for Transformation.” Call it whatever makes it attractive to you. Your Rule should not be dry, dull, or onerous, but something that you love to do, that inspires, transforms, and empowers! Through examples, discussion, and time for contemplation, figure out what you need and what is taking priority away from that. Begin a plan to have room in your life for what’s essential to your spirit—and therefore to your joy. For the contemplation portion, have handy a journal, or art materials, or whatever helps you think about or visualize your life.

 

Shulamith has taught workshops all her life. Since becoming a Quaker, she has done so for monthly and quarterly Meetings in Vermont, Seattle, and the Philadelphia and Chicago areas, for New England Yearly Meeting, for FGC, and soon at Pendle Hill. Shulamith is an interfaith spiritual director. Learn more about Shulamith at www.FeelingMuchBetter.org

October 20, 2021
Ryan Higgins-Newman | The Masks We Wear

In this midweek practice, we will be considering the masks we wear. By masks I mean the ways we show up or perform that covers up our “true self.” Our masks are formed out of pressure and may well serve a purpose. In considering our masks we will reflect, name, and discern whether and when we can remove them.

 

Ryan Higgins-Newman is a Quaker, fundraiser, and Friends House resident and board member. He holds a Master of Theological Studies from BU School of Theology, where he focused his studies on Religion and Conflict Transformation. Professionally, he works for MIT as a development and events assistant. Personally, he finds joy and value in listening deeply to other people (and baking bread!).

October 27, 2021
David Cramer | A Field Guide to Christian Nonviolence

Christian nonviolence is not a settled position but a vibrant and living tradition that includes mystics, feminists, liberation theologians, civil rights activists, realists, and more. In this midweek practice, we will reflect on the words of a number of persons within the broad stream of Christian nonviolence and consider how nonviolence connects us to the heart of God.

 

David Cramer is teaching pastor at Keller Park Church (Mennonite Church USA) in South Bend, managing editor at the Institute of Mennonite Studies, and sessional lecturer in theology and ethics at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. He writes at Anabaptist Revisions on Patheos. You can learn more about his upcoming book at: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/a-field-guide-to-christian-nonviolence/389590

November 3, 2021
Jen Higgins-Newman | Re-writing the Lyrics of Praise

Do you have a hymn or other song of praise for God/the Divine that you love, and feels worshipful to you, but the lyrics give you pause? 

 

In this MIDWEEK, Jen will introduce folks to new versions of popular Christian hymns that offer us different language than traditionally sung, and will lead us through a creative opportunity to re-write the lyrics to a song that means something to you. 

 

Jen Higgins-Newman is a Quaker, theologian, writer, activist, and currently the Program Director at Beacon Hill Friends House. Another fun fact: Jen used to lead worship for Evangelical congregations, and finds that singing still makes her feel in touch with the divine. 

November 10, 2021
Blaine Saito | Reflections on Creation

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1).

“This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” (Gen 2:4)

 

In Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible, there are two versions of creation. They do not follow the same timeline, they share different accounts of how the Earth and humans were created, and they may even contradict each other. So, if we take the Bible as an integrated whole, what do we do with what appears to be two different accounts that don’t work well together? Rooted in Jewish tradition and theology, this MIDWEEK will help us explore ways of making meaning of these two stories.

 

Blaine G. Saito is a current resident of the Beacon Hill Friends House, and serves as the Treasurer of the organization. He enjoys the wonderful communal living at the House and its diverse programming based on Quaker values, broader pluralism, and social justice. Blaine is currently an Assistant Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, where his research focuses in the area of taxation. Outside of that, Blaine enjoys choral music, swimming, and attending to his Jewish spiritual life.

December 1, 2021
Cat Green | Florilegia and the Last Unicorn

What if we treated all texts as sacred texts? In this practice, we’ll read excerpts of the Last Unicorn using the spiritual practice of Florilegia. In Florilegia we find “sparklets,” words or phrases that speak to us, and put them in conversation with each other to see what new truth is revealed. By practicing florilegia with others, we gain more insight than we can on our own. This practice allows us to take apart texts and put them back together to craft new meaning.

Cat Green is a program fellow at the Friends House. They were raised Catholic and have stumbled into a sort of agnostic spirituality. They write, play the piano poorly, and enjoy being in deep relationships with their friends and family.

 

January 12, 2022
Doe Hoyer | Soup Singing

Let’s gather together to sing and cook from our home kitchens! Attendees are asked to each prepare ingredients for a favorite soup while learning a few short, original Earth-loving songs by call and response (muted on Zoom). At the conclusion of the practice, attendees will have song-blessed soup to enjoy! 

Doe Hoyer (they/them) is a white American queer Pagan descended from Protestant ministers, who has lived on Dakota and Anishinaabe lands in Minnesota for most of their life. They are a songleader and community organizer attending United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

January 19, 2022
Taylor Lena McTootle | Rainbow Meditation

​Join us for a poetry practice that involves the chakras. Participants will move from the root chakra on up through the crown using visualizations. At each stage, participants will write a few lines of poetry. At the end, participants should have a complete work, that moves through their very own body.

 

​Taylor Lena McTootle is a writer and educator from the Washington DC area. She is currently Director of Education for a Black artistry organization in Boston, Castle of Our Skins. Taylor shares culture and theory through programming and curriculum building there. She loves a good story, even more so, a good pun, and is so excited to join Beacon Hill Friends House for a day!

January 26, 2022
Sofia Post | Mapping out a Happiness Plan

In this Happiness Planning practice, we will be planning out our happiness for the next few months like we would a business proposal, an investment plan, or a career change outline. We will be paying as much attention to our personal and spiritual fulfillment as we routinely do to other external concerns.

 

Sofia is a BHFH program fellow, studying exercise science at Simmons University. They have a passion for wellness and apply creative ways to achieve a holistically well life.

February 2, 2022
Sara Garrard | Illumination

​Illuminating sacred texts is an ancient practice meant to encourage prayer or reflection on the texts in question. In this MIDWEEK, we will practice hand lettering and illustrating scripture or quotes, and then we will ponder the meaning of the texts we have chosen, and see what the artistic practice reveals to us.

​Sara is the pastor at Old West Church. A south Georgia transplant, she comes from a long line of Methodist pastors. Her formal education includes an MDiv from  Emory University (2013) and a CTM from the University of Cambridge (2013). Her thesis analyzed the redemption of women and sexuality in art as depicted in John. In 2019, she complete her Doctorate of Ministry, and her thesis dealt with reimagining space and churches for a more sustainable future. Sara is passionate about social justice and racial equity.

February 9, 2022
Nikki Mosgrove | Discerning Divine Purpose

In this MIDWEEK, we will practice discerning one’s divine calling. Is Spirit leading you on a new or different path? Learn how listening to the “still small voice” within can open new doors and transform your life!

 

Nikki Mosgrove is an active Member of Trenton Monthly Meeting and serves on the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Administrative Council. Additionally, she is on the Board of Trustees of the Friends Foundation for Aging and the School of the Spirit Quaker Ministry. She attended Northfield Mount Hermon School for high school, holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College, a Master’s degree from Seton Hall University and a certificate in nonprofit management from LaSalle University’s School of Business. In 2019, she founded a Quaker nonprofit called Nia Ministries. You can find out more about Nia Ministries at niaministries.org.

February 16, 2022
Marcelle Martin and Hilary Burgin | Receptive to the Gathered Meeting

The experience of gathering for meeting presents challenges, both internal and external. But the rewards of being truly present in meeting are endless. In this MIDWEEK, we will explore practices that will help us be receptive to the experience of a gathered meeting.

 

Hilary Burgin is Executive Director of Quaker Voluntary Service. Marcelle Martin is the author of Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey, and A Guide to Faithfulness Groups. Marcelle and Hilary have led retreats and workshops across the United States and are core teachers for the 9-month program, “Nurturing Faithfulness.”

February 23, 2022
Dr. Angela Parker | "Breathing In" in the Midst of Stifled Breath

The breath is fundamental, but the weight of overlapping oppressions can hinder our connection with our breath. Breath is all the more important for those engaging in any kind of activism. In this MIDWEEK, we will learn a breath practice for social justice advocates. Join us to center yourself in your body in the midst of a world that would deny your breath.

 

Angela N. Parker, Ph.D. is assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta, GA. She has written many articles and essays and is the author of If God Still Breathes, Why Can’t I? Black Lives Matter and Biblical Authority (2021). Dr. Parker is ordained with the Missionary Baptist Association.

March 2, 2022
Jen Higgins-Newman | Pause and Listen

One of the barriers to being present to one another in community is what I might call our “gut reactions” – or the immediate feeling that we agree or disagree with something someone shared, and our desire to jump in with our own story. Deep listeners still have those feelings, too. It is possible to learn how to quiet those feelings in ourselves, and the practice of doing so can be deeply spiritual.

In this practice, we will learn to listen to our inward selves in those moments, as well as learn to pause and transform our initial reaction into an opportunity for deeper listening.

 

​Jen Higgins-Newman is a Quaker, theologian, writer, activist, and currently the Program Director at Beacon Hill Friends House. Another fun fact: Jen used to lead worship for Evangelical congregations, and finds that singing still makes her feel in touch with the divine.

March 9, 2022
Guinevere Lindley Janes | Where are our Esthers and Hadas?

“Who’s to say ?-you may have come [into the world]for just this moment” Esther 13:4-14 In creating a new “normal”, how is Spirit asking you to change? What does God need you to do in this moment, what is your work? What barriers exist within you that might prevent you from doing the work God is calling you to do? How can you overcome them? In this MIDWEEK, we will explore these questions and more.

 

Guinevere Lindley Janes graduated from Earlham College. She went on to study African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After being diagnosed with a neurological disease, Guinevere relocated to the Philadelphia area for treatment. Currently, Guinevere serves as clerk of Quaker Religious Education for Media Meeting and writes about living with an invisible disability.

March 23, 2022
Cat Green | It Didn't End at Patmos

“Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes, sacred texts can seem like something imposed from above, especially when there are rigid rules about what is “divinely inspired.” But if the point of a sacred text is to provide us with spiritual insight and inspire us to be better, then there is no fixed canon that works for everyone. In this practice, we’ll reflect on what works are sacred to us, and practice compiling them into a personal canon.

 

Cat Green is a Program Fellow at Beacon Hill Friends House. When they aren’t planning programs for the House, they work as a barista in downtown Boston. Cat is a writer, and tends to write about three things: Catholicism, Brideshead Revisited, and Williamsburg, VA. They maintain a personal blog at findinggreenspace.wordpress.com.

March 30, 2022
Blaine Saito, Mohammad Siadat, and Jen Higgins-Newman | Three Traditions, One Story: The Binding of Isaac

There are several stories that appear in the Hebrew Bible that also appear in the Quran. In this MIDWEEK, join BHFH resident Blaine Saito, Program Director Jen Higgins-Newman, and BHFH alum Mohammad Siadat, in exploring the story about the Binding of Isaac, and the ways that it’s interpreted across Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions.

 

Blaine Saito is a current BHFH resident, an Assistant Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, and is Jewish.

Mohammad Siadat is a former resident of BHFH, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, and a Muslim.

Jen Higgins-Newman is the Program Director at BHFH, and is a Quaker.

April 6, 2022
Erin Whalen | Embracing a Culture of Encounter

​In the words of Pope Francis: “It is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.”

And how do we develop and maintain this ‘culture of encounter?’ It starts with compassion. Join Erin Whalen as she shares her insights on cultivating compassion in order to embrace a culture of encounter.

 

​Erin Whalen is a Communication Coach and founder of Compassionate Coaching. She uses innovative and highly interactive offerings to help teams – especially those who work with the grieving and the dying – to communicate effectively and compassionately. Erin is a parishioner at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Arlington, Virginia.

April 13, 2022
Sofia Post | Movement to Peace

In this MIDWEEK, we have a guided light movement practice meant to expand our pathways to peace and solitude. Through exploration of emotions, and remembered experiences, we will find qualities within ourselves that push the boundaries of the intention we bring to the movement. This practice is meant to  be an exploration of the divine sense of self within, and mimic the creation of compassion as we move through our lives.

 

Sofia Post is a BHFH program fellow, studying exercise science at Simmons University. They have a passion for wellness and apply creative ways to achieve a holistically well life.

April 20, 2022
Rachael Carter | Connecting with Nature: Integrated Indoor Plant Worship

Our plants that live indoors with us observe us day to day, week to week, month to month. They are a part of the living world outdoors and also hold a deep connection to witnessing us as well. Join us for a mindful meditation and worship with one or many of your indoor plants to connect with the nature inside!

 

Rachael Carter is is a 2018 QVS alumnae and the Atlanta Local Coordinator., which was their primary introduction to Quaker practice and grew up as a Baptist in Philadelphia. They came into interfaith work in their years in undergrad at Ursinus College in PA. Rachael is passionate about plants and the natural world, cooking as a healing practice and understanding various community and social systems.

April 27, 2022
Todd Drake | Image Making as Spiritual Practice

There are so many cross overs between Quaker practices and artistic practices. In this MIDWEEK, we will explore how concepts like opening, letting in the light, seasoning, sense of the meeting, and seeking Truth, can be used to create art. You will be invited to join in and practice creative image making that values the creative light in all, leaving with valuable new practices for your own creative journey.

 

Todd Drake is a New York City based visual artist who focuses on human rights and environmental issues. A Quaker, Drake co-manages the Penington Friends House with his wife, Robin Drake. He is originally from North Carolina, where he was a Rockefeller Fellow at UNC Chapel Hill. Drake co-authored a book on undocumented Immigration during that fellowship that was used in colleges across the American South. Drake and his wife moved to New York City in 2015 to pursue his art practice and be near family. Drake is an experienced art educator having taught at colleges including NCA&T, and Guilford College. His exhibitions have toured nationally and internationally.

June 23, 2021
Phoebe HR | Bringing Work Home with Us

In a best-case scenario our day jobs can be a source of spiritual renewal, deeper connection to our bodies and surroundings, and a medium through which to serve our communities. But more often than not, our pay-the-bills jobs also create bitterness, resentment, hurt, and spiritual blockages. Without attempting to offer any cure-alls for the ways capitalism and the ethic of American Individualism harm us and limit our connection to the divine and our spiritual communities, Phoebe will be using this MIDWEEK to share her practice of building personally meaningful labor into her daily routines, and to create a dialog about the work that renews and impassions us when we are fatigued beyond the help of resting.

 

Sometimes self-care is working more, and sometimes working more is just learning more, living more, and listening more deeply!

 

An agricultural worker and occasional digital artist, Phoebe was raised at Friends Meeting at Cambridge and in the NEYM youth programs before attending Guilford College. She has worked in livestock, vegetable, dairy, and timber production as well as doing food systems education and activism. 

June 30, 2021
Christopher A. Greene | Preliminaries to Meditation

In this practice, Christopher will guide participants through a brief introduction of the origins of “meditation” as it has been received by the U.S. during the 20th century; issues with the translation from “dhyana”; the context of the term, and how it is meant to be understood from it’s Vedic/Hindu origins in Yoga. The practice itself involves sitting, pulling our senses inward, and then being with, and observing, the fluctuations of our mind in an intentional fashion.


Chris Greene is a Spiritual Director and founder of an independent counseling practice that offers integrated coaching, therapy & spiritual direction. His practices weave together principles and practices from psychological counseling and performance/athletic coaching with wisdom from spiritual traditions with the intention of inner well-being and spiritual development.

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