Conversation Circles are online video conferences which provide a space for Quaker religious educators across geographic regions to share and collaborate about why and how they do their work. Each conversation has a different topic. Participants self select and about 10 participants can join on each call. Notes from Conversations Cirlces are posted as they are ready.
Below are the notes from past conversations which are rich with descriptions of the joys and challenges being experienced in Quaker faith formation through religious education today.
Growing Edges of Quaker Religious Education
A Quaker Religious Education Conference 14-16 August 2015 Pendle Hill, Wallingford PA USA
We are excited to report that 48 Friends from 12 yearly meetings traveled to be together for a full weekend of sharing, learning, fellowship and worship. Together we created a multigenerational space that included Friends from across geographic and theological boundaries. We were blessed with many opportunities to network and build relationships that will support and sustain our RE work in our meetings and churches and further QREC's stewardship for life-long Quaker faith formation through religious education. Many reported coming away with a sense of the weekend being a covered time together.
Plans were made to collaborate on some projects throughout the year. A full report of the conference, including information about ways for Friends to be part of this ongoing work, will be available soon. Watch for an article about the conference and QREC soon in Friends Journal.
Thirty-three Friends gathered at Pendle Hill in August 2014 from Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Dakota, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Washington DC. We met face to face in a community of practice sharing our passion for the work and exploring how we can continue to support Friends religious education programs and materials.
The major underpinnings the gathered group confirmed:
- Religious education for Friends is about taking people to their Inner Teacher.
- Each Quaker Meeting grows in its own way.
- Whatever we do must be theologically and geographically inclusive.
- Meetings need families, and families need religious education.
- Religious education is for children of all ages.
- From infant to elder, all of us are teachers and all of us are learners.