Children’s religious education is vital to the growth of Friends meetings although maintaining RE capacity can be challenging in small communities. Quaker meetings in North America are often small with a preponderance of older Friends, yet our way of worship offers the quietude, balance and wisdom so yearned for by families who seek to raise well-grounded children in these turbulent times. In this conversation, seasoned Quaker religious educators share insights on how small meetings can offer a deep experience for children in the manner of Friends, even when families attend sporadically or when there are few children across a wide age range. We will also explore how families can teach Quaker faith and practice at home. Learn creative ideas, ask questions and share your experience. Registration is required:

Tuesday, January 21, 1:00 pm ET: Register HERE

Thursday, January 23, 8:00 pm ET: Register HERE

Facilitators:

Windy Cooler, Sandy Springs Meeting, BYM

Sita Diehl, Madison Friends Meeting, NYM

Conversation Starters:

Mary Snyder (Paullina Meeting, Iowa YM Conservative), editor and contributor for Religious Education in the Home and Small Meeting (FGC, 1986). She has been passionate about religious education (RE) for many years. After becoming a convinced Friend in college, she settled in Menomonie, Wisconsin with her family. She completed a master‚Äôs degree in elementary education, which informed much of her RE work. Based on her family‚Äôs frequent participation in FGC Junior Gatherings, Mary became active in the FGC Religious Education Committee and served for a time as Clerk. She now lives part time in Wentworth SD and part time in Minneapolis MN. 

Allyson Jacobs (Chappaqua Meeting, NYYM) has experiences in both small and large meetings with varying types of religious education. She would particularly like to have a discussion about how to ‚Äòbe‚Äô a Quaker family at home and the importance in encouraging children to get involved in Quaker activities such as camps and weekend retreats. 

Kri Burkander (Princeton Meeting, PhYM) became a convinced Friend in middle school and was a frequent attender of PYM’s Middle School and Young Friends events through high school, where she met the man who is now her husband. Their experiences in the Young Friends program, and as staff in FGC’s high school program, serve as a critical touchstone for their relationship and inform the way they parent their children, now 10 and 12. She served as Lake Erie YM’s Youth Program Coordinator for 5 years, and also served on FGC’s Religious Education committee. She carries a concern for nurturing youth involvement in every aspect of Quaker community and has presented several workshops at Pendle Hill and in various YMs regarding how to support youth in smaller meetings. 

Christie Duncan-Tessmer (Chestnut Hill Meeting, PhYM) has been involved with nurturing the spiritual lives of children in the Quaker community in a variety of ways.  She‚Äôs taught First Day School and worked as the FDS Coordinator of her meeting, worked for Junior Gathering at FGC as staff and a volunteer, and served as the Children‚Äôs Religious Life Coordinator at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting where she is now General Secretary. She is especially concerned with developing multigenerational community that includes all ages in meaningful worship, fellowship, fun, learning and ministry.

Queries:

  • How can a small meeting offer a deep Quaker experience to children and their families even when they attend sporadically or when there is a wide age range?
  • In what ways can a small meeting support children‚Äôs spiritual growth and sense of community?
  • How can parents weave Quaker faith and practice into home and family life?
  • What resources can families use to teach Quakerism at home?

Resources:

An Introduction

The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is an international, cross-branch, grassroots network of Friends sharing a stewardship for lifelong Quaker faith formation through religious education. We formed in April 2014 and now serve more than 300 Friends in our network. We actively engage and support each other across languages and continents. We gather for regional and annual conferences and offer monthly Conversation Circles via an online conferencing platform. 

Steering Circle

We share leadership as part of our collaborative mission, making decisions using the Quaker ‘sense of the meeting’ process, sitting in expectant, worshipful waiting for the emergence of shared truth. Read more…

Working Circles

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Our work  takes place in ‘circles’ or small groups of Friends who labor on a common task, usually meeting by video conference due to the geographic diversity of the membership. Read more…

The Resource Library

Finders Guide, a sampling of the collection

The QREC Resource Library is a place to share lessons and other educational information in support of our work as Quaker religious educators. This library is a forum for curricula, articles, videos and other educational materials on Quaker themes. You will also find principles, policies and procedures to strengthen operation of your child, youth and adult religious education programs.

Children’s Education

Adult Education

Family

African Quaker Library

Youth Education

Small Meetings

Young Adult Friends

Biblioteca QREC

Events

Find renewal, companionship, and help for nitty gritty issues in Quaker religious education, all the while opening spaces for Spirit to work and listening together for God’s way forward.

QREC holds an annual conference and retreat. In addition we hold online Conversation Circles and post other religious education events as we learn about them.

Conversation Circles

Online conferences for Quaker religious educators to share about their work. Conversations are scheduled for two sessions per topic to encourage international participation.  Join the conversation…

Other Events

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Religious education events of interest to Quakers from all parts of the world. Please let us know about upcoming online or in-person events happening in your area. See the list of upcoming events…

Love at the Heart

Spiritual Practices

Discernment

Active Caring

Quaker Family Culture

Finding the Light

Faith at Home

Home is the heart of faith formation for all families. This is especially true for Friends. As an experiential religion, Quakerism is best learned through living in loving community. Indeed, the vast majority of faith formation for our young Friends happens at home in the busy swirl of daily life.

Become a Member

Submit Resources

Get Announcements

Donate

Attend an Event

Contact Us

Get Involved

QREC depends on all of us sharing our gifts and skills as religious educators. Here are some of the ways you can get involved…