Radical Acceptance of Children & Youth in Quaker Meetings
Conversation Circles: November 28 & 30, 2023
Quakers are called to look to that of god in everyone, including children and youth in our Meetings, all of whom are in the process of exploring their identity and place in the world. How can we, as religious educators, fully accept and include children and youth whose interest, behavior, energy level, or identity, make adults Friends feel uncomfortable? How can we foster a culture of radical acceptance in our Meetings, especially to nurture and include children and youth who don’t fit easily?
Join this conversation to explore how we can help our meetings fully include all children in the Meeting Community.
- How do we live in radical acceptance of the children and youth in our Meeting?
- When we do guide, how do we set up healthy boundaries without shaming?
- How do we embrace varieties of energy level, interest, and behavior?
- When a child has an interest, how do we, as religious educators, go deeper with them, even if the interest makes the adult uncomfortable?
- How do we help adults in our Meetings support children in this way?
- What is the importance of imagination in play?
- How do we help children explore power dynamics in self and in relation to others? How do we recognize the ways our Meeting may disempower children and work as adults to empower them in community?
Kristin Simmons, Youth Engagement Coordinator, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
- Meghan Goldman, Goose Creek Friends Meeting, BYM
- Cameron Hughes, Goose Creek Friends Meeting, BYM
- Elizabeth Freyman, Albuquerque Friends Meeting, IMYM
- Sita Diehl, Madison Friends Meeting, NYM
Autism and Faith: A journey into community, Editors: Mary Beth Walsh, Ph.D., Alice F. Walsh, M.Div., William C. Gaventa, M.Div.
How to Retain Young Families in Quaker Meeting, by Ami Corleto-Bales, Christine Barnaby, David Corleto-Bales, David Keiser-Clark, Janaki Spickard Keeler, Kat Griffith, and Maya Wright, Friends Journal, February 1,2022.
- Neurodiversity in the Classroom: creating a more inclusive Sunday School, by Alison Bird Treacy in Building Faith.
- Welcoming Children with Special Needs: A guidebook for faith communities, by Sally Patton.