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?

Conversation Starters:

  • 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


Learn more: Visit the QREC Resource Library and subscribe to our announcements

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


African Quaker Library

Youth Education

Small Meetings

Young Adult Friends

Biblioteca QREC


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


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.

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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…