For the last 9 years in June, Friends from over 20 yearly meetings drawing on all branches of Friends have gathered together in Barnesville, Ohio or in New England to explore what Spirit-led Quakerism is about at its core—and to experience it together. These were truly “gatherings with a difference”—with most of the week left unplanned and open to the leading of the Spirit.
Children’s Program: At Quaker Spring 2015 at Oakwood Friends School in New York, the planning committee found leadership to organize a two-day program for children, ages 4–11. See last year’s Quaker Spring for Children for a description of the program. At this time, the planning committee is not clear that a children’s program will happen. As usual, childcare is available during the morning and evening sessions.
Friends of various ages and background have come together & spent time listening to ways the winds of the Spirit are blowing through their lives. We’ve found it a little hard to explain concretely what a gathering such as this one is actually like. Deborah Haines wrote a piece attempting to describe this called, Jesus in the Midst.
You can also get a feel for these gatherings by reading:
- Micah Bales blog entry Quaker Spring: A New Creation
- The Closing Minute from the 2011 gathering
- The epistle from the original 2007 QuakerCamp gathering
- A Friends Journal article by Pamela Haines on the 2007 gathering called Blessed by the Witness of God.
Friends from 8 different YMs attended the 2013 gathering in Deerfield MA. About 60 Friends gathered in 2014 in Barnesville OH including Friends from England, Ireland, and California. 42 Friends, including 6 children, attended the 2015 gathering at Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Gathering costs are deliberately kept very low (around $40–60 per day per adult, including meals). Fees are on a “freewill offering, pay-what-you-feel-led” basis, so no one need stay away for reasons of limited funds.
We welcome Friends of all branches and expressions of faith to join with us. Although Bible study happens each morning and many Friends who attend Quaker Spring have been drawn to the faith of earlier Quaker generations, Friends with several different paths have enjoyed this opportunity to seek, share, and worship with others in this open, relaxed retreat-like time.
We especially welcome Young Adult Friends. One of the most exciting things about these gatherings has been the powerful sharing across generational lines between Young Adult and older Friends. Many in both groups have spoken of how powerful and unusual this experience has been.
The 2015 planning/discerning group included: Deborah Haines (Baltimore YM), Micah Bales (Friends of Jesus Fellowship), Susan Smith (Ohio YM), Angela Hopkins, Janet Hough, Joanna Hoyt, Frederick Martin & Jonathan Vogel-Borne (New England YM), Anne Pomeroy (New York YM), Dorothy Henderson (Pacific & Lake Erie YMs), and Ellen Deacon (Philadelphia YM). Please email the Quaker Spring planning group at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or ideas about this summer’s gathering or to be added to our mailing list. If you prefer, you may also write Deborah Haines, 2794 Fort Scott Dr, Arlington VA 22202 or call her at 703-706-8176.
We welcome contributions to support these gatherings. If you can help out, please go to the Contributions to Quaker Spring page.
We hope you will join us this June in Barnesville!