Yearly Meeting Organising Committee, Queensland Regional Meeting.
Summer School YM 2014 will be held on Sunday 5 January, beginning after Meeting for Worship in the morning and ending at about 5 pm.
Our theme is taken from Advices and Queries number 1: Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
Below are the descriptions of nine Summer School groups being offered. Please read them carefully to decide which group you would most like to attend. For your Yearly Meeting registration, you will need to indicate three Summer School groups in order of preference.
Note the letter code (from A to I) beside each of your three chosen groups. Then use that code on the online Registration Form, to indicate your three preferences in order.
The Registration Form is available only online, at the website: www.quakers.org.au
Please note (and take seriously) any pre-requisites listed for the groups you select. This will assist your facilitator and the group to work well.
For further information about Summer School please contact Marian James, Taisoo Kim Watson, or Pam Tooth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Descriptions of Summer School Groups:
A Calling all Parents of Young Children
Facilitators: Sally Kingsland with Helen Gould
Parenting is one of the hardest, most rewarding and most important jobs on the planet and too often poorly supported. Parents who currently have young children (birth to 15) are invited to join us for a day of reflection, nurture and sharing around how we can better hear the promptings of Love and Truth in our hearts above the daily noise and activity that surround us. Please note that this is not a session on ‘Quaker parenting’ per se.
This group is an opportunity for parents to have some ‘time out’ within a supportive and gently structured group environment. Too often we are too tired or flat out to stop and think about what we are doing!
Participants need to be willing to share at least a little of their parenting journey and participate in group processes. Facilitators will be guiding sharing, discussion, games and relaxation activities. We hope to sit in a circle and also have times in smaller groups.
This is a day of reflection, retreat and renewal for parents to reflect, so only pre-crawling children are invited.
Preferred number of participants: 4 – 14 adults (parents only, or with pre-crawling children).
B HIP program for Children and Junior Young Friends
Facilitators: Two trained HIP facilitators
Help Increase the Peace (HIP) has developed from within The Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) familiar to many Friends. HIP is an experiential program that enables young people to develop attitudes and skills for greater respect for themselves and empathy for others.
The trained and experienced facilitators will offer various activities such as interactive games, teamwork, brainstorming and role-playing that enable participants to explore their world and understand how violence plays a part in it.
HIP will be the program for Junior Young Friends (JYFs, aged 14 – 18) in the morning and Children in the afternoon.
This will be a time of meeting up and bonding for both of these groups at the start of Yearly Meeting.
C Friends in Stitches
Facilitators: Tessa Spratt and Cathy Davies
“The promptings of love and truth in our hearts” is what has led Friends in Stitches to capture the history of Australian Quakers in embroidered panels. The aim is to create 40 panels, several of which are already complete and framed. The more we explore our heritage, the more we learn about the promptings of love and truth that led our forebears. The designers, researchers and stitchers for this project are aware of the depth of our spirituality as we capture this history in a way that will speak to both Quakers and others.
Existing stitchers are encouraged to bring their panels to work on, to compare notes and exchange ideas. New participants will learn the Quaker Stitch and make a name tag and/or a sampler.
This group is not only for stitchers – artists are especially encouraged to join in this group as cartoon drawing is the first step towards creativity. Of course historical researchers are also vital to the project.
If participants have an idea for a panel, please bring that to design. Any completed designs could be traced onto the calico, sewn onto the woollen fabric, and attached to the frame for stitching.
Suitable for all ages – we had six children (aged over 9) at our recent Hobart Workshop.
Pre-requisites: None. (We will invite participants to bring some materials, but this is not essential.)
D Spirit and Truth as Natural as Nature – A Kind of Poetry
Facilitator: Peter Burton
This day will be guided by enjoyment, spirit, stillness, zen, discipline, mindfulness, epiphany, satori, and mundanity, and the experience of the moment – as expressed in haiku. We hope to get out of the room and out of the mind into experience of reception of feelings, into spirit in our surroundings without judgement by egos. This will not be any kind of heavy stuff!
Suitable for teenage to sage age.
Preferred number of participants: 5 – 20
Prerequisites: Tender heart, open mind, empathy, a sense of humour, paper and pen
E Lets Talk Sovereignty – What is the Role of Quakers?
Facilitators: Chris Hughes and First Nations People (to be confirmed)
This group will explore what the role of Quakers might be, in the latest push for First Nations Peoples’ self-determination, what is the role of Quakers?
We will discuss how we as Quakers position ourselves as the push for Aboriginal Sovereignty gains momentum. What role can we play in creating and supporting the dialogue required to mend past traumas and create an integrated reconciled future for all Australians?
It is promptings of love and truth that are required, to move forward and deal with Australia’s past to forge a better future for all Australians.
The day will include small group discussions and worship sharing and probably a DVD.
Suitable for all ages.
Preferred number of participants: 6 – 16.
Pre-requisites: None, but we may provide reading material beforehand.
F When Love and Truth don’t seem to do the trick
Facilitators: Ronis Chapman and Michael Searle
This Summer School explores conflict that arises within Quaker Meetings, Meetings for Business, Camps and other activities. Quakers often shun conflict, or respond from their hurt and are unable to move forward. Friends leave Meetings because of conflicts having negative outcomes.
Another view of conflict is that it is a gift, in which we may grow personally, and increase our skills at problem-solving in order to contribute to our community and organisations.
There may be conflict types that are specific to age groups, which we could explore.
How do we re-kindle the promptings of love and truth amid hurt feelings?
This is a serious topic but some fun during the day is guaranteed! The group will share some “elephants in the rooms” of our experience, practise some skills, and discuss how individuals and Meetings can deal with conflicts more positively. We may include some dramatisations, role playing, and analysing videos for their cultural assumptions.
Suitable for all ages including children of senior primary age. (We will include some activities to be attractive to them.)
Minimum number of participants: 10. Maximum: We’d make it work with a large group.
Prerequisites: It’s preferable that every participant has some experience of at least one conflict within a Quaker situation in their life.
G Tending the Temple
Facilitator: Moira Darling
The name is derived from knowing that if we are to be fully alive spiritually, responding to the promptings of truth and love in our hearts, then we also need to work on ourselves – our internal physical, mental & emotional selves, our spiritual life and practice, and our engagement with the external world.
This work has arisen from the facilitator’s journey and work as a naturopath and kinesiologist. Since her Healing Week held at Silver Wattle earlier this year, the facilitator feels more and more called to share this work.
The day will include a framework for exploring healing in a range of dimensions that form our reality – Body, Mind, Spirit, Community and Environment. Tending to each of these areas is linked with maintaining our connection to Spirit. Time will be spent in setting up the framework and then enabling personal reflection and sharing. This is a model that will be helpful for long term growth.
Depending on the group, we could focus on healing our physical bodies or our minds, or do activities for reducing stress, like meditation to remain centred and grounded.
Prerequisites: An open mind and heart
Suitable mainly for adults
Preferred number of participants: 6 – 15
H Sacred Dancing in Circles, Spirals and Labyrinths
Facilitators: Julie Walpole and Joy Bowles
Have you been amazed by a labyrinth? Does the Spirit sometimes prompt you to dance?
Several Friends around Australia find that Circle Dancing speaks to their souls. Others find that walking a labyrinth has a similar impact. Dances and labyrinths have been used as forms of prayer in many different cultures: Both are forms of meditation.
We will explore gentle and meditative sacred dances from a variety of cultures and recent choreographies in the same style, and will construct a simple labyrinth, interweaving dances with opportunities to walk the labyrinth with ritual and prayer.
We will worship-share about our experiences, both immediate and long-term, and may record our responses in our own personal ways.
I Journeying the Heartlands – Exploring and sharing our spiritual practices of Quaker Worship
Facilitator: Catherine Heywood
This group is an opportunity to refresh our Spiritual practices, to experiment, to share. It will be “heart” not “head” stuff, to nurture that of God within us, receptive to the promptings of love and truth.
There will be time for individual reflection, sharing in pairs and small groups, and periods of Worship. As well as talking there will be some writing and perhaps some singing.
We will use material from the Kindlers, a project within Britain Yearly Meeting aimed at deepening the spiritual lives of our Meetings. This taste of the Kindlers approach might prompt some participants to take it further in their own Meeting.
Suitable for newcomers and experienced Friends aged over 12.
Preferred number of participants: 6 – 20
Pre-requisites: There will be a little pre-reading, as inspiration rather than essential content.