Thoughts we shared with each other during the weekend

Writings on our Pagan Quaker workshop wall

When the Society began
‘Quaker’ was a term used to mock members
‘Quaker’ has now been reclaimed by Quakers.
Now we are in the process of re-claiming
the word Pagan

Sometimes if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping by slowly beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to know. (Pooh)

But, child of dust, the fragrant flowers,
The bright blue sky and velvent sod,
Were strange conducters to the bowers
Thy daring footsteps must have trod (Emily Bronte)

The Druid Oath

We swear by Peace and Love to Stand
Heart to Heart and Hand in Hand
Mark oh Spirit
And hear us now
Confirming this, our sacred vow

Saturday: Thought for the Day

Advice and Queries 16, Quaker Faith and Practice

Do you welcome the diversity of culture, language and expressions of faith in our yearly meeting and in the world community of Friends? Seek to increase your understanding and to gain from this rich heritage and wide range of spiritual insights. Uphold your own and other yearly meetings in your prayers

The plural of human being can be humans being

A vital novel for me ‘The Fifth Sacred Thing’ by Starhawk

Two good books to read by Richard Mabey: Nature Cure and Beech Combings

Check out the ‘Quaker Earthcare Witness’ website (QEW).  This is the environmental aspect for US non-programmed Quakers and folks there get the point re: Earth Spirituality.  Their workbook ‘Earthcare for Friends’ is a useable study guide

Has anyone read Matthew Fox’s ‘Original Blessing’?

The Druid Prayer

Grant Oh Spirit Thy Protection
And In protection, Strength
And in Strength, Understanding
And in Understanding, Knowledge
And in Knowledge, the Knowledge of Justice
And in the Knowledge of Justice, The Love of it
And In the Love of it, the love of all existences
And in the love of all existences
The Love of Spirit and all Goodness

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Good Lives: because everyone’s worth it

good lives at woodbrooke

Here are some further courses at Woodbrooke that may be of interest to you:

Good Lives: because everyone’s worth it

Friday 6 March 2009 – Sunday 8 March 2009

Course Details

What does it mean to live a good life today, in the face of global threats to comfortable western lifestyles? We are accustomed to feeling entitled to our familiar ways of living, but the trajectory of progress since the 1950s is heading for an abrupt end, as the increasing scarcity and cost of oil affects the underpinning of almost every aspect of our lives. Bringing head, heart and spirit together, we will focus on how our values and beliefs can be transformed into positive and effective changes in our personal lives, our meetings and communities, and the world. Participants will come away enthused, empowered and enabled as agents of change

Course Leader Information

Pam Lunn and Lizz Roe, tutors at Woodbrooke, are developing the ‘Good Lives’ programme; helping Quakers and others to grapple with the enormous challenges now facing individuals, communities and nations. Pam also has an excellent blog. Felicity Kaal is elder and learning co-ordinator at Bristol AM and is particularly interested in Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory of evolving human consciousness.

Further Good Life courses:

Good Lives: because there is such a thing as society (social and sociological), 9-11 April 2010

Good Lives: because we can’t eat money (access to resources), 25-27 June 2010

Good Lives: because everyone’s worth it (a repeat of Module 1, for those who missed it in March 2009), 29-31 October 2010

Ecofeminist Theology: from a Quaker perspective

Wednesday 6 October 2010 – Friday 8 October 2010

Course Details

This course will provide a space to engage theologically with some of the concerns raised by globalisation in the world today. There will be an opportunity to reflect on the links between ecology, feminism, theology and Quakerism with others who share these concerns. We will be able to to explore together ways of re-covering some of the inter-relationships in our lives in the 21st century. Facing the question ‘How can we live simply in the world?’

Course Leader Information

Judith Jenner is tutor in Quaker Studies at Woodbrooke and enjoys engaging with theology in both practical and intellectual modes

Good Lives – because everyone’s worth it

Friday 29 October 2010 – Sunday 31 October 2010

What does it mean to live a good life today? In these turbulent times we are being called to live up to the very best in us – to live out our values in a world of upheaval and uncertainty. Using a mix of stimulating inputs, participatory exercises and personal reflection, we will explore how our leadings can be made real in the world – how to live our Quaker testimonies at this time. You will leave enthused and empowered, with the practical ways and means to make change happen in all aspects of your life.

Course Leader Information

Pam Lunn is Programme Leader for the Good Lives Project and is particularly interested in the human (as distinct from the technical) issues around climate change and peak oil. Cliodhna Mulhern an experienced facilitator of dialogue and transformation processes. Her work is dedicated to the spiritual and social transformations we need at this time to give birth to a new and better world.

Consumed by fire

Our fire at Woodbrooke

Our fire at Woodbrooke

Ray has added some beautifully atmospheric pictures of our Saturday night fire at Woodbrooke to our picture gallery

Evaluating the weekend!

Woodbrooke Labyrinth by Joseph McGarraghy

Thank you so much for completing the evaluation forms, which really helps the Woodbrooke team to assess the course.

They also provide very useful feedback for Alison and me to design further courses.

What did you originally hope for in attending this event?

I hoped to learn about Pagan ways and celebrations and how they connected with the Quaker Way

Help with how to integrate my own pagan leanings with Quaker Orthodoxy

Confirmation that it is ‘alright’ to be a Pagan Quaker

Some understanding of the Quaker Way and about the Pagan Way too as I have been drawn to both but believed them to be mutually exclusive

Exploring where Pagan and Quaker ways touch and overlap and a clearer idea if where I stand on this

What, for you, was good about the event?

The generous acceptance of my ignorance and finding out that Pagan Quakers exist and maybe I can work towards being one

The sensuality, joy and juiciness of the activities. Connecting and re-connecting with like-minded people. Ideas on how I might find ways to embody my own spirituality and express my experience of the divine in ways which are personally meaningful

It dispelled some fears and it was good to be with like-minded people including the tutors

The fire! The walk! Licking dewdrops from the branches

The Woodbrooke ethos

What was not so good for you?

Could have used a little more discussion/analysis on how meetings deal with Pagan/Quaker spirituality

I would have liked to have learnt more about pagan ways

A lot of time thinking

How would you rate the event as a learning experience for you

Poor

Average 12.5%

Good  37.5%

Very Good 50%

Thinking of your experience of Woodbrooke as a whole, how would you rate it?

Poor

Average

Good 12.5%

Very Good 87.5%

Paul’s pictures added to workshop gallery

Lickey Hills Green Man sculpture

Some beautifully atmospheric pictures, taken by Paul,  of the sculptures and trees on the Lickey Hills, have been added to our workshop gallery

Our workshop gallery!

Some of the lovely pictures (Alison and Olwen above) of our walk to the Green Man of the Lickey Hills  and our creative mask-making session can be found here.  Do send me more if you would like to add your own pictures to the gallery, or if you would like your picture removed: kevin.redpath@btinternet.com

This I discover experientially

Dear Friends,

We hope that you all had a safe journey back home from Woodbrooke.  Thank you so much for all the creativity, joy, energy and enthusiasm you brought to our weekend workshop. We felt that the easiest way of sharing information from the course and allowing a network of kindred spirits to develop was to create a post-course blog.  And here it is! We will be populating this with pictures from the course, recipes, useful resources and a booklist so do contribute your own thoughts, experiences, poems, stories, artwork and photographs as well.

In friendship

Kevin Redpath and Alison Leonard