Spiritual Deepening Program eRetreats invite newcomers and Friends to build an online spiritual community through an 8-week exploration of Quaker thought and practice.
The eRetreat Schedule for 2017:
January 9 - March 3, Silence & Light eRetreat
March 26 - May 19, Silence & Light eRetreat
June 4 - August 4, Beloved Community eRetreat
September 24 - November 17, Silence & Light eRetreat
Join the Spiritual Deepening mailing list to receive announcements when registration opens for these upcoming eRetreats in 2017!
About the Spiritual Deepening eRetreat Program
Spiritual growth is linked to community, and a Spiritual Deepening eRetreat connects you with other curious seekers in an online exploration of Quaker thought, a deepening of your own spiritual practices, and the sharing of stories from your life and your personal journeys.
Each week, there will be a new topic with videos, quotations, and activities, and you'll be able to engage at your own time and pace. You'll connect with other participants through discussion boards and one optional video chat session. Participants are encouraged to explore a personal spiritual practice during the 8-week eRetreat.
The 8-week Silence & Light eRetreat focuses on the topics of Silence & Expectant Waiting and The Light, Seed, Christ Working in Us. The Beloved Community eRetreat addresses issues of racial justice and white supremacy, right relationships with First Nations, spiritual grounding for immigration justice, and building the Beloved Community.
Frequently Asked Questions about Spiritual Deepening Program eRetreats
Who is a Spiritual Deepening eRetreat for?
A Spiritual Deepening eRetreat may be for you if:
- You are curious about Quaker thought and practices and want to go deeper in your own spiritual journey
- You are seeking to build a relationship with others and explore Quaker practices and faith together
- Your meeting isn’t participating in the Spiritual Deepening program and you’re interested in the experience
- You live far away from a Quaker meeting or church or are not connected to a Quaker community and you’re looking for spiritual companionship
Do I have to be a Quaker to participate?
Not at all! Newcomers and curious seekers are very welcome to join a Spiritual Deepening eRetreat. You don’t have to have any experience or expertise to jump into the Spiritual Deepening program.
What is the time commitment?
Each eRetreat runs for eight weeks and you can expect to spend 3-5 hours each week engaged in discussion and activities both online and offline. The group does not have scheduled meeting times, so you can log-in and participate at a time that works for you each week. Participants are invited to commit to a personal spiritual practice during the course and to offer support and encouragement to each other throughout.
How do I sign up?
Registration for each eRetreat session will open about three weeks before the start date. Sign up for the Spiritual Deepening email list to receive announcements about registering for an eRetreat.
What is the cost to participate?
The suggested fee for participating in each eRetreat is $20/person. This fee registers you for the 8-week online group that will explore exercises and activities on the topic of Silence & Light or Beloved Community. The fee is offered on a "Pay-as-Led" basis because we do not want there to be economic barriers to participation. We also know that some people may feel led to pay more than the suggested $20.
This Pay-as-Led participation fee supports the ministry of the eRetreat facilitator and contributes to the development of the Spiritual Deepening program materials, allowing Friends General Conference to continue to support, develop, and grow the Spiritual Deepening Program and to make it broadly available over time, with the ultimate goal of increasing the depth of Spirit and the strength of our Quaker communities.
How is an eRetreat different than the Spiritual Deepening Program in-person small group experience?
The Spiritual Deepening eRetreat adapts the same content from the in-person small group experience for an online format. While exploring text, activities, and spiritual practices, your interactions with other participants will be through written discussions and sharing. Like the in-person program, the online group is lead by a trained facilitator.
What is the content of the online program?
The program content for each eRetreat focuses around foundational readings, activities for sharing spiritual stories, and exploring spiritual practices in order to strengthen and deepen both individual and communal experiences of spiritual connection.
Grounding exercises help you explore the roots of Quaker faith and give context to Quaker practices and beliefs. Sharing exercises invite you to share your spiritual stories and listen deeply to each other’s truth. Practicing exercises offer new ways of connecting to Spirit.
The Silence & Light eRetreat content is organized around two topics:
- Silence & Expectant Waiting - Explore the Quaker experience of worship, silent waiting, and vocal ministry.
- The Light, Seed, Christ Working in Us - Explore the experience of being led by the Inner Guide
The Beloved Community eRetreat explores the following themes:
- Living into Beloved Community
- Right Relationship with First Nations
- Spiritual Grounding for Immigration Justice
- Understanding and Healing from White Supremacy
Exercises include texts and videos, activities for discussions, art, and spiritual practices.
The content has been compiled from Friends from various yearly meetings and includes materials drawn from high quality existing curricula and resources, as well as newly developed activities.
What are the technology requirements?
You will need access to a computer with internet connection. There is also a mobile app for iPad and Windows 8 tablets.
I’m part of a group that would like to go through a Spiritual Deepening eRetreat together. Can we form our own online group?
Yes, individuals with a shared interest can choose to request and register for a Spiritual Deepening eRetreat together. These online groups could be made up of folks who know each other but live too far apart to meet regularly, affinity group such as young adults or people of color, or any other group of people who would like to share a deepening experience together.
Contact the Spiritual Deepening Program Coordinator ([email protected]) to request the scheduling of a self-organized online group. We recommend inviting a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 20 participants.
Please contact [email protected]