Renewing our Meetings to Welcome New Quakers

with Hilary Burgin and Henri Ducharme

May 10-12, 2019

Register now.
View program brochure.

In the liberal unprogrammed branch of Quakerism, it seldom occurs to us to link membership with transformation. And yet, in the early years of the Quaker movement, spiritual transformation was the sine qua non of membership. … One became a Quaker not by meeting with a clearness committee, but by being convinced of the Truth through an experience of the transforming Power of God. ~ Tom Gates

This retreat is intended for those who want to make our monthly meetings more welcoming to new and young people. Although there will be some number of tips and tricks and many success stories shared, we believe there is deeper work for Friends to do within our meetings. The work of making our meetings more welcoming and engaging (for all people!) is rooted in the spiritual depth and renewal at our meetings, as well as adopting practices that are more accessible to newcomers. The most direct path to becoming more welcoming is being thoughtful about current practices and culture. We believe that there are cultural changes needed in order to renew our meetings. The program will focus on this deeper change as it relates to new and young people. For a preview, go to


Henri’s research into how things are with new and young people at our meetings is unique and inspired his work with two committees at Strawberry Creek Meeting concerned with new and young people. It also inspired an invitation to present a session at the 2017 Quaker Centering Consultation.

Hilary comes to this work with an excitement for living an integrated and outward-facing spiritual life. She is the Executive Director for Quaker Voluntary Service, a faith-based service year program for young adults interested in the intersection of Quaker faith and social justice.

Henri Ducharme and Hilary Burgin met several years ago at the Let’s Go retreat that Hilary co-facilitated at Quaker Center, and every few months since then, they’ve set aside time to discuss issues of meeting renewal.
Facilitating this retreat together is an outgrowth of that collaboration. Hilary and Henri have a conviction that the “issue” of new and young people at our meetings can only rest on a foundation of renewal of our meetings.