This is an overnight weekend retreat for youth age 13 to 18 to connect with one another and participate in the Living Faith gathering on Saturday with the wider community.
Think of this retreat like a sandwich. The bread is familiar teen retreat time—games, small groups, hanging out, reflection. In between two pieces of retreat time is the flavorful, interesting, nutritious filling, Living Faith. Living Faith is a day-long gathering for Quakers in New England of all ages, which will be held on Saturday, April 1st. It's back after a hiatus during the pandemic, yay! This time, for the first time, we're building a retreat just for teens to connect with one another and participate in the gathering with everyone. Living Faith is a little like Sessions in that you get to connect with lots of people of different ages and find out what's up with the wider Quaker community outside of our little teen bubble, and at Living Faith the focus is on relationship-building and exploring our spiritual lives as Quakers. There's no meeting for business, just worship, programming with the big group, and lots of interactive workshop choices in a variety of themes. In a lot of ways, it's like if we took a Young Friends retreat and made it work for a lot more people of all ages for just one day. More updates about Living Faith will be posted here.
Start and end times: Please plan to drop your teen(s) off at the Friends School of Portland between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31st and pick them up between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday April 2nd.
Here's how it will feel: Friday night we'll all arrive at the Friends School of Portland, play games, get to know the group of teens attending, and spend a little time checking in in small groups. This will be a time to set intentions about what we want to get out of the experience on Saturday. We'll sleep on the floor just like we do at meetinghouses. We'll eat a simple breakfast together and then lots of Friends will start to arrive for Living Faith! We'll participate in all of the group programming together, eat lunch, and you'll get to choose a workshop to attend in the afternoon. There will be staff and other teens to help you participate in the ways that most nurture you and help you connect with other Quakers, and we'll be there if you need to take a break or get more support. In the evening the rest of the Living Faith participants will go home and we'll eat dinner just with our little group of teens and staff, reflect on what the experience was like for us spiritually, and have some fun hanging out before bed. It might feel exciting, interesting, or challenging to be processing how all of our different experiences with the wider community felt to each of us. And my hope is that it will feel valuable to get to share these feelings with your peers in a safe space. Sunday morning we'll eat breakfast, worship together, clean up, and go home.
Who is this retreat for?
- Teens age 13–18, including Young Friends and some older JHYMers
- Teens who want to connect with Quakers of other ages
- Teens who are curious about attending Living Faith and want more support and peer connection while doing so
- Teens who want to dive a little deeper into exploring the Quaker path in a hands-on, interactive way
Covid safety protocols include a vaccine requirement with boosters strongly encouraged, testing before or at arrival, and wearing a mask when participating with the whole group during Living Faith on Saturday. Masking will be optional when there are just teens present.
We'll sleep on the floor at the Friends School, so teens should bring whatever they need to be comfortable doing so. Meals and snacks will be provided from Saturday breakfast to Sunday breakfast.
Space at Living Faith is limited, so make sure to register as soon as you can.