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Quaker Voluntary Action unveils 2010 Programme

An exciting programme of Working Retreats on the them of “Exploring our Peace Testimony” has been unveiled by Quaker Voluntary Action

Working Retreats have been organised to mark the 350th anniversary of the Quaker Declaration on Peace. There will be opportunities to work and reflect in Congeniés in France, Airton & Sawley, Swarthmore and Ashford in the Uk, Moyallon in Northern Ireland, and Ramallah in Palestine.

See the newsletter for further details, the leaflet (part one and two) and the application form.

Jasmine Piercy, QVA Working Retreats Co-ordinator, writes:
Work, Worship, Welcome! On a QVA Working Retreat all three become woven into the fabric of each day. A rich tapestry of threads that bind us together is created. Daily morning Meeting for Worship moves into a time of concerted work effort followed by a delicious heartening lunch cooked by the team. Some free time in the afternoon to relax and reflect, or explore the locality. Then a group retreat session before supper, some socialising and a brief Epilogue of words or music to close the day.
Participants for these projects come from across Europe and beyond; it’s an opportunity to share with Quakers and those discovering the Quaker way in the spirit of service and fellowship. All ages (18-80+) and abilities are welcome, and what might start out as a diverse group of people soon fades as we grow to know one another ‘in that which is eternal’.
The Working Retreat theme for 2010 is peace. We celebrate the 350th anniversary of the declaration of our Quaker Peace Testimony and draw on its vision and historical influence for our reflective sessions. Through listening and learning, loving and laughing together we can break down barriers and nurture trust and understanding. A QVA event offers an opportunity to respond to the call to put our faith into action. The potential benefit that such a project brings to often isolated communities can be hugely valuable. The beautiful locations surrounded by nature, are inspiring and leave one refreshed, renewed and ready to re-engage.
So if you like the sound of a Working Retreat where there is a balance between contemplation and action; enjoy the team spirit and appreciate the value of shared community; are looking for an opportunity to explore your spiritual journey in a nurturing environment, then you’d be most welcome!

QVA Programme for 2010

March 20 – 27 Congenies, France
Developing and defining areas in the grounds of the Quaker Centre including walls, patios and the historical burial site. Time to discover this lovely part of southern France.

April 17 – 24 Airton & Sawley, UK
Restoring a floor, and gardening at two early Meeting Houses in Yorkshire & Lancashire. Exploring Quaker history in the region through walks and talks.

May 10 – 14 Swarthmoor, UK
Variety of outdoor work in extensive grounds and some indoor tasks for Swarthmoor Hall – the cradle of Quakerism in the stunning Lake District.

July 17 – 24 Moyallon, Ireland
Various gardening activites at the rural Quaker Retreat Centre near Belfast. Engaging with Northern Ireland peace issues.

August 20 – 24 Ashford, UK
Decorating the old library and schoolroom at this Meeting House in Kent near the dramatic south coast of England.

October 17 – 22 Swarthmoor, UK
Seasonal gardening tasks possibly including tree-work. Opportunities to visit places of historical Quaker interest dating back to 1652 when George Fox arrived in the area.

October 27 – Nov 5 Ramallah, Palestine
Based at the Friends International Centre, there is a strong study element and balanced encounter with the Palestinian/Israeli situation. Work includes supporting the olive-picking harvest.

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Contact name: Jasmine Piercy

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