2019 Fall Gathering of Friends - West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio…and beyond!


September 20-22, 2019


Bishop Hodges Retreat Center, 39 Catholic Conference Center, Huttonsville, WV 26273


All are welcome! You don’t have to be a Quaker to learn, reflect & refresh your spirit.



“Finding and Creating Peace in a Chaotic World”

Monongalia Friends Meeting invites you to join us for the 2019 West Virginia Friends Fall Gathering at Bishop Hodges Pastoral Center from Friday evening, September 20 through Sunday lunch, September 22.   

The theme of this year’s gathering is “Finding and Creating Peace in A Chaotic World”.  Through workshops and structured activities, Friends will share ways that we seek peace, both in our personal lives as well as in the larger community. Our agenda includes small group workshops, experiential activities, and larger discussion/reflection time. In the midst of our busy lives, and turbulent world, we welcome time to reflect on what sustains and connects us. We look forward to seeing you!

Also, there will be time to walk the beautiful grounds, social time, music, and a book/video exchange.

More about the Retreat Center:  Most of the program takes place from Saturday morning until after lunch on Sunday.  However, you have the option to arrive Friday, as early as 1 pm, for an evening of time with a smaller group.  In this case, be sure to reserve 2 nights lodging, instead of 1, on the registration form.  Friday dinner will be served at 6:30 pm if there are at least 10 folks arriving by then. We will keep you posted. When you arrive at the main entrance, sign in and pick up your room key(s) in the front lounge & get a WiFi access code if needed. We have use of the whole facility, which includes a large lounge, dining room, lodge rooms, meeting spaces, patios and more. NOTE: phone service is not good at BH, unless you use AT&T.





From the west via US 33

        Take the WV 92 exit (Harrison Ave.) towards town (Elkins).

        Stay on Harrison Ave. all the way through town, where it merges with US 219 & US 250 South.

        (See below “From the intersection of Harrison & US 219/250”.)

From the north

        US 219 & US 250 intersects with Harrison Ave. Turn left at that large intersection.

        (See below “From the intersection of Harrison & US 219/250”.)

From the south, via US 219 & WV 55

        Bishop Hodges is 2.0 miles north of the sign for Kumbrabow State Forest, near Elkwater.

From the intersection of Harrison & US 219/250

        Follow US 219/250 for about 18.5 miles to Huttonsville where US 219 & US 250 split.

        Turn right with US 219 (landmark is an Exxon station) & follow for another 4.4 miles.

        B. Hodges is on the right, on a knoll about .1 mile past the other conference center & chapel; large red barns across the road.



Download and fill this page out online and return as attachment to lcharder@gmail.com, or print and mail to:

Lois Harder, 22 Par Ln, Core, WV  26541


You may send a check, use Paypal (payment to lcharder@gmail.com), or request scholarship funds (see end of form).

Please register by August 31st.  Retreat Center needs numbers for meal planning!


NOTE: As we seek an Earth restored, this is going to be a ZEE-WEE (Zero Waste) Event! We will recycle, avoid single- use food containers, avoid all Styrofoam, plastic food boxes, etc. If you bring snacks to share, please put on your thinking cap when you consider the various packaging options. Thank you!


Name(s) ________________________________________________________________________________


   Children - names & ages if 12 or under _______________________________­­______Total in group _____


Address___________________________________________________ Email ________________________


Phone # ______________________________ Cell # _______________________



Retreat fee: $5.00 per person


______Single (1 double/full bed + sitting space + bathroom): $60 one occupant, $90 more than one

______Double (2 double/full beds + sitting space + bathroom): $60 one occupant, $90 more than one

______Apartment  (3 available)  1 queen bed + kitchenette, sitting space + bathroom: $75.00 for two occupants,

                                plus $15 each person beyond two


Nights you plan to stay:  Friday ____  Saturday ____                                                      Lodging total = $______


Meals (enter # people for each meal)   Friday dinner ($15.) ________

Saturday breakfast______$8.    lunch______$10.   dinner________($15)

                        Sunday breakfast ______ $8.    lunch _____$10.                                                       

                                                                                                                                               Meals, total = $______

Vegetarian meals? ____________Special dietary needs? _______________________________


                                                                                                            Retreat fee total: ($5.00 each person) ______                        


                                                                                           Donation to Retreat Scholarship Fund (optional)_______


TOTAL enclosed = $_________

     (Please indicate if some funding is coming from another source.)


NOTE: Please feel free to request scholarship help for total or partial cost.  Contact Lois Harder, lcharder@gmail.com, or phone (304-288-8789), by July 27 and before mailing your registration. Request will remain confidential.

Finding and Creating Peace in a Chaotic World


Friday, September 20, 2019


Participants may arrive as early as 1 pm Friday.

6:30 pm DINNER will be served by the Conference Center if 10 or more guests register for the meal

7:30 (or thereabouts) – Meet and Greet

8:30 to 9:00 – Silent Worship

Saturday, September 21, 2019


8:00 to 9:00 – BREAKFAST


9:00 to 10:30 – Registration and Fellowship


10:30 to 10:45 – Welcome & General Announcements


10:45 to 11:15 – Opening Silent Worship


11:15 to 11:45 – Fellowship (Ice Breaker)


11:45 to 12:45 – LUNCH


12:45 to 4:45

·         12:45 – 1:00 - Introduction

·         1:00 – 2:00 – Workshops

·         2:00 – 3:00 – Workshops

·         3:00 – 3:15 – Stretch Break

·         3:15 -- 4:15 - Workshops

·         4:15 – 4:45 – Worship Sharing on Workshop Experiences


4:45 to 5:30 – FREE TIME for interest groups, reflection, and/or relaxation


5:30 to 6:30 – DINNER


6:30 to 8:30

·         6:30 – 6:45 – Introduction

·         6:45 – 8:15 – Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries (2018) documentary

·         8:15 – 8:30 – Worship Sharing on the day’s activities


8:30 to 9:30 – Coffeehouse/Open Mic or Campfire/Singalong (weather permitting)


Sunday, September 22, 2019

8:00 to 9:00 – BREAKFAST

9:00 to 10:00 – Meeting for Worship

10:00 – 10:30 – Worship Sharing

10:30 -- 11:00 – Stretching/Packing

11:00 – 12:00 – Wrap-Up

12:00 – LUNCH


May you continue to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.  



·         Reaching Out to the Inward Teacher - Wood Bouldin (Greenbrier)

This workshop is a short version of two workshops Outreach presented at SAYMA's Yearly Meeting in June.  The verbal play of "There is no way to Peace; Peace is the way" makes an attractive epitome of Friends' doctrine that Peace IS the habit of deep inward listening in order to be led and stopping still in that spiritual attention a leading becomes so luminously clear that it can be followed without fear, confusion or self-doubt. Since this is the only way to peace in the world, after a very brief introduction of the view emerging in SAYMA Outreach, the workshop will proceed as a group investigation of how best to pursue the goal of leading the world to sit down at the feet of the inward teacher and stop there in Peace of heart and behavior.


·         Nonviolent Direct Action, a year later – (Mid-Ohio Valley) 

Last year's gathering had an emphasis on nonviolent direct action, and on the lessons from the martial arts as to being strategic in our direct action.  This session is an opportunity to think more about one's own involvement and to share with others what you have been doing or are interested in.


·         Keeping a Journal – Ina Hicks (Monongalia)

After 55 years of journaling, Ina sees journaling as the reverse of Googling.  In her stack of journals are a few insights, a scattering of poems, and a lot of pondering and searching.   It is also a way of expressing negativity without doing harm.  It is a Quaker In-reach.  Be prepared to write.


·         Listening to and Reaching Others – Jim Syphers (Monongalia)

The workshop will function through groups of two to assist attenders to learn to reach others by listening to what the other is saying, not what he/she thinks someone wants them to say or to its appropriateness.  Each pair will choose a topic and then take turns talking and listening for two minutes each. There will be a brief follow up discussion on how it went along with comments by other participants.  Jim is a social worker who struggled as a prison visitor to listen/hear what inmates were really trying to say and why he was asked to visit them.


·         Walking Meditation - Kristin Loken (Shepherdstown)

The Buddha taught four postures for meditation:  sitting, walking, standing, and lying down.  Walking meditation incorporates walking and standing.  This workshop will focus on Vipassana or Insight walking meditation, which is sort of bare bones and focused and best learned indoors.  This is not walking through the woods to enjoy Mother Nature.  This is real meditation which can be practiced in conjunction with sitting meditation or even instead of it.  Participants will be given instructions and an opportunity to practice.  Kristin has been practicing meditation for 30+ years and has been trained in walking meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Venerable Vivekananada.


·         Alternative to Violence Project – Ginny Bainbridge (Shepherdstown)

AVP is a training program that enables participants to deal with conflict and violence in new and creative ways.  The program draws from the shared experience of participants, using interactive exercises and activities, discussions, games and role plays to examine the ways we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to aggressive behavior and violence. Ginny will talk about her AVP experiences in Liberia.  In 2014 she received a grant to do ten AVP workshops which allowed her to bring facilitators from Kenya and Nigeria to assist with the training.  They were able to train and certify a group of Liberians so that they could continue the program without outside facilitators.



·         The Essential Practice of Music: Rhythm, Harmony, and Melody – John Lozier (Monongalia)

This experimental and participatory workshop devotes about ten minutes each to musical fundamentals: rhythm, harmony and melody.  Rhythm is established with a simple drumbeat that continues for the entire time. Participants join with clapping, tapping, etc.; they may also offer rhythmic variations.  Harmony is introduced, but without interrupting the rhythm. A purely physical phenomenon, harmony is defined by a "root tone" and the "interval" relationships between the root and other notes, vibrations or frequencies. Key intervals are the octave, fourth, and fifth.  Melody comes last, still without interrupting the rhythm. Two simple illustrations are "Frere Jaques" and "Jamaica Farewell".


·         Lectio Divina – Jerry Knutson (Monongalia) We will study Micah 6: 6-8 using this ancient method that involves reading, reflection, response and rest. After the practice we will worship share about our experience.  I chose this passage because I find it speaks to our theme.   Jerry Knutson travels in the Ministry under the care of Orlando Monthly Meeting.  He was a resident student at Pendle Hill and has a Master’s of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion.


·         Reflections on Pilgrimage: Camino and Metaphor – Rick Wilson (AFSC)

Immediately after the 2018 WV Friends Gathering, Rick Wilson embarked on a 40 day pilgrimage of 640 miles from southern France to western Spain along the medieval route of the Camino de Santiago Compostela or Way of St. James of the Field of Stars. This workshop will share images and stories of that pilgrimage as well as provoke discussions of life as pilgrimage.