Presenting the work of Quaker atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others who practice Quakerism without supernatural beliefs

Robin Alpern

  • Nontheism Among Friends at Powell House, January 2-4, 2009

    One person attended because of the laughter from the nontheism workshop at the Friends General Conference Gathering. Another came because a fellow Meeting member who attended in 2007 was so impressed. A third signed up because he questioned whether Quakers could be nontheist. A teenager brought her dad.

    Zach Alexander (Cambridge MM, NEYM) and I, co-leaders for this weekend, met for the first time at the 2008 FGC Gathering, 5 minutes before we were scheduled to facilitate an interest group together. The interest group went well, and we agreed to pair up again. Continue reading

  • Reflections on a Decade of Nontheism Workshops

    In 1996, Bowen Alpern, Glenn Mallison and I designed and presented a workshop called “Nontheism Among Friends” at the Friends General Conference Gathering. Since then, various people have led the workshop and offshoots from it. I have led seven so far. This year, I was particularly aware of some ways the culture of the Religious […] Continue reading

  • Powell House Nontheism Among Friends

    The “Nontheism Among Friends” workshop was originally designed and led by Bowen Alpern (Scarsdale Meeting), the late Glenn Mallison (Ithaca Meeting), and myself (Scarsdale Meeting), at the Friends General Conference Gathering in 1996. Twenty years previously, Robert Morgan (PYM) had led a “Workshop for Nontheistic Friends” at the FGC Gathering; so far there has been no trace of any follow-up. The 1996 workshop was taken up by other leaders, and has been offered ever since at the Gathering. Many Friends have led similar conferences at Woodbrooke Study Center in England, Pendle Hill, and at their Monthly and Yearly Meetings. Continue reading

  • Nontheism Among Friends workshop — Jan. 26-28, 2007, NY

    Powell House conference center, NYYM Robin Alpern and Joan Lukas, facilitators As early as 1976, the Friends General Conference Gathering hosted a well-attended Workshop for Nontheistic Friends. In the decades since, Friends have become increasingly aware of the theological diversity of our Religious Society. Through experience and statistical studies, we have learned a large […] Continue reading

  • Meeting for Worship: an Opportunity for Being

    Note: New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM) invited the author to write an essay from a nontheist perspective, for a special issue of the NYYM newsletter on Meeting for Worship. Meeting for worship is a potent crucible for breaking the spell of time, the ego, the identity, our daily drama, the alluring vale of tears that […] Continue reading

  • Why Not Join the Unitarians?

    Why Not Join the Unitarians? That is one of the questions most frequently asked when I tell people about being a nontheist Friend. The answer that comes to mind first has nothing to do with being of a nontheist bent. I grew up in the Religious Society of Friends, literally and figuratively. My parents joined […] Continue reading