Teaching and Upcoming Workshops

For many years, Marcelle Martin was a teacher of college writing classes.  In 1986, her ministry began to focus on supporting people in their spiritual life, and in 1996, she co-facilitated her first weekend event at Pendle Hill, the Quaker retreat and study center located in Wallingford, PA.  In 2003 she became an adjunct teacher at Pendle Hill and for four years lived on campus as the resident Quaker Studies Teacher.  She was a core teacher of the Way of Ministry Program, co-sponsored by the School of the Spirit.  Marcelle has traveled widely to facilitate programs at retreat centers and Quaker meetings across the USA.  She was the 2013 Mullen Writing Fellow at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana an for a year worked in the Office of Religious Life at Earlham College as Coordinator of College Meeting for Worship.  Currently she devotes full time to writing, teaching, spiritual direction, and facilitating workshops and retreats.  Her book, Our Life is Love: the Quaker Spiritual Journey was published by Inner Light Books.  In this book she examines ten elements of the spiritual transformation experienced by the first Friends and by Quakers in our time.  Marcelle is following a leading of the Spirit to nurture the vitality of Friends meetings and other commun­ities by teaching practices that open people to the direct experience of God active within and among them. She is a member of Swarthmore Friends Meeting (PA), which recognizes and supports her ministry.

Topics of her classes, workshops, and retreats have included: The Spiritual Journey, Exploring Prayer, Listening for God’s Call, Being Spiritual Companions to One Another, Discernment, Clearness Committees, Nurturing Faithfulness, Experiment with Light, Contemplative Prayer, Mysticism, Healing, Forgiveness, Quakerism, the Way of Ministry, Prophetic Ministry, and the Lives and Teachings of Inspired Women and Men.

Marcelle is available to lead retreats, facilitate workshops, and teach classes on all of these subjects.

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MM 2012 Fitch photo
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Nurturing Faithfulness

A short course with Marcelle Martin

Apr 15-19, 2018

This course offers an opportunity to open more fully to God. We will learn practices for sensing the movement of the Spirit, clarifying discernment, responding with faith, and encouraging faithful action. We will engage in the Faithfulness Group process, a practice which can provide ongoing support for a Spirit-led life. The rhythm of our days will include silence, prayer, time in nature, small groups, study of short Quaker texts, inspiring stories of early and contemporary Quakers, and sharing from the heart. There will be extended time for worship together and the opportunity to bless each other’s next steps in faithfulness.

Leader:  Marcelle Martin, a member of Swarthmore Friends Meeting (PA), is the author of Our Life is Love: the Quaker Spiritual Journey. She leads workshops at retreat centers and Quaker meetings across the country. Currently she is the core teacher for the 9-month Nurturing Worship, Faith & Faithfulness program at Woolman Hill. She was the resident Quaker Studies teacher at Pendle Hill for four years and has written two Pendle Hill pamphlets, Invitation to a Deeper Communion (PHP #366) and Holding One Another in the Light (PHP #382). Visit her website at awholeheart.com.

$780/private room; $700/shared room; $420/commuter.

Call Us for More Information!  610-566-4507, ext. 137

If you are seeking financial assistance to participate in this program, please click on the link for our Financial Assistance Application form. Do NOT register online.

Travel directions to Pendle Hill. FAQs about Short-Term Education Programs (please read before calling). Click to view the flyer.

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Encouraging Spiritual Growth and Gifts

A weekend held at Friends Center in Barnesville, Ohio

facilitated by Susan Smith and Marcelle Martin

March 16 – 18, 2018

Elders serve to encourage and guide meetings and their members as God’s Truth is being born again in our hearts and lives.Yearly Meeting has maintained its living tradition of recognizing and naming the gifts and functions of elders in a Quaker community.

This weekend is for people who are exploring their gifts, as well as for people whose gifts for eldering are acknowledged in their meetings. We will consider the several roles of elders: encouraging individuals’ spiritual growth and gifts, supporting a prophetic vocal ministry, attending to and naming the movement of the Holy Spirit in the community, spiritual discernment, and prayer. Our weekend will include worship, teaching, experiential exercises, and reflection.

Jack and Susan Smith live among farmers in rural Virginia. Susan has served as an elder in OYM for many years. She has written about eldering, including in Traditional Quaker Christianity, and has offered other workshops on that topic. Susan is a member of Rockingham Monthly Meeting.

Marcelle Martin, a member of Swarthmore Meeting (PYM),is the author of Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey. She served for four years as resident Quaker Studies teacher at Pendle Hill and travels in the ministry with a concern for nurturing the spiritual life of individuals and meetings.

Weekend events at Friends Center begin with supper at 6:00 PM on Friday and end with a noon meal on Sunday. Cost for a regular weekend event is $170 per person, double occupancy. Scholarship aid is usually available. Please register at least two weeks prior to the start date.

For more information go to the website of Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative)

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Worship, Faith, &
A collaboration between Woolman Hill Retreat Center,
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends and Marcelle Martin
August 31, 2017 to May 6, 2018

NWFF is a multi-generational faith and leadership program designed to help Friends explore ways to meet God more deeply, hone methods of discernment, reach for fuller faithfulness, and ultimately bring these gifts and strengthened abilities home to their local meetings and beyond. The program is structured to set in place support, encouragement, and accountability. It includes three weekend residencies from August 2017-May 2018 at Woolman Hill, as well as a short mid-course retreat organized by regional groups. Between residencies, participants will engage in online learning and discussion, and connect once a month with local (or virtual) Faithfulness Groups, as well as with a care committee based in their local meeting. The class members will become a community of practice so as to support each other in providing and receiving spiritual nurture to and from local meetings in lasting ways.


Our Quaker tradition is a path that, when lived deeply and faithfully, can have a tremendous transforming and healing effect on the world. Our hope is to seed deeper worship and faith through this program, as well as greater spiritual vitality and more radical faithfulness in our local meetings. The program is designed to help educate, equip, and support ministers, elders, leaders, and Quaker pastors, and all those who hold a concern for deeper spiritual grounding and courageous faithfulness. Participants will be given specific guidance, practice, and support in deeply sharing their Quaker faith and faithful witness, first in their own meetings/churches, and then in the larger world. Participants will undertake projects and ministry to bring new spiritual deepening, religious education, and other opportunities to their meetings and to other groups. In this program we are also concerned to interrupt domination because of race and class in our Quaker processes.

Details of the Program

The Nurturing Worship, Faith, and Faithfulness (NWFF) program includes a total of nine overnights—four at the first residency, three at a mid-course weekend, and two at the closing weekend, plus a short mid-course retreat organized by regional groups. In addition to practices that help open the heart to the power of God, the program will also teach skills in discernment, methods to offer and find spiritual support, and ways to ground one’s faithfulness, ministry or witness in one’s home meeting. Participants will form local Faithfulness Groups that foster spiritual openness and accountability, and which support Friends over time in meeting God more intimately in worship, in daily life, and in service or witness. Faithfulness Groups of four to six people agree to come together for a two hour meeting once a month for mutual help in faithfully discerning and follow divine guidance. These local groups can include some Friends who do not enroll in the program. The members will discern together and carry out teaching and ministry to help deepen the worship and faith of their local meetings as well as to support meeting members and one another to grow in courageous faithfulness. Each participant in NWFF will also form a care committee which includes at least two members of their home meeting. This committee will meet with them periodically to discuss their learning in NWFF and help them find ways to share it with their meeting.

After acceptance into the NWFF program, both before and between residencies, participants will read assigned texts and watch short videos, then discuss them online. Participants will connect with each other in online webinars about once a month. They will form local Faithfulness Groups based on the guidelines and introductory materials provided by the program, participating monthly in such a group for the rest of the program. Each participant will connect with one of the NWFF elders/mentors who will accompany them throughout the program.

The teaching team for NWFF will include Marcelle Martin as the core teacher. Marcelle was the resident Quaker Studies teacher at Pendle Hill for four years and has traveled widely among Friends to lead classes, workshops, and retreats related to the Quaker spiritual life. Requests for a program like this rose organically after Marcelle was invited to travel in the ministry in New England in October 2016, to share about her book, Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey. Three elder/ mentors will serve on the teaching team, including LVM (La Verne) Shelton, Janet Hough, and Anne Pomeroy.  At least one guest teacher will be present at each residency, adding richness with their particular perspective and expertise. Noah Merrill will be present at the third residency.

A series of intentional invitations to engagement and activity for the home meetings will increase the likelihood that the meeting will embrace the participant’s journey as part of their own venture in the Light. This parallel path for the local meeting will begin with the application process and will encourage careful discernment requesting a letter of affirmation witnessing to the applicant’s Living journey in the Light. This could come from the local meeting or other Friends. Nurturing Worship, Faith and Faithfulness has been developed collaboratively by Woolman Hill, NEYM staff, and Marcelle Martin. The full proposal has been reviewed by ten additional NEYM Friends, including the Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk, and the Clerk and other members of NEYM’s Ministry & Counsel. From them, a Circle of Support has been formed to assist with undergirding prayers, lifting up names of possible participants, spreading the word, and ongoing support.

Our Hopes

To have the greatest positive impact for New England, we need to have a strong, diverse, and fairly large class. We especially hope to include young adult Friends, Friends of color, and Quaker pastors. We believe this will make for a richer and more diverse program. To make the program accessible to all who would benefit from the program and contribute to the overall experience, there is a sliding scale fee. We also hope we can find sufficient scholarship assistance for those who cannot afford even the more modest fee.  Those in need of financial support will be encouraged to seek some partnership in funding from their meetings and other bodies.

The program is designed for 24 to 28 participants. Through May 31, priority will be given to members of NEYM for early applications. Afterward, it will be open equally to Friends from other Yearly Meetings. We believe this Nurturing Worship, Faith, and Faithfulness program will benefit not only the actual participants, but a much wider circle of Friends.

Dates of Residencies at Woolman Hill

August 31 – September 4, 2017 (Thursday through Monday)

December 7 – 10, 2017 (Thursday through Sunday)

May 4 – 6, 2018 (Friday through Sunday)

Actual cost: $1,900 per participant.    There is a sliding scale fee, with the average cost being $1530.  In addition, we hope significant scholarship assistance will be available.

The class is now full and the course has begun!  For news, see the website of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)

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Blog post about Marcelle’s visit to Haverford College while serving as Friend in Residence, September 2013.

Marcelle travels to lead workshops, retreats, and conver­sations about the Quaker spiritual journey and many aspects of the spiritual lifeFor more information, you can contact her by leaving a reply at the bottom of this page.

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