top of page


Listen to Eldering Podcast

Inside this recording, Johanna Jackson asks JT Dorr-Bremme about his eldering gift. They explore how the gift feels from the inside. Click "download single" to download the mp3 file, or press play to hear it off of this website.

Sneak Preview:

  1. How eldership compares to detachment

  2. How working in this way is like holding a container open: Inside there, someone can explore their pain, shame, loss, or yearning.

  3. How eldership helps us stay within good boundaries

  4. Eldership as "taking something in, and taking something out" of the air itself.

If you believe you may have the gift of eldership, or you're curious about some of the ways that Quakers might pray, then this recording may be helpful.

Click "download single" to download the mp3 file, or press play to hear it off of this website. Music by Ben Bootsma.

What do you mean by eldership?

Quakers have a range of definitions when it comes to eldership or eldering. These perceptions tend to vary depending on one's age, generation, and direct experience of Quakerism or accompaniment.

At Forward in Faithfulness, we have a very positive connotation of eldership. Here is some more information about how we define eldership.

Elders channel divine Light into an experience. They prepare inwardly so that they can stay calm and present in the face of someone's pain, fear, or emotions. Some people describe this as "holding space."

Eldership is not about age. Elders help people touch a sense of Divine Calm in the face of fear, upheaval, or adversity. Different people, young and old, can walk with each other in this way. An elder is someone who accompanies people on their spiritual journeys. These relationships can be temporary, intermittent, or ongoing.

Eldership can transform pain. It can ease loneliness. It is a very specific, loving, gentle, steadfast kind of service.



This page was written by Johanna Jackson. When we speak about Quaker practices, we often look for a seasoned Friend to offer oversight to that page. If you would like to offer feedback or reflection on this page, then please email us at


We are a network of Quakers who work for inner transformation and collective renewal. Our goal is to motivate one another toward revitalization, so that people of faith may become creative, relevant, and thriving for years to come.

tan background.jpg

Interested in contributing?

We're currently seeking volunteers who can write a summary of the podcast above. To learn more, click "Volunteer."

bottom of page