FGC Program Updates: May 2015

What’s new and exciting with the New Meetings Project, the FGC Gathering, and the Ministry on Racism.

Coming Together to Nurture New Meetings and Worship Groups 

The New Meetings Project held a retreat earlier this month at Pendle Hill that brought together members of the mentoring teams. The mentoring teams work closely with new worship groups and meetings under the care of the New Meetings Project. Over the course of three days, attendees were engaged in a spiritual retreat, which included times of worship, sharing, prayer, discussing the work of the program together, and sharing their stories of work with the new meetings. The retreat was attended by 17 mentors and FGC staff members Brent Bill and Eric Evans.

Brent Bill, the New Meetings Project Coordinator, and New Meetings Project mentors Deborah Haines and Greg Woods, were also in attendance at the one year-anniversary celebration of Fauquier Friends Worship Group. On May 17th, The Bealeton, VA-based group invited Friends and members of the community to attend meeting for worship in the morning as well as “a fast-paced, whimsical and informative presentation about the Quakers” led by Brent in the evening. Morning worship was attended by 17 individuals, while the evening festivities brought 20 people together. We will continue to hold Fauquier Friends in the Light as their spiritual journey moves forward. 

Meet the Communications Team at the FGC Gathering

Need answers to your burning questions about the Quaker Cloud, promoting your meeting on social media, or just want to know more about the work of the Communications team at FGC? Friends can stop by the Communications Office at the Gathering anytime from 9:30am to 4:30pm during the week of July 6th to 10th! Take advantage of one-on-one consultations, group discussions, and demonstrations of FGC’s Quaker Cloud. We will also present an information session, entitled “Promoting your Meeting on Social Media,” on Tuesday, July 7th at 1:00pm. Discover new ways to promote your meeting in your town and on the world wide web with the Communications team at the Gathering!

The FGC Gathering by the Numbers

The Gathering team is excited to announce that over 1,250 Friends have registered so far for this year’s week-long celebration of all things Quaker. Registration is still in full swing, but prospective Gathering attendees are strongly encouraged to register soon, especially if they will need shuttle service. Here are the upcoming deadlines:

Deadline to register children by phoneFriday, May 29th
Deadline to register children onlineSunday, May 31st
Deadline to register High School program participantsWednesday, June 10th
Deadline to register for Pre-Gathering eventsMonday, June 22nd
Late Fees applied to registration beginMonday, June 1st

Connecting with Friends of Color at the Gathering and Beyond

The Ministry on Racism program has been working on several opportunities to support and connect Friends of Color in the coming months. Friends of Color are invited to attend the Pre-Gathering Retreat for Friends of Color and their Families, details of which can be viewed by clicking here. This Pre-Gathering Retreat is open to Gathering attendees only, and Friends of European descent may attend provided they are an immediate family member of a Friend of Color. 

During the Gathering itself, Friends of all ages, ethnicities, and races are invited to visit the People of Color Center. Gathering attendees can partake in meeting for worship with concern for particular topics on race and white privilege, opportunities for fellowship, and reading for children of any age (even those that are young at heart).

Later this year, the Ministry on Racism will hold the Retreat for Friends of Color and their Families in Clarkston, MI. The retreat will run from November 6th through 9th. Please note that registration deadlines will occur earlier than usual this year – commuters can register until September 30th, while those staying at the retreat facility will only have until August 1st to submit their registration. Register now! 

Friends in Britain Discuss Living Out Our Faith in the World

FGC’s Ministry on Racism Coordinator Vanessa Julye traveled to the United Kingdom in April to co-clerk the Quakers Uniting in Publications (QUIP) Conference. While she was in the UK, she also attended the 2015 Yearly Meeting in London. The theme of the Yearly Meeting was “Living Out Our Faith in the World.” Vanessa was particularly moved by Minute 36, in which Friends focused on identifying the roots of social and economic injustice, and lifted up opportunities to address these injustices, including efforts to bring them to the attention of the incoming British government. 

To view the complete minutes for Yearly Meeting 2015 from Britain Yearly Meeting, click here. Friends can access more information about Yearly Meeting 2015 in Britain, including videos and the epistle, by visiting the main website at www.quaker.org.uk/ym.

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