FGC Program Updates: July 2015

Encouraging feedback for the Spiritual Deepening program, plus details for Gathering 2016 and a new Quaker meeting is formed – in a the realm of a popular online game.


Enthusiastic Feedback for Spiritual Deepening

Those who have participated in the first pilots of the new FGC Spiritual Deepening Project (SDP) have been very enthusiastic about their experience, as individuals and as a part of their meeting. Their feedback has also provided some good ideas on how to improve individual sessions and build on the materials already available. Friends at the recent FGC Gathering appreciated the opportunity to hear about the program from pilot participants and volunteers who are testing this program and were anxious know when they would have access to the materials.

The Spiritual Deepening Project is preparing to have materials more widely available in 2016, building on the feedback from the pilots and pending approval of FGC Central Committee. Moving forward, program coordinators will:

• enhance facilitator training
• include opportunities for regional trainings and mutual support for facilitators
• reconfigure the available materials to give more time for working with the rich resources
• explore additional venues in which to present these materials and the foundational concepts and practices which will make them more usable
• consider additional topics for inclusion.

Click here to listen to audio of the Spiritual Deepening Interest Group from Gathering 2015.


Prepare to Be Bold in 2016

FGC would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Gathering in Cullowhee, NC. We would especially like to thank the Long Range Conference Planning Committee (LRCP); Gathering Co-Clerks Joe Graedon, Terry Graedon, and Amanda Ann Godwin; and the Gathering Team, led by Ruth Reber, Susan Lee Barton, Pasty Arnold Martin, and Kody Hersh. And, of course, we are so grateful for the efforts of our Gathering volunteers. Gathering 2015: Seeking Wholeness will be remembered as a very special week by many Friends. 

We hope you’ll join us for Gathering 2016, when we’ll be headed to the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. Our Gathering 2016 theme is Be Humble, Be Faithful, Be Bold. Co-Clerks Marybeth Neal and Paul Landskroener and LRCP are already preparing for next year’s week of worship, workshops, and community for Friends of all ages. Mark your calendars for July 3 to 9, 2016!


The New Meetings Project goes virtual

During the course of its “So You Want To Start a New Meeting” interest group at Gathering, the New Meetings Project (NMP) encountered an interesting albeit unorthodox request for a new Quaker meeting. There, the NMP heard from some youth and their parents who were interested in starting a virtual Quaker meeting as part of their playing the online video game “Minecraft.”  On Thursday evening, July 23, a group of youth and parents from across North America got together on Skype. Brent Bill, coordinator of NMP, facilitated this conversation about on their joys, concerns, present activities and future plans for Minecraft Monthly Meeting (or whatever this interest group might become). It’s a brave new world for Quakers!

Meeting Minutes are a click away on FGC’s website

Did you know that the search box on the FGC website not only searches our site, but also searches all publicly available meeting minutes through QuakerCloud-participating meetings? Give it a try, then take a look at our Quaker Cloud website and discover the FGC-powered web toolkit supporting Quaker process and community!

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This article was written for Vital Friends, FGC’s monthly eNewsletter.

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