Friends General Conference Staff Retreat
February 11th, Friends Day, was an auspicious day for the FGC Staff Retreat, and we made the most of it. It was wonderful to gather in fellowship with our coworkers, particularly Friends who typically work remotely rather than in the FGC offices in Philadelphia. Read more about the Staff Retreat…
February 11th, Friends Day, was an auspicious day for the FGC Staff Retreat, and we made the most of it. It was wonderful to gather in fellowship with our coworkers, particularly Friends who typically work remotely rather than in the FGC offices in Philadelphia. We were lucky enough to be invited into the Philadelphia Quaker Voluntary Service house for our retreat time. The space was warm and inviting, setting a relaxed atmosphere for fun and deepening our connections to one another.
With the guidance of our fearless retreat leader Patsy Arnold, coordinator of Junior Gathering at the FGC Summer Gathering, we explored how we as Quakers were like wizards, since Patsy’s husband Tony always jokes she’s off to see her wizard friends when she goes to FGC staff Gatherings. Like wizards we FGC staff find that surprising things can happen, that we have an openness to wonder, that we spend time growing together, and that we experience the transforming power of divine inspiration. After discussing our wizardly traits Richie Schulz, Ministry on Racism Support Specialist, lead us into a complicated day long game of sneakily collecting popsicle sticks. Beyond laughter and games staff practiced our teamwork through cooperative origami projects with coworkers outside our departments whom we don’t often work with. Some of these occasionally quite challenging paper creations can be seen in a photo below.
It was a blessed opportunity to share our lives beyond the day to day conversations that occur in the office. We reflected together on times we’ve laughed most, the secret hideouts of our childhoods, and our favorite creative activities as children, and we shared photos and images that were important to us, as well as the history and meaning of those pictures. The FGC Staff Retreat was a rejuvenating time to play together and strengthen our friendships. FGC Staff returned to the office refreshed and with increased good cheer.
Photo by Piper Lewis