FGC’s Spiritual Deepening eRetreat Program Receives $49,700 Grant from the Friends Foundation for the Aging
FGC has received a $49,700 grant from the Friends Foundation for the Aging to support further development of our Spiritual Deepening eRetreat program. Since the program’s inception in 2015, 364 Friends ages 25 to 93 have participated in an eRetreat.
The eRetreat helps aging Friends, newcomers, curious seekers, and seasoned Friends explore Quaker thought, join in lifelong learning, and gain new perspectives. The virtual space of an eRetreat provides aging Friends a unique opportunity to engage in an intergenerational online Quaker faith community.
Health issues, physical limitations, or transportation barriers can hinder meeting attendance by aging Friends. The eRetreat’s virtual space offers aging Friends access to a Quaker faith community from anywhere and at any time. Isolated Friends, regardless of age or income, can meet new Friends, reconnect with familiar Friends, and build connections that go beyond the eRetreat.
The Friends Foundation for the Aging grant will support FGC in refining the program’s infrastructure and address emerging needs. FGC plans to implement platform enhancements for ease of use, offer training, and provide more one-on-one technical assistance. The grant will also support FGC’s work in marketing outreach, engaging more facilitators, and growing program offerings to include new topics such as deepening faith during transitions in life or issues related to aging.
As one aging Friend wrote regarding her experience with the eRetreat:
‘There were two things that I valued especially [about the Spiritual Deepening eRetreat]: 1) being in touch with Quakers in other settings; and 2) clarifying my own thoughts in the comment sections online in response to others’.
FGC plans to roll out an improved e-learning platform in the fall of 2018 along with new eRetreat topics such as “Being Patterns and Examples.”