COVID Preparedness and the 2022 Gathering

We are so excited! Preparations are underway for the 2022 Gathering “…and follow me” in-person at Radford University in Radford, Virginia from July 3 – 9. Our planning includes the usual things like discerning workshops, selecting plenary speakers, and thinking carefully about our ice cream options.

Additionally, this year FGC is taking extra steps to ensure the health and safety of all those attending Gathering in person.

A special COVID working group under the care of FGC’s Executive Committee and convened by assistant presiding clerk, Katrina McQuail, has been approved to create a COVID Health and Safety policy for all FGC in-person events, including the Gathering. The goal is to have the policy approved and in place in early 2022. This will allow us to share the policy broadly with the community so that you can make your Gathering plans accordingly.

Of course, the COVID situation is constantly changing and we cannot know how COVID will impact in-person events like ours in the summer of 2022. Our plan will need to be flexible and responsive to the changing situation. We have to be prepared for all COVID-related possibilities including following federal, state, and local laws, and university requirements. Such requirements might include vaccination and/or testing mandates, masking while indoors, and even cancellation of the in-person event if conditions become too risky.

We’re pleased that we will be able to offer some online participation in the 2022 Gathering. Friends who are unable to travel to the Gathering in Radford will have the option to register to view the evening plenaries online as well as attend workshops designed for online participants.

We know that Gathering is unique and treasured as an intergenerational event. We hold the health and wellbeing of our entire community, from our youngest children to oldest Friends, of utmost importance. As of today infection rates are falling across most of North America and we are hopeful that our event will be filled with the joy of Friends of all ages worshipping, learning, and enjoying ice cream in person together again.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the best way to reduce your risk of getting or transmitting COVID is to be fully vaccinated.

We will keep you updated on the COVID Health and Safety policy in our monthly Gathering email updates as well here on the FGC website.

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