Growing through the Gathering
Susan Taylor, Yearly Meeting Visitor, listened intently as a Young Adult Friend shared their Gathering experiences during Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s annual session. Susan could relate to their story. FGC and the Gathering have inspired many transformations in her own life.
Susan first attended the Gathering in Cape May, New Jersey when she was nine years old. “I remember this feeling of Quakers taking over the whole town.” Then as a teen, she heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak to Friends about agape love at the 1958 Gathering—an experience that has stayed with her.
Claiming Her Voice through the Gathering
As an adult, she took a Gathering workshop with Elizabeth Watson, a Quaker minister, feminist theologian, and social justice activist.
Through Elizabeth’s workshop Susan found a safe space to talk about issues in her life at the time. “I was having a very difficult time with the patriarchy and feeling trapped in that somehow. Exploring issues with the workshop community gave me courage to speak up and claim my voice from a spiritual place.”
Susan continues to claim her spiritual voice through Central Committee (FGC’s governing body).
FGC doesn’t happen by itself.Susan Taylor, Southeastern Yearly Meeting
It’s a place to share the depth of the Quaker experience
and I want to be a part of that.
“When I first became involved with FGC’s governance, I felt like I hadn’t truly done my part in anti-racism work. I started reading, learning. I realized people don’t have to come in at the same place, the same level, and more importantly, we don’t have to do it by ourselves. FGC provides this network of people that are extremely wise, grounded, and deeply insightful and compassionate.”
Helping Others Express Their Gifts
As Nominating Committee Clerk, Susan helps volunteers express their gifts throughout FGC’s programs. “People often approach challenges from a position of lack, but there’s another way: Let’s jump in and see what we can do. Let’s find that joyful exuberance of not only can I do this, but I enjoy it. I’m contributing.”
Would you like to share your gifts with Friends?
Share your gifts by volunteering with FGC. Fill out our Volunteer Skills and Interest Survey here to get started!