Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Gathering Workshop Proposal Information

Workshop proposals are being accepted until November 1, 2020

The 2021 Gathering will be held online, June 27-July 3, 2021. Learn more about this decision. As this was only recently announced, we are just beginning to determine what the schedule and workshop timeblocks will look like at the Virtual Gathering. 


2021 FGC Gathering Details

Dates: June 27 - July 3, 2020

Theme: "Way Will Open" and will be held online, on Zoom

Workshop Times: Exact time are still being determined, but will be similar to the 2020 Virtual Gathering (This past year, there were options for 5 sessions of 90 minutes each held Monday-Friday, or for 3 sessions of 90 minutes each held on a Saturday or Sunday.) We will be in touch with all workshops proposers about their timeslot preferences once the schedule is finalized. 

Have questions? Check out our a page of tips and frequently asked questions about workshop proposals.

For 2021, what is the Workshop Committee looking for?

We hope to see a variety of workshop proposals, familiar and well-loved ones as well as new and innovative ones. Out of this variety, we are looking to create a mix of workshops that reflect the wide range of needs and interests of our faith community. Workshops should support the Gathering’s efforts to be inclusive, build community, and help us connect to one another. We seek diverse leaders and topics that may surprise us.

The theme for the 2021 Gathering is: Way Will Open. Consider workshops that help attendees open themselves to the guidance of Spirit as they find their way, as individuals and as members of spiritual communities. We want workshops that give us hope even as we continue to face challenges that move us deeply and often overwhelm us.

We look for workshops that:

  • are interactive
  • are grounded in worship 
  • lead to spiritual deepening as well as learning
  • may address the Gathering theme, Way Will Open
  • help FGC transform into an actively anti-racist faith community
  • speak to interests or concerns of Friends including a broad range of topics such as: Quaker history, practice, social justice, faith, writing, art, music, movement, diversity, gender, and family issues
  • fill the workshop times productively: online: 5 sessions of 1 1/2 or 2 hours online per day. (Length still in discernment. It is possible that we will also offer online workshops over the weekends either 1 or 2 days long. We will be in touch with all workshops proposers about their timeslot preferences once the schedule is finalized.)

We will have a Sampler Workshop this year – consisting of a series of one-day workshops. An option, if the leader is willing, is that their proposal would be accepted as a one-day workshop to be included in a “sampler” week.

Most years we receive more proposals than we can accept, but they are all appreciated. The Workshop Committee looks forward to reading your proposals!

How much time is required during the year preceding the workshop?

At this point, the timeline for Workshop Leaders is still in flux. The final workshop proposal deadline will be November 1, 2020. Workshop leaders should hear from the Workshop Committee by early December. 

In addition to your own preparations, here are some of the tasks we expect from workshop leaders. All dates are tentative:

  • December: Receive edited short description, work with staff on further editing if needed. Confirmation due prompty.
  • January-February:
    1. Edit detailed workshop description and leader bios for the website. Attention to detail needed!
    2. Access workshop leader website and work with staff if there are any problems receiving our email and accessing information.
    3. Compose any message you want sent automatically to people who register for your workshop. Exact text needed.
  • March 15: FGC office needs to know name of elder and/or tech support person. Any added co-leaders need to supply contact information.
  • April: Registration required. Allow at least 30 minutes online or on the phone with FGC staff.
  • June: Time to read through workshop resources and information. Tech training and Info Session with all workshop leaders.
  • During Gathering: Optional drop-in session for workshop leaders to support one another 

Submitting a proposal

There are two parts to each workshop proposal: your proposal form (preferably submitted online but available by email or paper), and a letter of support for each co-leader. Both are due by September 30, 2020, or November 1 for late proposals.

PART I: Your Proposal  The proposal form is due by November 1, 2020. Online webform submission makes the job of reviewing and managing the proposals easier to prepare for publication. Proposal forms can also be downloaded and emailed to the FGC office (this increases staff processing time). Your proposal is welcome in whatever form you choose to submit it. Click on the link near the bottom of this page for access to the workshop proposal form.

If you submitted a previous proposal which you want to edit and resubmit for 2021, go to the Workshop Proposal Online Form page, follow the instructions to sign in, and you should see your past proposals. Be sure to save the proposal for 2021 before you make any other edits. Contact the Gathering Office if you need help with this or need a copy of your old proposal emailed to you.

PART II: Letter of Support  The letter of support must also be received by November 1, 2020. This letter should directly address your skills and current ability for leading the proposed workshop, from the perspective of Friends. Members of the the Workshop Committee often do not know not know the workshop proposers, so these letters of support help the committee in its discernment process. 

Leaders of 2019 or 2020 workshops can choose to have their workshop evaluations used in lieu of a letter of support. Proposals will not be considered without either a letter of support or a workshop leader evaluation summary from the past two years.

Confirming Receipt of Proposals. You will receive an acknowledgment of the receipt of your proposal. Please call the FGC Gathering office if you have not received an email acknowledgment within two hours of electronic submission (check your spam folder, too!) You will be notified of the Workshop Committee's decision in early winter.

Financial Credits for Workshop Leaders

For the Virtual Gathering in 2020, Gathering was Pay As Led. As we move to a fully Virtual Gathering for 2021, it has not yet been determined what the fee structure will be.



For more information :

Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, FGC Conference & Event Associate

[email protected], 215-561-1700, x3005

Have questions? Look for the answers: frequently asked questions about workshop proposals.

I've read the information above, and I am ready to start a workshop proposal.