Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Gathering Workshop Proposal Information

The deadline to propose a workshop for the 2020 Gathering is September 30, 2019.

2020 FGC Gathering Details

Dates: June 28 - July 4, 2020

The theme is "Way Will Open" and will be held in Radford, VA

Workshop Times: 5 sessions, Monday-Friday, 9:00-11:45 a.m.

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

For 2020, 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 2020 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 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, but not limited to:  Quaker history & practice, racial justice, faith, writing, art, music, movement, diversity, gender, and family issues
  • have a flexible format that could be held in a lounge or classroom
  • fill the workshop times productively: 5 sessions, Monday-Friday, 9-11:45am

There will be a Workshop Sampler this year - each day will have different presenters and topics. An option, if the leader is willing, is that their workshop proposal would be accepted as a one-morning session to be included in the Workshop Sampler week. Proposers can indicate that they would be interested in this via a checkbox on the workshop proposal form.

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?

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

  • Late November: Receive edited short description, work with staff on further editing if needed.Confirmation due early-December.
  • December-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 e-mail 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 or support person, and how co-leaders plan to divide the workshop workgrant. Any added co-leaders need to supply contact information.
  • Early April: Registration required. Allow at least 30 minutes online or on the phone with FGC staff.
  • April: 2 forms needed, deadline April 30. Each form should take 5-10 minutes to complete.
  • June: Time to read through workshop resources and information.
  • Pre-Gathering: Sunday afternoon meeting for all workshop leaders. Sunday afternoon A/V training for anyone who wants to use audio-visual equipment during the week.

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, 2019.

PART I: Your Proposal  The proposal form is due by September 30, 2019. Online webform submission makes the job of reviewing and managing the proposals easier to prepare for publication. Proposal forms can also be downloaded and mailed or 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 2020, click below, follow the links to sign in, and you should see your past proposals. Be sure to save the proposal for 2020 before you make any other edits. Contact the Gathering Office if you need help with this or need an email or paper copy of your old proposal sent to you.

PART II: Letter of Support  The letter of support must also be received by September 30, 2019. 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. You may want to request a letter now in order to allow the writer sufficient time to submit the letter to us before September 30.

Leaders of 2018 or 2019 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 or a letter by October 5th for paper submissions. You will be notified of the Workshop Committee's decision no later than December 1, 2019.

Financial Credits for Workshop Leaders

Workshop leaders are eligible for a reduction in costs equal to 50% of the Basic Fee per workshop as leadership credit. (The Basic Fee is the cost for an adult to attend the Gathering, sleep in the least expensive adult double room, and eat three meals a day.) There is only one credit per workshop, so co-leaders need to decide how to share this credit. Leaders may request additional scholarship support for themselves and their families from FGC (during the spring registration process) or from their meetings.

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.