Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Strengthening the Beloved Community

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Welcoming Each Other

The Gathering seeks to be a welcoming place for all who attend. It is also an opportunity to journey in truth around our successes and shortcomings in building the Beloved Community. Many of us find opportunities to learn about the wounds of exclusion and other-ing. Others of us who have been wounded within Quakerism often find support and companions at the Gathering. 

The sections below refer to some of the ways the Gathering (and Quakerism) is stretched to create the Beloved Community. What is your next step in this journey? Healing? Education? Listening? Transformation? 

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Many Friends are challenged by the theological diversity within the Religious Society of Friends. That diversity exists at the Gathering in workshops, afternoon events, and personal conversations. You can find others to join in exploring the depth of the metaphors and traditions that speak strongly to you. And you may learn from particular beliefs or theological identities with which you struggle.

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The Friends of Color Center provides opportunities to people of all races for learning and fellowship around issues of race. There is often a workshop on talking about racism, and a meeting for worship for racial healing. 

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Although the Gathering includes many age-specific activities, there are also opportunities to meet Friends across the generations: intergenerational workshops, afternoon multi-generational activities, one-morning or one-evening volunteering with Junior Gathering, the All-Gathering Dance sponsored by the High School and Adult Young Friends programs, and conversations in the lunch line.

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Sexual Orientation 

Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns has met at the Gathering for decades for worship, business and fellowship. There is an FLGBTQC housing cluster. FLGBTQC welcomes Friends of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

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Gender Identity

The Gathering, especially the Adult Young Friends Program and FLGBTQC, is working to support the gender identity of individuals throughout the gender spectrum. There are gender-neutral housing blocks in those housing clusters. Friends are encouraged to contact the Gender Diversity Liaison with questions or concerns.

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Chemical and Fragrance Sensitivities

The Gathering includes people with asthma and chemical sensitivities which are triggered by fragrances. Help these Friends stay healthy by doing your best to bring fragrance-free toiletries (or buy them at the Gathering Store).

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