This March, FGC is welcoming a new Conference Coordinator – and she is a familiar face in the Quaker community!
Lori Sinitzky will lead the FGC Gathering as its new Conference Coordinator. She will work closely with current Gathering Conference Coordinator Ruth Reber between now and early July, when Ruth will retire and begin her next chapter.
“I'm excited to be in relationship with diverse Friends from across the FGC landscape,” Lori shared. “I'm eager to hear many voices and embrace the gift of continuing revelation as we build our future Gathering experiences together.”
Lori spent time as a Center Director for Slyvan Learning Systems and a dean at Harcum College, giving her a window into the administrative complexities and planning necessary for an event like the Gathering. She also spent many years as a lead teacher for both Greene Street Friends Schools and Friends School of Mullica Hill, where she was responsible for course planning, parent/student relationships and team leadership—many of the people skills that the Gathering requires.
Lori is a member of Green Street Friends in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. In 2018, she took a year off from teaching to more deeply explore her Quaker spirituality by working for FGC as a Spiritual Deepening Program Fellow. During this time she supported Spiritual Deepening Program Coordinator Rachel Ernst-Stahlhut and simultaneously FGC learned great deal about Lori’s many skills and her commitment to our faith tradition. It was also a time of openings for Lori.
“As the Spiritual Deepening Fellow, I had the rare opportunity to dive deep into Quaker history and spirituality over a 10-month period,” she explained. “I learned more about our Quaker ancestors and was able to build a conceptual map from George Fox and Margaret Fell through Bayard Rustin, to present-day Friends. I learned that Quakers can be both radical revolutionaries and deliberative and slow-moving on critical issues. I learned the benefit of both approaches.”
Her work as a Fellow also brought Lori to the Gathering, where she gained valuable experience as a workshop facilitator and came to understand the value and importance of the all the organizing that makes the Gathering possible.
“I co-created and co-facilitated a workshop with Rachel Ernst-Stahlhut at the 2019 Gathering at Grinnell [in Iowa]. It was both challenging and joyful to be in discernment and continuing revelation about making the workshop accessible and engaging for a variety of workshop attendees. This experience was deeply rewarding and informative. In many ways, planning that workshop was great preparation for Gathering planning if on a much smaller scale.”
As she prepares to embark on a new journey with FGC, Lori is looking to her career as an educator for inspiration.
“Teachers must be flexible, resilient, grounded, collaborative, and creative. After 18 years in the classroom, I've nearly perfected all these skills! When I think of the large toolbox of skills the Conference Coordinator must carry, I see that teaching was the best preparation I could have had.”