[saymaListserv] [FGC] Good News Bulletin

Penelope Wright pennywright at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 10 13:09:12 JEST 2004

Dear SAYMA Friends,
As one of SAYMA's appointed representatives to FGC's Central Committee I am excited to share this news from the FGC office. I believe that Perry Treadwell has sent an earlier message alluding to this historic minute and the process that brought it into being. I too was blessed to be present at its inception, the deep worship and discernment that surrounded it at Executive Committees and now at Central Committee. 
I would like to emphsize the statement that Central Committee does not have authority to speak on behalf of it affiliated meetings - this is a minute of the experience of that body and by no means is meant to tell others what their truth about this topic might be. Central Committe is not a policy making, directive body - it is committed to providing services and support for its affiliated yearly and monthly meetings.
I am grateful for the trust SAYMA Friends have extended in appointing me one of their representatives to this Quaker organization.
In that Love and Light,
Penelope Wright 
Good News from Friends General Conference! 

One hundred and fifty Friends attended the 4-day annual sessions of FGC’s Central Committee last week.  Every one of our fourteen affiliated yearly meetings, from Alaska to Florida, plus three non-affiliated but “unprogrammed” yearly meetings—Pacific, North Pacific, and Iowa Conservative—were well represented.

There was a tremendous energy in the sessions.  Acknowledging that it has no authority to speak on behalf of its affiliated meetings, Central Committee saw its way clear to approve a powerful minute on our experience with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Friends: 

  "Our experience has been that spiritual gifts are not distributed with regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.  Our experience has been that our Gatherings and Central Committee work have been immeasurably enriched over the years by the full participation and Spirit-guided leadership of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer Friends.  We will never go back to silencing those voices or suppressing those gifts.  Our experience confirms that we are all equal before God, as God made us, and we feel blessed to be engaged in the work of FGC together." 

We also felt the weight of making important financial decisions that will be required as we implement the new Long Term Plan for 2004-2009.  Moving forward with this work will involve new initiatives and expansion of existing programs that will require both more money and additional staff support.  Consideration of this complex issue was deep and Spirit-led, and we eventually reached a place of true unity on how to proceed. 

Three days after the sessions, one Friend wrote about her experience as follows: 

"Though it was exhausting and painful at times, and confusing!, it was so full of the power of God’s love in our community that I returned home deeply, deeply grateful.  That is what makes community: the challenge, the wrestling, the Love that grows and persists through it all." 

Friends General Conference
1216 Arch St #2B, Philadelphia PA 19107. USA

The good news bulletin is sent by Barbara Hirshkowitz, FGC's publications manager. If you wish to unsubscribe please email her at barbarah at fgcquaker.org 
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