[saymaListserv] sweat lodge

Perry Treadwell perryt at bellsouth.net
Sun Oct 3 12:43:46 JEST 2004


It is disappointing to see the emails concerning the sweat lodge. So 
much ignorance, so little time. One respondant didn't even know the the 
Long Range Conference Planning Committee was a subcommittee of FGC or 
that it must have written permission from the host yearly meeting to 
hold the Gathering in the area. The clerks of the Gathering Committee 
are appointed by LRCP from the yearly meeting. I have been clerk of LRCP 
for the past three years during the sweat lodge discernment. Chuck Fager 
never attended a meeting that was concerned with this so I have had to 
correct several of his perceptions. Below you will find the chronology 
of the discerment. Another meeting for listening was held yesterday 
(Saturday) in Philadelphia. I was not able to attend. If you desire 
further information please write me. Perry Treadwell

> Chronology: Why the Sweat Lodge Workshop for the 2004 Gathering was 
> Canceled
>
> The Long Range Conference Planning committee began discerning the role 
> of the sweat lodge at the Gathering in 2002. This chronology is 
> focused on the cancellation of the workshop for this Gathering.
>
> • As LRCP prepared for its spring meeting scheduled for the first 
> weekend in April, the sweat lodge workshop had been approved for the 
> 2004 Gathering.
>
> • On March 29, 2004, FGC’s Committee for the Ministry on Racism and 
> LRCP received a letter from Alice Lopez for the Mashpee Coalition for 
> Native Action and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe dated March 26, 2004. 
> The letter cited the workshop description in the advance program for 
> the 2004 Gathering. The letter called the workshop “a flagrant example 
> of racism” and insisted that “this workshop be permanently discontinued.”
>
> • LRCP asked for advice from CMR on how to respond.
>
> • The evening of April 2 was devoted to discerning the response to the 
> letter. Present, beside members of LRCP, were the presiding clerk of 
> Central Committee of FGC, the general secretary, and the clerk of CMR. 
> A report on a consultation by members of CMR strongly recommending 
> cancellation of the workshop was heard; and a letter from George 
> Price, who has led the sweats at Gatherings for many years, responding 
> to the Mashpee Wampanoag letter and supporting continuation of the 
> workshop was read..
>
> . The committee then heard from other attendees.
>
> • After considerable discussion and discernment over that evening and 
> the next day the committee responded to the letter by minuting its 
> cancellation of the workshop for the 2004 Gathering. It also 
> recommended informing those who signed up for the workshop and posting 
> a general statement on the web site replacing the workshop description.
>
> • A Meeting for Listening over concerns about the cancellation was 
> proposed for the Gathering as well as another Meeting for Listening to 
> approach the concern of cultural appropriation in the fall.
>
> • Correspondence supporting the Mashpee Wampanoag letter has also been 
> received from the Ministry and Council Working Party on Racism of New 
> England Yearly Meeting and the Wampanoag committee of Cape Cod Monthly 
> Meeting.









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