[saymaListserv] 2005 Gathering

Perry Treadwell perryt at bellsouth.net
Thu Apr 14 10:52:47 JEST 2005


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PLEASE USE FOR YOUR NEWSLETTERS OR OTHER PUBLICATIONS!
You may request a digital copy of this release from gathering at fgcquaker.org

Friends General Conference will hold the 2005 Gathering of Friends at 
the Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, July 2 - July 9, 2005. The 
theme is Weaving the Blessed Tapestry.
We want to recognize all the threads that are part of our Quaker 
community, says Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch, co clerk of the Gathering.
Our theme brings together all the elements of a Gathering, adds Frank 
Barch, who is co-clerking the Gathering committee. Frank and Jean Marie 
are members of Schuylkill Meeting (PhlYM) and attend Valley Meeting 
(BYM) in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The Gathering Community will be gathered in worship from the opening 
Meetings on Sunday morning through a closing Meeting on Saturday, July 
9. A daily Bible half-hour, extended worship in the mornings, FLGBTQ 
worship and the Silent Center will also be available.
Gathering will open with a family welcome and concert by Atlanta Friend 
Deidre McCalla on Saturday evening. On Sunday, July 3, we will celebrate 
the 50th anniversary of Friends Journal with an address by Quaker 
historians Thomas Hamm and Mary Ellen Chijoke. With her Native American 
and Scots ancestry, Jean Bosserman will add color to our tapestry in a 
talk on Monday evening.
The Gathering is thrilled to present Trout Fishing in America, the duo 
who perform music for people who take their fun seriously. We expect 
this all Gathering concert to delight all ages on Wednesday evening. 
Trout Fishing in America will also present two workshops for Gathering 
attenders.
Quaker Universalist Fellowship will bring us the first Elizabeth Watson 
lecture on Thursday, July 7, with Bishop John Shelby Spong, author of 
bestsellers including Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism and Why 
Christianity Must Change or Die. Jonathan Vogel-Borne will close the 
week with his talk titled What a Friend I Have in JesusTrue 
Confessions of a Beanite Quaker.
In Junior Gathering, children entering grades 1 to 7 will choose among 
theme groups appropriate to their age. Younger children (including 
infants) have a warm and supportive environment, staffed by adults who 
consider it a treat to be with them. Those in Junior High form a strong 
community, sharing a variety of activities including some practice in 
Quaker decision-making.
High Schoolers may expect to experience a loving spiritual community 
that allows them freedom to explore their spirituality and what it means 
to be a Quaker in community. Adult Young Friends is a community that 
provides an intimate space within the Gathering for post high school age 
Friends to live and have fun together while exploring their spirituality 
and roles as adult Quakers.
Music making and singing will abound. Yoga, contra dancing, folk 
dancing, and other movement opportunities will occur throughout the 
Gathering. Friends creativity will be displayed, performed and 
celebrated again this year in the Lemonade Art Gallery, now joined by 
the Limeade Cabaret. The Gathering Store will offer a unique collection 
of books, First Day School materials, tapes, Gathering and FGC 
merchandise, and handcrafted consignment items.
Located in the New River Valley, Virginia Tech will provide a variety of 
accommodations, including single and double rooms, with and without air 
conditioning. Camping will be available on campus. Blacksburg is served 
by Roanoke Regional Airport, which is less than an hour away.
Friends General Conference has financial support for Gathering 
attenders. Scholarships and workgrants are available to help make 
Gathering affordable. First time attenders scholarships match grants 
from monthly and yearly meetings. General scholarships assist families 
and individuals with the expenses of room/board and registration. 
Workgrant opportunities include staffing the Junior Gathering program, 
assisting at the information desk, helping with routine tasks or taking 
on a specialized assignment. Additional information is available from 
Liz Perch, Conference Coordinator, at the address below. Friends are 
urged not to let cost issues keep them from considering attendance.
Detailed information about the Gathering will be available in the 
Advance Program. The Advance Program is mailed to all monthly meetings 
and to Friends on FGC mailing lists as well as all Friends in nearby 
Yearly Meetings in March and should arrive by 1 April 2005. You may also 
request an Advance Program by contacting Friends General Conference at 
1216 Arch Street, 2B, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 561-1700 or email 
(gathering at fgcquaker.org).
For the first time, this year, Friends will be able to register online 
and pay by credit card. For more details, please check the website after 
March 30.
More information about the Gathering and FGC is available on the World 
Wide Web at http://www.fgcquaker.org/gathering/. Access to the World 
Wide Web is often available at your local library.
The Gathering of Friends is a program of Friends General Conference, 
which provides resources to help members and attenders of constituent 
meetings discover how Gods Spirit is leading us individually and 
corporately and to follow that leading.

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