[saymaListserv] 2005 Gathering
perryt at bellsouth.net
Thu Apr 14 10:52:47 JEST 2005
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
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
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
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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