[saymaListserv] Re: [afmdiscussion] 2005 FGC Gathering

Steve Livingston nc_stereoman at charter.net
Wed Apr 20 10:16:24 JEST 2005

I have many regrets around the Sweat Lodge issue, as you know Free. Among them I must now add that I will miss you and Janet at the 2005 Gathering. I am grateful that the Experience will once again be offered at the 2006 Gathering, and hopeful that those Friends who were uneasy enough about it to stand in the way for the 2005 Gathering have settled their objections. I am hopeful that we can all put this episode behind us and that we have learned something of value from the experience. I look forward to hearing 
what it is.

On 20 Apr 2005 at 9:12, free polazzo wrote:

> Dear Friends,
> I agree with Perry that FGC Gathering is a wonderful place to go and
> be with Friends of all persuasions from all over the world. My
> children, Chad and Justin, still have fond memories of their FGC
> Gathering experiences, as do Janet and I. We recommend it highly. 
> There was one important item that was omitted from the following press
> release concerning the FGC 2005 Gathering which has led me and our
> family to decide not to attend this year's FGC Gathering.
> Unfortunately, the Tapestry which is being woven in Blacksburg VA will
> have one thread missing that had been a very important part of the
> Gathering since the early 1990's. 
> The Quaker Sweat Lodge Experience, which had been offered for many
> years at the FGC gathering until last year and which has seen around
> 1,000 Quaker Teens and Adults participate over the years, has been
> banned from the 2005 Gathering by the Long Range Planning Committee.
> This same activity has received the blessings of a Cherokee Medicine
> man (who lived near Asheville) and who attended a Quaker Sweat Lodge
> Experience with Friends when we met at Appalachian State College in
> Boone, NC many years ago. The Quaker Sweat Lodge Experience has
> received the blessings of Native Americans whenever George has asked. 
> The Clerk of the 2006 Gathering has indicated that it should be
> offered, after reviewing all the arguments for and against and
> consulting with a local Native American leader she respects. I would
> like to quote from a letter by George Price, the Friend who has been
> led to create and offer the Quaker Sweat Experience to Friends.(George
> was invited to come to SAYMA' s Yearly Meeting at Warren Wilson, in
> 1995, to lead a Quaker Sweat Lodge. It was very well attended.)
> "I ask you to consider the following story. Lynne Phillips, Clerk of
> the 2006 FGC Gathering in Vancouver, had deep concerns about the sweat
> and voiced these at the two listening sessions we had in Philadelphia
> over the last two years. Last month at FGC's LRCP (Long Range
> Conference Planning) committee gathering at Rochester she related the
> following: She read my article in the February 2002 Friends Journal
> about the sweat and took it to a local Native American leader for whom
> she has great respect. She said the Native American leader told her,
> after reading the article, that he had no problem with our use of the
> sweat.
> This reflects my experience with many Native Americans. Once they
> understand the honor and sensitivity that we have used to share the
> sweat they endorse our use of it. Lynne further said that she would
> like to see the Quaker Sweat Lodge Experience take place at the 2006
> Gathering." 
> I am praying that way will open for FGC Gathering Long Range Planning
> Committee to allow the Quaker Sweat Lodge Experience to be offered in
> 2006 on the West Coast and that they do not try to close a door to the
> Spirit through which so many have experienced the Light Within.
> Blessings,
> Free Polazzo
> Anneewakee Creek Worship Group Attender, 
> Atlanta Friends Meeting, Member. 
> At 10:52 AM 4/14/2005, Perry Treadwell wrote:
>     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.

More information about the sayma mailing list