[saymaListserv] Re: [afmdiscussion] 2005 FGC Gathering

Ceal cecilia at wutka.com
Thu Apr 21 08:51:49 JEST 2005

However this is true in one aspect - the Sweat Lodge was removed last year 
and this year because it DID offend some Native Americans. I know there are 
many Native Americans who have been asked and thought it was fine but others 
have been offended and upset.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "free polazzo" <freepolazzo at comcast.net>
To: "AFM Friends" <afmdiscussion at yahoogroups.com>; <sayma at kitenet.net>
Cc: "Bruce Birchard" <bruceb at fgcquaker.org>; "George Price" 
<stonelodge at earthlink.net>; "Liz Perch" <Lizp at fgcquaker.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 9:12 AM
Subject: Re: [afmdiscussion] 2005 FGC Gathering

> 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 
> 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.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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