Reflections on my workshop at FGC
I’m having a hard time thinking about my workshop now that it’s over. It seems a bit like Brigadoon and I wonder, did it really happen? Was it really as good as I think it was? Fortunately, I’ve received a couple of emails from participants that verify that it really did exist and that it really did matter to them.
First of all, I feel confirmed in my leading to offer a workshop at the FGC Summer Gathering. About a month before the Gathering, I was not at all sure that it was a good idea to put so much time and money into the journey. However, we had already bought the tickets and spent the money and told the children we were going so we could not easily back out. Plus we were able to combine the trip with a visit to my in-laws so it didn’t feel quite as frivolous as it might have. In the end I feel like it was worth all the hassle and worry. And even the money.
Second, I had planned enough but not too much. I am extremely grateful to San Francisco Monthly Meeting for allowing me to try out parts of the workshop here at home. Those evenings did not go nearly as smoothly as the weeklong version, but they were invaluable in enabling me to practice leading some creative exercises and to develop the confidence to combine some teaching along with facilitating the discussions. Plus leading those sessions in early May meant that I had to have those parts of the workshop prepared well in advance and I got a better sense of how much work would be required to prep the whole week.
Third, I am grateful to Stephen M. and Diane P. who served as my elders for the workshop. They met with me in advance to hear my plans and offered feedback after each session. They prayed for me before and during the sessions. They asked good questions, offered helpful resources and affirmed my ability to do this. I know the RsoF is working out a new understanding of the role of elders among us. I want to affirm these Friends’ gifts in this role.
In a broader sense, I’d like to thank Chris M., Charles M., Elizabeth B., C. Wess Daniels, Liz Opp, Martin Kelley, Mark Scandrette, and Adam K. for their direct and indirect support and helpfulness. I drew on the published resources of Doug Pagitt and Kathryn Prill, Claire Lynch, Carin Anderson, Iris DeMent, Mandesa, Lloyd Lee Wilson, Sandra Cronk, Richard Foster, Kody Gabriel, Amanda, Sarah, Johan Maurer, Quaker Jane, and probably lots of other people who are not mentioned here.
In the broadest sense, I’d like to acknowledge my dependence on the leadings of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I feel well used.
Take my hands; I give them over
Make my heart an open door
Make my life a house of Spirit
Make me an instrument, nothing more.
©2000 Carin Anderson, from her album “Welcome Home”
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