FWCC in Philadelphia - Y'all Come Now
First, and the reason that I'll actually be in the area, is the Annual Meeting of the Section of the Americas of the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). I'm a representative of Pacific Yearly Meeting, and a member of the Wider Quaker Fellowship committee, which is officially a program group of FWCC, and so I'll be attending the business meetings at Friends Center on March 17 and 18.
Following that, there will be a public gathering on Friday, March 18 in the evening and most of the day Saturday, March 19, This is one of a series of local gatherings on the theme of the 6th World Gathering of Friends (that will be April 2012 in Kenya): Being Salt and Light: Friends Living the Kingdom of God in a Broken World. There is a cost of $40 for dinner, lunch & snacks during the sessions, and they are requesting free will donations to support the gathering and the work of FWCC. Child care is available by advance request.
The speakers are Linda and David Kusse-Wolfe, recorded Friends ministers from University Friends Meeting in Wichita, Kansas. Here's the description from the website,
"Linda and David carry a ministry of reconciliation among peoples of different races, classes and cultures. This led them to live and study in Qom, Iran, where they were the only publicly-declared Christians in a city of over one million inhabitants. The Holy City of Qom is the center for education for Shiite Muslim clerics. Linda and David will provide opportunities to relate their experiences to current issues of ‘brokenness’ that Friends are facing in their communities. We hope Friends will take away something that is relevant—both practically and spiritually—to our lives today.
An FWCC program provides time for worship in the manners of Friends, small group sessions and time for fellowship, within the framework of FWCC's mission to bring Friends of varying traditions and cultural experiences together in worship, communications and consultation, to express our common heritage and our Quaker message to the world."
If you'd like to attend, or you know someone else who would be interested, whether they are Quakers or not, you can register online or by mailing in the form that's available from the same page on the FWCC website.
This is the first time that I'll be in the Philly area for more than a day or so, so I'm grateful that Martin Kelley is helping to organize things. And I'm very grateful to Eileen for having us over. She'd like to have a rough idea of how many people are coming, so please RSVP on one of the above event pages or leave me a comment, or email her directly.
I think that we're going to order pizza for dinner, so be prepared that we'll take up a little collection towards that, and if you would like to bring something to share (to drink, a side dish, dessert, an alternative that you prefer to pizza...) that would be great.
Over the last five years, I've been to little gatherings like this in San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Newberg (OR), Baltimore, rural Indiana, Greensboro (NC), and Boston. They have ranged from 4 to 24 people, in homes, parks and meetinghouses. They have all been different, but they all featured interesting conversations, usually with people from 2-8 different yearly meetings. The best have included a time of worship sharing on some query that helps us to see how each other is wrestling with the question of how to be Friends in the 21st century. The amazing thing to me is how often unexpected people show up who enrich and expand the conversation just by being there.
If you'd like to join this conversation, you are invited. You can find more details on how to get there on the QQ or Facebook pages, or you can email me at the address in the sidebar. If you have questions, please leave me a comment on this post, or email me or Martin Kelley directly.
And if you're not going to be in the Philadelphia area this month, maybe we can talk about how to organize something like this in your area - both the Salt & Light gatherings and the convergent Friends dinners are a mobile feast!
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