FGC Gathering Registration Begins!

I've never been to the FGC Gathering, but I hear that it is an amazing experience of being with over a thousand Friends in one place. I am looking forward to going this year!

As of today, you can view the Gathering Program online and register online. Some of my Friends have been encouraging me to register early, because they're concerned that the conference will fill up very quickly. You can see the list of workshops here and the fee schedule here or you can print out the program as a pdf. Thanks, Martin, for all your hard work on this. You can camp or stay in the dorms. You can even plan to ride the "peace train"with other Friends.

I've heard rumors that there will be a semi-organized Quaker blogger conversation - maybe on Monday night? I don't know quite how it will work, but other bloggers more experienced with FGC stuff than me will write something soon, I hope.

There are a number of workshops led by people I know and people I'd like to meet. My initial reaction is to sign up for the workshop "Deepening the Silence, Inviting Vital Ministry" led by my old Friend, Peter Crysdale on Quaker vocal ministry. But I don't know for sure yet. I didn't find one on spiritual writing or journaling, that I had hoped for. Also, it appears that Marcus Borg will no longer be a featured speaker, which is too bad, but I'm sure there's a good reason.

Are you planning to come?


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Blogger Liz Opp said...

Hi, Robin.

Here are details about me and my participation at the Gathering:

Yes, I'm planning to come and I've registered early.

My partner and I have requested the FLGBTQC housing because it's helpful to be part of a smaller cluster within such a large community during the week.

I was hoping for a few more workshops on what I would call the more contemplative Quaker disciplines (obedience, faithfulness, mutual encouragement and accountability), but for now I have requested "Am I Really A Quaker?" because of it's open format.

If my workshop doesn't seem to be nurturing me, I'm likely to attend the extended worship opportunity that apparently is being offered again this year.

I'd love to be part of an interest group for Quaker bloggers! Is anyone willing to convene such a session with me-- please contact me at lizopp AT gmail DOT com.

It's likely that Friends can also find me occasionally during what in the past have been "Noon-time sings," just after the morning workshops. And--how could I forget?!--the afternoon Meetings for Worship, which are under the care of FLGBTQC (Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns, that is).

Another thing I'll lift up: my partner and I are planning to arrive on Friday--a tradition we began a few years ago that helps us ground ourselves a bit; helps us avoid the chaos of Saturday's registration; and makes us available to volunteer on Saturday to help keep the chaos to a minimum (or so I'd like to think).

It's great to know that the western Gathering is this much closer to being a reality!

And, it's never to early to put in a plug for the 2007 Gathering, scheduled to be held in my own backyard, at River Falls, Wisconsin.


Liz, The Good Raised Up

3/02/2006 9:35 AM  
Blogger Chris M. said...

Unlike Robin M., I haven't been excited to attend.

I've been pining for more collective waiting worship. I pine for that at our Quarterly and Yearly Meetings, too.

I've stereotyped the Gathering as a bunch of stimulating self-examination or self-development stuff. But I realize I go to other sorts of development or educational conferences. And that's what the Gathering is. It's Friends General CONFERENCE, right there in the name!

Anyway, I realized there would likely be a workshop or two focused on Bible studies, so that's when I sort of thought, "Oh, maybe I could go and enjoy myself."

So, I highly recommend "Finding Ourselves in the Bible," led by San Francisco's own Krista Barnard, who has a minute from our monthly meeting (if I recall correctly) recognizing her leading on Bible study. It's going to be tough deciding, though, because the Chant workshop is of interest to me too.

Chris M.
Tables, Chairs & Oaken Chests

3/02/2006 3:09 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...


I suspect that at FGC, like at PYM, my "smaller cluster" will be parents of preschoolers and 2nd graders.

We still have to figure out if we will take the train up, all 20+ hours, with other Friends from around here, or just fly. We've got your basic time vs. money conflict going here. With the added question of how long will the children think riding the train is fun?

I'm also thinking about Retrieving Christianity for Quaker Women with Christine Hall, but I worry that this could either be fabulous or really painful. Maybe it's a risk to take?

3/02/2006 3:50 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Joe G writes, "I can help with the Quaker interest group. What do we have to do with that?"

Let me get in touch with the FGC office. A few years ago, it was a relatively painless procedure to submit a topic for an interest group, but given the changes in the Gathering this year, I won't make any assumptions!

Also, FYI, there are many ad hoc and impromptu groups that gather throughout the week. Look for a "daily bulletin" at each breakfast for announcements about such get-togethers. I'm sure we'll find each other!

Liz, The Good Raised Up

3/02/2006 9:53 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Well, that was easy! Here's the info about submitting a proposal for Monday night's interest groups at the Gathering:

To offer an interest group, submit a completed interest group proposal form or from the Gathering office 215-561-1700 by May 5.

Look for the link on this page, under the Monday evening program information.

Liz, The Good Raised Up

3/02/2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thanks, Liz. Will you and Joe be submitting such a proposal? Should we ask the Quaker Blog Father for his blessing first?

I also want to point out that the workshop on James is led by Max Hansen, the pastor of Berkeley Friends Church.

My children found me looking at my printout of the FGC program this evening, so I introduced them to the idea that we are going. They were very pleased, not only to find out that other Friends they know are going, but we found PICTURES of Friends they know - like Zac Moon, featured twice!

3/02/2006 11:02 PM  
Blogger Martin Kelley said...

Hi everyone,
I drop a hint or two about organizing a Quaker blogger interest group and whew!

Since we're all here, the idea I had was to have an interest group on this "Convergent Friends"/"Liberal-Conservative Quakers" phenomenon. For branding/identity purposes I thought we could say it's "hosted by the QuakerQuaker network," i.e., Joe, Liz, Robin, myself (and whoever else, really!) While there may be no formal network, there is this group and we might as well let Gathering attenders know about it.

Interest Groups are Monday nights this year, in the first half of the week. As I mentioned on my Gathering post, I've often attended the Traveling Ministries Program Interest Group, which does a pretty good job of attracting the Covergent, LibCon Quakers. But it's always too little time. So it would be good if we had something to invite people back to after Monday night, even if it's only informal daily worship in someone's room. What I long for is that daily contact with others concerned about Quaker ministry and practice., and I want to have whatever it is we start to develop open. The Interest Group would be a calling card to others to join us in this desire for some deeper Fellowship and Opportunities.

What do you all think?

3/03/2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

It's only March 4th, and already the workshop I wanted is already full.

So I signed up for Max Hansen's workshop on the Book of James, because I was really intrigued by conversation with him after Quaker Heritage Day, and of course, some other Friends have recommended it.

Also, once (a few years ago) I read nearly the whole book of James out in meeting for worship. I was just so struck by it.

Second choice is Retrieving Christianity for Quaker Women and third choice is on Rufus Jones, I think, but I don't even remember any more. Time to go to bed.

3/05/2006 3:07 AM  
Blogger Rebecca Sullivan said...

i went to the gathering last year and found it very moving and am hoping that it won't be that intence this year but hope it is fun.

my father registered us and my workshop is full as well and i am looking forward for it. I am not really looking forward to seeing my mother start her crazy and hecktic job and never seeing her for that week but i think i will get used to it.

i would be interested in a quaker blog interest group but i don't think it will work for me and other high schoolers because we have business meeting that night after the speaker for the night.

Liz that the "i'm really a quaker" workshop should be really interesting because it was one that was made up by the workshop committee in October.

Chris my mother took the chant workshop last year and really liked it. she would recomend it and i would get on it if you want because it is usually one that filld and i was supprized yesterday that it wasn't yet.

hope all is well

3/06/2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

And FGC Gathering Registration ENDS!

As of today, maybe it was yesterday, online registration is closed. I suppose they are still waiting to receive the by mail registrations that people have sent, but golly gee, that was quick.

3/06/2006 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After a lot of discussion, I am definitely going, and am registered. I would love to meet any other Quaker bloggers, or else those Friends who find a desire to "Converge".

3/31/2007 9:47 PM  

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