FSRM Fall Gathering 2020 Invitation and Schedule
We invite you to join us for Fall Gathering, to be held via Zoom on Saturday, September 19, 2020! Here is the invitation and preliminary schedule.Registration and Zoom links to follow.
Angela Hopkins and Antonia Saxon, co-clerks
Farmington Scipio Fall Gathering Retreat
September 19, 2020
How are we feeling led today, in this time of uncertainty?
Visioning, discernment, and naming the gifts in our region as we consider our work
Friends, Fall Gathering is upon us. We know things are not going to look the way they have looked in the past. Due to the pandemic, some events in the region—Extended Meeting for Worship, Ministry and Counsel’s fall retreat—have been cancelled or postponed. We considered postponing, but we’re going ahead with Fall Gathering on its originally scheduled date.
Like Spring Gathering, Fall Gathering will be held via Zoom. Many Friends and Friends’ organizations have found that holding gatherings by Zoom has some unexpected advantages. We have the chance to learn more about who we are as a region, and the opportunity to have more of the region included in our gatherings and in the work of the region.
At FSRM’s Fall Gathering 2019, we asked: “How do we live as Quakers in a world with increased acts of intolerance, fear, and hate? How do we live our Quaker values?”
Much has occurred in our world since then, and no one has escaped the impact of these events. This fall we are asking: What and how have things changed? What has changed in our Quaker communities? What changes are still needed?
We hope to confirm what is emerging in the region. Many of our State of the Meeting reports express the desire to widen conversations in our communities. The co-clerks began to engage in a process of naming which tasks of clerking were ours. We began by considering our gifts and our challenges. We then engaged in this process with Ministry and Counsel.
Friends have named some of the Region’s immediate concerns. The rotating schedule that sorts the tasks of organizing Spring Gathering has been problematic for some. Friends are often tapped for more than one task, more than one role, and might wear many hats simultaneously in their home meetings. The Nominating Committee process that identifies Friends to do the work of the region does not serve us well.
Queries that arise are:
· How can we come from a place of strength—a strength-based way of meeting the region’s needs rather than a lack-based way? Rather than coming from a not-enough-ness, a sense of burnout, and the need to fill positions, we might ask:
· What are we good at? What do we have? What can we give?
· What are the strengths of our meeting/church/worship group?
· What would we like to do, if we could do anything?
Some of us use our gifts to repair the world, some of us use them to grow and sustain our meetings: What is our part in the region’s work?
-- Angela Hopkins and Antonia Saxon
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