Notes from the 2020 June Gathering

Over 100 Friends from 19 yearly meetings took part this year in our 2020 Quaker Spring gathering under leadership of the Living Christ. Due to COVID-19 this year’s gathering could not be held in Barnesville, Ohio, as planned. Instead we gathered online via Zoom from Wednesday, June 17th through Saturday, June 21st. Because it was a virtual gathering, Friends were able to take part from Kenya, Ecuador, Slovenia, England, and across the United States.

Here is what happened this year. (The names are Friends who held, convened or led each session.)

WEDNESDAY

  • Friends shared concerns rising in their hearts. 

THURSDAY

  • A time of holding the gathering 
  • Bible reading  introduced and held by Jack Smith of Ohio YM
  • Worship  held by Fran Lightsom of New England YM
  • Discerning what God was leading us into later in the day 
        clerked by Bre-anne Brown of NEYM
  • Friends in East Africa  led by Marion Baker of NEYM, Robert Wafula of Friends Theological College, and Judith Nandiklove of Nairobi YM
  • Stories of Our Experiences with God  led Helene Pollock of Philadelphia YM
  • Meeting for Discernment on Systemic Evil & Transformation  led by Ellen Deacon of
      Phila. YM, Gerald Sazama of NEYM, and David Male of Ohio YM

FRIDAY

  • Holding the gathering
  • Bible study on Mark 1:14-39 led by Robert Wafula of Friends Theological College.
  • Note: Like many groups around the world FTC has faced enormous financial challenges as a result of the pandemic. If you are able & so led, please consider donating to support FTC’s important work of equipping East African Friends (including many women) for a variety of ministries via the above link.
  • Worship  held by Jim Strong of Phila. YM
  • Discerning what God was leading us into later in the day
  • Meeting for Discernment: Re-imagining Safety & Community without Guns & Prison Walls 
        led by Jim Strong of Phila. YM and Beverly Archibald of NYYM
  • Quaker Plainsong:  Paulette Meier brought us her music ministry
  • Paulette’s ministry grew in part from Quaker Spring gatherings in the past. She spoke about and sang songs from her 2020 recording ”Wellsprings of Life: Quaker Wisdom in Chant”, which is a sequel to “Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong”. Learn about Paulette’s ministry at www.paulettemeier.com
  • Spiritual Gifts & Treasures  led by Melanie Monk of Phila. YM

SATURDAY

  • Holding the gathering
  • Bible reading  held by David Male Ohio YM
  • Worship  held by Susan Vargo NEYM
  • Intercessory prayer
  • Discerning our way forward: If way opens, we agreed to gather next June in Barnesville, Ohio, at Stillwater Meetinghouse, the Friends Center of Ohio YM and Olney Friends School. It is our intention to hold this as a hybrid in-person & virtual gathering so that Friends may again take part from a distance. 
  • There was also a desire to hold shorter interim gatherings online during the coming year. 

Listening group during 2020 gathering included Angela Hopkins (NYYM), Bre-anne Brown (NEYM), Earl Smith (Ohio YM), Peter Blood (NEYM), and Sylvia Thomas (Ohio YM). 

Spiritual nurture group during our gathering included David Male (Ohio YM), Deborah Haines (Baltimore YM), and Susan Smith (Ohio YM). This group hosted an open time of holding our gathering in prayer every morning before our Bible session.

Tech hosting team included Jonathan Vogel-Borne (NEYM), Steve Olshewsky (Phila. YM), David Colletta (NEYM), and Bre-anne Brown (NEYM).