407-739-4150  office@seym.org

See the Gathering 2016 Photo Gallery 

2017 Gathering & Annual Sessions

April 12-16, 2017

United Methodist Life Enrichment Center, Fruitland Park, Florida

Our theme this year is

Climate Justice

Climate Justice is the recognition that climate change is more than an environmental crisis—it also involves moral and political issues as it impacts human societies and cultures. Those least responsible for climate change often bear the brunt of its greatest effects. Quakers are challenged to respond in a spirit-led way to the inter-related concerns of climate change, human rights, economic systems, and public policy.

Peterson Toscano will lead the Walton Retreat and present the Walton Lecture,

Discerning our collective calling: love, hope, & climate justice

Peterson Toscano is a performance artist who addresses serious issues of climate change, social justice, gender & sexuality in ways that deeply connect with people’s hearts and spirits. He has presented his one-person comedies, plays, and lectures to audiences in North America, Europe, and Africa. He has led many talks and workshops in the wider Quaker world, including facilitating the Bible Half Hour at the FGC Gathering in 2012, and the plenary lecture at the FGC Gathering in 2008.

Peterson is eager to spend time connecting with Friends in SEYM, both before and after the 2017 Gathering, to talk about how we can work together for climate justice.

Read More about the Walton Retreats & Peterson Toscano below. Learn more about Peterson Toscano at petersontoscano.com and listen to his podcasts at climatestew.com.

Registration closed March 26th, but there are a few spaces left for Friday thru Sunday. 

To Register, contact Andrea Hoskins, Registrar, at   305-609-9704, or at   Andrea Hoskins.

Yearly Business Meeting Schedule & Documents >

Register Online

Registration deadline was March 26th, but there are a few spaces left for Friday – Sunday.

To Register, contact Andrea Hoskins, Registrar, at   305-609-9704, or at   Andrea Hoskins.

Payment Options: We encourage you to pay your total registration fees when you register. You may pay online, or by check made payable to SEYM and mailed to the Registrar: Andrea Hoskins, 12040 SW 187th St., Miami, FL 33177. Alternately, you may pay your total fees at check-in. We cannot process credit card payments at the event. Please bring personal checks.

Gathering Contacts

Co-clerk: Stephanie Preston 

Registrar:  Andrea Hoskins 


Youth Program: Mira Tanna 

SEYM Office:  Vicki Carlie, Secretary


Learn More

the 2017 Walton Retreat & Lecture will be presented by

Peterson Toscano

Retreat Session 1 Wednesday, April 12, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

‘Beyond Lightbulbs & Polar Bears: Overcoming Shame & Fear, Leading in a Time of Climate Change’

Through interactive thought experiments, personal reflections, facilitated discussion, and a live performance, participants will think outside of the box when it comes to responding to climate change and consider their next significant steps.

Retreat Session 2 Friday, March 25, 1:15 – 2:30 pm

‘You Already Have Skin in the Game—Justice, Pets, & Coffee Beans.’

Through a series of lively (but not difficult) activities, we will explore our personal passions and how they are already connected to a changing planet. Discover new ways that we are already concerned about climate change and didn’t even know it. (Oh, and learn about the pets of the future.)

the 54th Annual J. Barnard Walton Lecture   Saturday, March 26, 7:00 pm

‘Discerning our collective calling: love, hope, & climate justice.

220px-Peterson_ToscanoAbout Peterson Toscano:

Drawing on comedy, storytelling, and history, Peterson Toscano creates original content for the stage and the Internet that inspires curiosity about climate change. As the host of Citizens’ Climate Radio and the curator of ClimateStew.com, he takes a serious look at global warming without scaring the snot out of you. His university presentations reveal the interconnectedness of power, privilege, justice, LGBTQ issues, polar bears, and coffee beans.

Peterson’s unique personal journey led him into performance art. After spending 17 years attempting to de-gay himself through gay conversion therapy, he came to his senses and came out a quirky queer Quaker concerned with human rights and comedy. He asks himself and his audiences unusual and stimulating questions: ‘Who are the gender outlaws in the Bible? What is a queer response to climate change?’ and ‘How can comedy help us better understand our most tragic losses?’ Peterson is on a mission to connect with his audiences in deeply personal ways stirring up hope and purpose in a rapidly changing world.

Peterson has presented for Friends in many settings including Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting, Westtown Friends School, Cambridge Friends School, Earlham College, Haverford College, and Guilford College. He facilitated the Bible Half Hour at the FGC Gathering in 2012 and gave a plenary address at the FGC Gathering in 2008. He is a member of Millville MM in Millville, PA, which is part of Philadelphia YM. He lives in Sunbury, PA with his husband, Glen Retief.

Peterson is eager to spend time connecting with Friends in SEYM, both before and after the 2017 Gathering, to talk about how we can work together for climate justice.

Learn more about Peterson Toscano at petersontoscano.com and listen to his podcasts at Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

What’s Special in 2017?

In-Depth Workshop: “Invoking the Presence of God”   Saturday, 2:45-5:30 pm

This double workshop is presented under the care of SEYM’s Worship and Ministry Committee. Invoking the presence of God is an experiential learning opportunity.

  • How do people do it?
  • What is your practice?

Workshop leader Eduardo Diaz (Miami MM) is an experienced workshop facilitator and has been engaged in many Quaker organizations for many years. He has been involved in interfaith ministry since 1975 and currently serves as co-chair of the Clergy Dialogue of the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews. He also currently serves on both the SEYM and Miami Friends Meeting Committee on Worship and Ministry.

Workshops & Interest Groups Thursday – Saturday 

Over 20 to choose from, including: At Home Among The Stars: Embracing Our Cosmic Nature Ÿ• Being A Parent & A Friend Ÿ • Bible Study–Lectio Divina Ÿ• Chanting Ÿ• (Let’s Talk About) Climate Justice & SEYM Communities Ÿ• Finding God In Difficult People Ÿ• #Friendtweetsmymind: Social Media In The Manner Of Friends •Ÿ Introducing Quakerism 101 Ÿ• Invoking The Presence Of God •Ÿ Is Conscientious Objection For You? •Ÿ Journey Of The Universe Ÿ• Laughter Yoga Ÿ• Managing Meeting Finances:Tips & Techniques Ÿ • “Marking The Quaker Path”: Toward A Method For Friends’ Practice Ÿ• Meeting For Remembrance Ÿ• Nature Walk • Ÿ Paddling & Birding Ÿ• Pink Spit: Looking At Childhood Experiences Of Racism Ÿ• Quaker Response In A Politically Divisive Climate Ÿ• Quaker United Nations Office •Ÿ Right Sharing Of World Resources Ÿ• Sabal Trail Pipeline As An Opportunity For Quaker Witness •Ÿ Sharing Our Earthcare Concerns Ÿ• True Islam vs The Extremists • See Workshop Descriptions>

Early Worship by the lake 7:30 am every morning

Worship Sharing Thursday thru Saturday, 9:00 am

Worship Shearing to benefit ProNica, mornings & afternoons

Annual Sessions Meeting for Worship for Business, Thursday afternoon – Sunday

Intergenerational Activities

  • Intergenerational play: afternoons, Thursday – Saturday Ÿ Savannah-grams, kickball, & other fun Ÿ see Bulletin Board for day’s activities
  • Canoeing & Birding Saturday afternoon
  • Intergenerational Dance Friday night, with the ‘Faith & No Practice Band’
  • Bonfire Friday night after the Dance

Youth Program: “Who Speaks for the Trees, Butteflies & Bees?”  Join us in Making Puppets for Social Change, Creating Community, Enjoying Nature, Making Friends, Having Fun and Deepening our Quaker Values

Healing Center Breezeway 2, from 2-5pm on Friday & Saturday. Come in for some quiet time, a cup of tea, and Reiki or massage.

Music Making  Singing after meals •Ÿ The Faith & No Practice Band Ÿ • “Jammin’ on the Bench” Ÿ

See the full Schedule>

Youth & Family

Registration & meals for youth attending with their families are free of charge, thanks to generous donors.

Our theme this year is

“Who Speaks for the Trees, Butterflies and Bees?”

Join us in Making Puppets for Social Change, Creating Community, Enjoying Nature, Making Friends, Having Fun and Deepening our Quaker Values.

Intergenerational Activities: every day Ÿ• games, art, yoga, & play • canoeing on Friday • swimming on Thursday • Intergenerational Dance Friday night • “Capture the Flag” • see bulletin board for each day’s activities & locations.

Teens   grades  6-12 Ÿ• Cokesbury Room • Ropes Course on Friday morning

Juniors grades 5-7 • Ropes Course on Friday morning • Archery on Saturday morning

Young Friends grades 1-5 Ÿ• Gold Room • Archery on Saturday morning

Wee Friends: Indoor & Outdoor Play & Story time

Toddlers to kindergarten •Ÿ Every day Ÿ• Gold Room

  • Children must be picked up PROMPTLY from their program by their Parent/Guardian/Sponsor.
  • The camp has NO play equipment: please bring toys, pillows & blankets!

For more information, see the Youth Program flyer>

At the Gathering, Youth Program leaders, volunteer staff, and parents work together to create a community where all young Friends feel included. All youth are expected to participate in the youth program during their stay.

  • Youth must attend with a parent, guardian, or a designated adult sponsor.
  • Families sending their child/children with a Sponsor will pay both the registration and lodging fees for their youth.
  • Youth need a parent/guardian signed Parental Consent, Medical Release, Media Release & Rules forms in order to register and be on campus. Bring completed forms with you. Download the Parental Consent forms here>
  • The Gathering is our religious holiday! Parents wanting to have their youth excused from school can download the ‘Excuse Letter’ here>

Lodging, Camping, & Day Use

LIFE ENRICHMENT CENTER: Rooms have twin beds and private bath; bedding & towels are provided.

  • Family sharing room: $84/night (Double twin beds) Children may sleep on the floor for free or reserve cots for $10/night.
  • Singles, sharing a room: $42/night/person. Sharing a room? You must list a roommate’s name when registering.
  • Private (1-person) room: $62/night.

RV CAMPING: in the open area west of the Pavilion. Full Hookups are $25/night, Partial Hook-ups are$21/night.

TENT CAMPING: in the woods beyond the Pavilion. The area to the right of the Pavilion is reserved for SEYM. Sites are $16 /night.

DAY USE: Friends can lodge in town, pay the registration fee and $10/person/day for site use.

Life Enrichment Center Dining:

  • Breakfast: 8:00 – 8:45 am    $8/adult
  • Lunch: 12:00 – 12:45 pm    $9/adult
  • Dinner: 5:30 – 6:15 pm    $13/adult

Meals for Youth (under 19) are provided at no charge to families, paid for by the Trustees Youth Gathering Fund, with thanks to our generous donors!

Coffee & tea are available in the lobby 24/7.

Special Diets: Vegan/vegetarian, diabetic, gluten-free, and other choices are available. To request a special diet, you must fill out the LEC Special Diet request form found at http://www.lecretreats.org/lec-dietary-page.

Campsite Pavilion: Campers may prepare meals in this covered, screened room provided with picnic tables, stove, refrigerator and ample electrical outlets. Bring your own cooking and eating utensils. You may also choose to pre-register for any or all of your meals in the Dining Hall.

Food Off Campus: There are abundant restaurants 3-5 miles from the camp.

Scholarships & Financial Assistance

We hope that all who would like to attend the SEYM Gathering will have that opportunity. SEYM has funds to enable you to attend! We encourage any Friends who may require financial assistance to apply for scholarships and submit a registration form, following these instructions:

  1. Request a scholarship from your Meeting or Worship Group. Discuss your needs with your Meeting Clerk &/or appropriate committee. One suggested formula is: the attendee pays 1/3, the Meeting 1/3, and SEYM 1/3. However, other arrangements may be made as agreed upon by Registrar, Meeting Clerk, and attendees in advance of the Registration deadline, March 26th. Call Andrea Hoskins at 305-609-9704.
  2. Scholarship Form: Work with your Meeting Clerk, or appropriate committee, to complete the Scholarship Form, and e-mail it to Andrea Hoskins, Registrar, by March 26th.
  3. Please go ahead and submit your Registration Form online, following the form instructions in the Scholarship section. Registration deadline is March 26th.
  4. To confirm your registration, by March 26th the Registrar will need your Scholarship Form and a check for your portion of the total amount due.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Hoskins, Registrar: 305-609-9704,    Andrea

download Scholarship Information>   download Scholarship Form>

Florida United Methodist Life Enrichment Center

4991 Picciola Road,

Fruitland Park, FL 34751


phone: 352-787-0313


Fruitland Park is located on US Hwy. 441 between Leesburg and Lady Lake, Florida. From Hwy.27/US 441, turn east on County Road 466A, Picciola Road. Go 3 miles. The Life Enrichment Center is on the right; look for the sign. Enter the drive and proceed to the designated parking area.


When You Arrive                           


Check-in at the SEYM Registration Desk in the auditorium lobby to get room key & name badges.

Check-in times: Phone number is posted if Registrar has stepped out.

  • Wed: 1-5:30 pm, 6:15-7:00 pm, 8:30-9pm
  • Thurs: 9am-12noon, 12:30-4:15 pm, 7:30-9pm
  • Fri: 9:00-10:00am, 12:30-5:30pm, 6:15-9 pm
  • Sat: 9 -10:00am, 2:30-5:30 pm, 6:15-7 pm

Late arrivals: PLEASE have a friend get your room key and wait up for you.

Things to Bring

  • Toys for toddlers, children’s supplies (throw pillows, toys to share, soccer balls, etc.), puzzles and games for all ages.
  • Rise Up Singing, hymnals & voices for singing after dinner.
  • Instruments and musicians needed for the Faith and No Practice Band & Jammin’ Under the Trees.
  • Books for Book Swap table in auditorium lobby.
  • Your books-to-buy list for The FGC Bookstore.
  • Walking shoes for nature walks: check out the Path of Silence.
  • A friend/Friend new to your Meeting. Let them see how wonderful it is attend Southeastern Yearly Meeting’s Annual Sessions and Gathering!
  • Documents-In-Advance (DIAs) for Annual Sessions. See Business Page>

SEYM & LEC Rules

  • Complete Youth rules are specified in the Youth Program flyer>
  • Except during scheduled youth program times, all youth must be supervised by their parents, sponsors, or parent/sponsor-arranged f/Friends (25 yrs. & older). 1 adult may supervise up to 8 youth.
  • No video or electronic games are allowed in youth program sessions. Cell phones must be turned off during program sessions.
  • Limited display/table space is available for Quaker organizations and for Committees. Space must be reserved with Vicki Carlie: office@seym.org.
  • Park in designated areas only.
  • Quiet time from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am.
  • No skateboards, in-line skates, or scooters permitted. Youth on bikes must wear helmets.
  • The Gold Room kitchen is reserved for youth and evening snacks only.
  • The outdoor chapel and labyrinth are sacred memorial places—children must be quiet and respectful at all times and may visit only with an adult.
  • Alligators are in the lake. No swimming in lake.
  • No alcoholic beverages or recreational drugs allowed.
  • Pets on a leash are allowed in the camping area. Service dogs are allowed.
  • Cleanup—we are responsible for our own cleanup

Display Space 

Table displays are another great way for Friends to connect at the Gathering. Display space is available for Quaker organizations, SEYM committees, and non-profit organizations SEYM Friends work with.

Display spaces must be reserved with the SEYM Secretary, Vicki Carlie: office@seym.org, 407-739-4150.


2017 Gathering Evaluation Form

The Gathering Committee welcomes your feedback about this year’s Gathering and suggestions for next year!

Gathering Evaluation Form Online >