407-739-4150  office@seym.org

2021 Gathering & Annual Sessions

online on zoom

March 31 – April 11, 2021

Join Friends from all over the SEYM region and beyond for retreats, workshops, worship-sharing, the Walton Lecture, Intergenerational fun, Youth activities, and our Yearly Business Meeting Sessions.

our theme this year is

What Now?

the J. Barnard Walton Lecture & Retreats

will be presented by

Emily Provance

What Now?

We’re in the midst of a time that’s anything but normal. We’re doing things differently, like it or not, and almost all of us are grieving: grieving loved ones, grieving predictability, grieving the condition of the world. We’re also hoping: hoping to reunite with dear ones, hoping for growth and new opportunities, hoping for something that feels like normal.

What we know for sure is that God continues to be present, and we continue to be a people, even when we’re apart. We know that everyone, not just Friends, is experiencing something meaningful right now. We are being changed.

What chapter of the story are we in? We don’t know, but this April, we’ll come together, and we’ll share our stories so far, and we’ll rejoice in each other’s presence, and we’ll ask, “Okay—what now?”

What’s different? What’s not? Where do we find Life? What does Spirit say? What are our next steps as a people?

Join us, as we find our way together.

—-Blessings on your walk until then, Emily Provance

Emily Provance is a traveling minister, author, retreat leader, lecturer, and member of Fifteenth Street Meeting, NY. She is passionate about making Quaker faith and practice more visible and accessible for anyone seeking a deeper spiritual journey. Her focus is on ministry, multi-age inclusion, outreach, Young Adults, leadings, spiritual gifts, and community.

Emily is engaged in various spiritual accompaniment and social media-based ministries, and she travels with a minute from her monthly and yearly meetings. On her blog Turning, Turning: Holy Experiments Among Friends, she explores an outreach model for Quaker meetings that is geared towards the experience of seekers.

Emily has served in various capacities in New York Yearly Meeting, including Young Adult Field Secretary, Youth Program, and more. As an FWCC traveling minister in 2017, she lead workshops on Discernment, Courage, Leadings & Concerns, Supporting ministry, Technology & algorithms in relation to social justice, Spiritual gifts & spiritual authority. She has authored several Friends Journal Articles, including: The Grief and the Promised LandFeeding Young Adults with a Taste of Abundance, and Envisioning Broader Quaker Membership.

Registration will be open through April 9. For questions or assistance with registration, please contact: Susan Wade, Registrar   727-821-5048  Susan Wade.

New to Zoom? Having technical difficulties? Find help at Online Meetings: Getting Started

Agendas for the Yearly Business Meeting Plenary Sessions are on the Business Meeting page>

 Scroll down for Schedule & Event Descriptions  

Register Online

 

To register by phone, or if you have Registration questions, contact:

Susan Wade, Registrar

 727-821-5048 

email Susan Wade

There is no charge to attend our 2021 Gathering, but — Please consider a donation to defray our expenses for:

  • the Walton Lecture & Retreat leader
  • Zoom and other technology
  • Year-round and administrative costs

Donation Options: We encourage you to donate when you register. You may pay online, or by check made payable to SEYM and mailed to the Registrar: Susan Wade, 945 13th St. N., Apt. A, St. Petersburg, FL.

Sign up your act!

for the 

All Ages Talent Show

7 – 8:15 pm, Friday, April 2nd 

Share your talents with Friends of all ages, or just watch and cheer for others! Music, singing, poetry reading, joke-telling, story-telling, or any other talent you can share is welcome. To sign up your act in advance, call/text Caroline Kaufmann at 412 496 2539.

Virtual Bookstore

Browse the SEYM Gathering 2021 Virtual Book Table! FGC Quakerbooks offers this curated collection of books that support the SEYM Gathering themes, and a few that FGC staff generally recommend.

 

SEYM Gathering Discount: SEYM Friends can get a 10% discount on any books on the FGC Quakerbooks website, for the duration of the Gathering, by using the Discount Code, SEYM (not case-sensitive).

Daily Family Devotionals

In addition to our scheduled Youth Program events, SEYM families are invited to join Emily Provance weekday mornings at 8am ET for Family Devotionals. These daily Zoom calls are designed for adults and children participating together. The audience primarily in mind is elementary school and preschool.

Read more and register>

Gathering Contacts

Clerk: Andrea Hoskins 

Registrar: Susan Wade 

 727-821-5048

Program Planning: 

Youth Program: Cece Yocum 

SEYM Office:  Susan Wade, Secretary

407-739-4150

Downloads & Flyers

 

Schedule (updated)

Daily Schedule & Descriptions  (updated 3/25, with links)

Worship Sharing Quotes & Queries

Quaker Bakers (all ages)

Scavenger Hunt (youth)

Schedule   •  all times show are Eastern Time  •  download Schedule pdf>

Daily Schedules with event/workshop descriptions    download pdf>

Wednesday, March 31st

2:30 – 3:45 pm: Executive Committee Meeting. All are welcome.

7 – 8: 15 pm: Monthly Meeting & Worship Group Forum.

The theme for the SEYM Gathering is “What Now?” And in this open forum for Friends in SEYM Meetings and Worship Groups, we will explore the many issues and questions that present themselves as we recover from a turbulent year of disruptions and look towards the future.

Thursday, April 1st

10 am: Worship Sharing: To Do the Work in Love  See the Quotes & Queries>

1:30 – 2:15 pm: Laughter Yoga   all ages welcome

Experience the joy of unconditional laughter. No Jokes—No Kidding! Sense of humor not required. Laughter Yoga is the unique concept that anyone can laugh for no reason at all. Laughter is started as an exercise in a group. It soon becomes real and contagious. You will feel great as you get the most fun workout you have ever had. Led by Joel Cook (Treasure Coast, Palm Beach).

2:30 pm: Plenary 2

Reports and discernment on our Nominating slate, Treasurer’s report; the Finance Committee will bring forward a proposed budget. See the Business Meeting page for agenda>

7 – 8:30 pm: F/friends Reckoning with Racism, Justice Reform, and Election Integrity

This workshop will focus on educating F/friends about the historical foundations of systemic racism and its contemporary manifestations. Our focus will be on preparing friends to understand the building blocks of systemic racism and feel comfortable talking about how we perpetuate them today. Education is a precursor to action. We will include a conversation about moving from learning to action – what can F/friends do to challenge and transform systemic racism? How can F/friends do that work faithfully, with integrity, and by working in solidarity and accompaniment with people who are directly affected? We will discuss FCNL’s work on justice reform, policing, election integrity, and voter suppression and invite F/friends to take action with FCNL. We’ll close with an opportunity for Friends from different monthly meetings to gather in breakout rooms to discuss the content of the workshop, share their individual and corporate efforts at the monthly meeting level, and germinate new ideas for further learning, reflection, and action. Sponsored by the Peace & Social Concerns Committee

Friday, April 2nd

8:00 – 8:30 am: Worship

10 am: Worship Sharing:To Witness As God Wants   See the Quotes & Queries>

1 – 2 pm: Virtual Bookstore

Friends are invited to talk about books! Audrey Greenhall, FGC Quakerbooks staff, will join our discussion to talk about the “Best Books from FGC.” Facilitated by Caroline Kaufmann, Gathering Bookstore Coordinator.

If you are interested In reserving a time slot to discuss particular books or topics, please contact Caroline Kaufmann at kaufmanncl@msn.com or call/text at 412 496 2539. Please put SEYM Bookstore in the subject line and be sure to include your preferred contact information.

2:30 – 3:45 pm: Plenary 3

Committee Reports, including first reading of proposed minutes brought forward by committees. See the Agenda on the Business Meeting page>

7 – 8:15 pm: All Ages Talent Show

Share your talents with Friends of all ages, or just watch and cheer for others! Music, singing, poetry reading, joke-telling, story-telling, or any other talent you can share is welcome.

To sign up your act in advance, send your name, description of your talent, and contact information to Caroline at kaufmanncl@msn.com, or call/text at 412 496 2539. If you have an act, please login to zoom at 6:45.

Saturday, April 3rd

10 – 11 am: All Ages Worship Sharing.

Field Secretary for Earthcare Beverly Ward will facilitate, with Queries on our relationship to the earth and our and experience of nature. See website for updates.

11:15 am – 12:15 pm: Quaker Bakers  all ages

Friends of all ages are invited to bake an Easter Egg Cake! Use your own recipe and design, or follow the attached recipe (in part or completely). We chat with the other adventurous Quakers in our kitchens as we bake our creations, and when we’re done, we share them! Led by Jennifer Mendoza (Sarasota). See the recipe>

1 – 2:15 pm: Intergenerational Games. All ages are welcome! Led by Quaker Youth.

2:30 – 3:45 pm: Mirrors of Identity: Personal Reflections on Racial Experience

All Friends are warmly welcomed to attend this workshop as another step towards removing White supremacy from SEYM. The workshop will offer a spiritually grounded, unconditionally accepting and safe place for all Friends to reflect together and be lovingly heard on their own life experiences with race. Together, we will meet each other where we are, without judgment. The format will be primarily worship sharing in small Zoom groups, while also gathering as a whole group. Facilitators: Members of the Committee for Ministry on Racism

7 – 8:15 pm: Retreat #1: Interruptions

Through queries, pair-sharing, and activities, we’ll reflect on the ways in which the last year has interrupted both our own stories and the stories through which we understand the world. Facilitator: Emily Provance

Sunday, April 4th

1:00 – 2:15 pm: Affinity Group for White Friends or Friends of European Descent Confronting Racism.

Our racial justice work is sustained in part by staying connected with others doing this work. Gather with other White (European American) Friends and attenders who are addressing racism and Whiteness in our lives and in our Quaker communities. Kody Hersh and Susan Taylor will serve as co-hosts. Registration and Sign-up required.

2:30 – 3:45 pm: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Affinity Group.

Come to meet and talk with other BIPOC Friends and attenders. We will create our own agenda, which may include sharing our experiences as Friends. Beverly Ward (Tampa Meeting) and at least one other Friend from the Committee for Ministry on Racism will serve as hosts.

4:00 – 5:15 pm Quaker Youth Action for Young Adults & High School Teens

Find out how to get involved in Quaker organizations, from short-term online engagement, to in-person, to long-term voluntary service. Join representatives of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) and Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL) to hear more and to ask questions. Facilitator: Mira Tanna

Tuesday, April 6th

7- 8:15 pm: What Am I Going to Be?  for Middle School, Teens, & Young Adults

What are spiritual gifts? Do all of us have them? How do I know what my gifts are or what to do with them? What does that have to do with figuring out what I’m going to do in the world? (Hint: you don’t have to have a single answer to the question “what are you going to be when you grow up?”) Young Adult Quakers (18 – 35), teens, and middle school students are all invited to this session. There will be follow up sessions with teens and young adults on Wednesday evening, April 7th. Facilitator: Emily Provance

Wednesday, April 7th

1 – 3:45 pm: Awakening from Spiritual Lethargy in the Time of Covid

We will be delving into what lethargy is for each of us, and addressing the very real personal fears, losses, and grief we have all experienced. Additionally, we will consider the impacts of loss of audience, lack of positive interactions with other souls, and exploring possible positive individual and corporate paths forward. Sponsored by the Worship & Ministry Committee.

7 – 8:00 pm: What Am I Going to Be? with Emily Provance    teens only

This is a follow-up session to the Tuesday session with Emily Provance — for teens only. We’ll continue the conversation about gifts and finding our pathways in the world, but we’ll focus on whatever parts of that conversation the group most wants to explore, including (if there’s interest) specific program and mentorship opportunities available to teens.

8:15 – 9:15 pm:   What Am I Going to Be?   for young adults (ages 18 – 35)

This is a follow-up session to the Tuesday session with Emily Provance — for young adults only. We’ll continue the conversation about gifts and finding our pathways in the world, but we’ll focus on whatever parts of that conversation the group most wants to explore, including (if there’s interest) specific program and mentorship opportunities available to young adults.

Thursday, April 8th

10 – 11 am: Worship Sharing:The Truth is Continuously Revealed   See the Quotes & Queries

1:30 – 2:15 pm: Laughter Yoga   all ages welcome

Experience the joy of unconditional laughter. No Jokes—No Kidding! Sense of humor not required. Laughter Yoga is the unique concept that anyone can laugh for no reason at all. Laughter is started as an exercise in a group. It soon becomes real and contagious. You will feel great as you get the most fun workout you have ever had. Led by Joel Cook (Treasure Coast, Palm Beach).

2:30 – 3:45 pm: Plenary 4

SEYM Representatives to Organizations will give their reports. See the agenda on the Business Meeting page.

7 – 8:15 pm: All Ages Playback Theater

Playback Theatre is an original form of improvisational theatre in which audience or group members tell stories from their lives and watch them enacted on the spot. Presented by Living Mirror Playback Theater (Tampa), with members Cece Yocum and Beverly Ward (Tampa Meeting).

Friday, April 9th

8:00 – 8:30 am: Worship

10 – 11 am: Worship Sharing: How Does the Truth Prosper?  See the Quotes & Queries>

11:30 am – 1:30 pm: Open Fellowship: Drop in and visit with Friends. hosted by Joel Cook

2:30 – 3:45 pm: What Now for Earthcare in SEYM?

A panel of Earthcare Committee members will present what they see as the most pressing current earthcare issues in the SEYM region, bringing forward specific concerns that call for immediate action. There will be discussion of forming an action group, based on the FCNL advocacy teams, for regional lobbying on earthcare concerns at state and local levels. It is intended that by the end of this workshop, the framework for a potential Friends Committee on Florida Legislation will have been created.

7 pm: Community Movie Night, Moana

Orlando Meeting invites SEYM Friends to join us on Zoom for our monthly, all-ages “Family & Friends” community nights. We gather online for Dinner fellowship at 6 pm ET (pizza is traditional, but not required), and a movie at 7 pm EDT.

Saturday, April 10th

8:00 – 8:30 am: Worship

10 – 11:15 am Retreat #2: Integrations

Through queries, pair-sharing, and activities, we’ll search for ways to integrate the events of the past year, and our condition in the present, into our ongoing stories.

1 – 2:15 pm: Youth Scavenger Hunt  youth & families only

Youth will search their locale for a list of 12 items, then share them on zoom. A gift will be mailed to you for all the items you find! See the list>. Brian Olson will facilitate.

2:30 – 3:45 pm Plenary 5

We will hear reports from the Youth Committee, Youth & Young Adult Coordinator, and Field Secretary for Earthcare, and hear the second readings of minutes proposed by committees. Documents in Advance will be posted on the Business Meeting page.

7 – 8 pm: The Walton Lecture: Interruption, Integration, Transfiguration

Emily will speak from the silence on how we change, are changed, effect change–and cling to the unchangeable.

Sunday, April 11th

8:00 – 8:30 am: Worship

10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Open Fellowship. Drop in and visit with Friends. Hosted by Joel Cook.

1 – 2:15 pm: Plenary 6.

Second readings and approval of the Nominating slate and Budget. Reading of the Yearly Meeting 2021 Epistle.

2:30 pm: Closing Worship