2020 Gathering & Annual Sessions
April 8 – 12, 2020
United Methodist Life Enrichment Center, Fruitland Park, Florida
Join Friends from all over the SEYM region and beyond for 5 days of retreats, workshops, worship-sharing, the Walton Lecture, Intergenerational fun, a great Youth Program, and our Yearly Business Meeting Sessions.
our theme this year is
Spiritual & Cultural Transformation
the J. Barnard Walton Lecture & Retreats
will be presented by
Pamela Boyce Simms
Global society has crossed a threshold. The 21st century is witness to hundreds of millions of people caught up in cascading systemic transmutation. The time has come to hospice outworn ways of living that no longer serve us and the Earth, and birth an emergent, more compassionate, and resilient future.
the 56th Annual Walton Lecture • Saturday, April 11th • 7 pm
Embrace Groundlessness & Demystify the Mystical
to Potentize Activism
Successful navigation of the uncharted climate-changed territory ahead requires that we embrace uncertainty, unlearn, and release much of what we think we already know about our world and ourselves. We must learn how to live into non-duality which is the only metacognitive vantage point from which we can make any significant dent in complex multifaceted, existential 21st challenges. We’ll discover how Community Supported Enlightenment (CSE) ushers mystical experience out of the esoteric closets of the few by inviting participation in practices which democratize the opportunity for ALL.
“Mystical experience” is where deep contemplative practice melds with reality as a probability distribution as explained by quantum science, neuroscience, psychoneuroimmunology, and epigenetics. The CSE demystifies “mysticism” and builds participant capacity to live into non-duality —to consciously tap into the larger field of consciousness while simultaneously anchored in daily life. We foster and hone ongoing, conscious alignment with universal intelligence for our individual and collective evolution. Highly potentized activism is one of the myriad byproducts. We learn to embrace groundlessness, uncertainty, and befriend fear in order to embody curiosity and equanimity in tumultuous times.
Pamela Boyce Simms
As an engaged Eco-Buddhist and Quaker, Pamela brings compassion, insight and clarity to her work as an environmental activist, neurolinguistics master-practitioner, leadership coach, and consultant. She is a highly regarded speaker and facilitator; and was the speaker at the 2017 FGC Gathering closing plenary.
Her current work as an environmental activist includes representing QEW at the United Nations; convening the QEW African Diaspora Earthcare Coalition’s: a) Herbal Plant Medicine Project, and, b) Diasporas and Climate Change-displaced Populations Project; and serving as Climate Crisis Project Board Member at Swarthmore College, consulting on the Council for an Uncertain Human Future Initiative. In the past, she has served as a Transition Trainer for Transition US, and convenor of the Mid-Atlantic Transition Hub (MATH), a six-state network of environmental activists working in the Mid-Atlantic coastal megacity corridor.
Pamela is a seasoned social change agent who offers organization an experiential understanding of how groups can work as “human ecosystems.” She coaches a broad range of organizations and clients in cultivating strong relationships. She invites people to listen intently to each other to discern what is emerging in the group. She is a proponent of work that transforms anger and despair into compassion toward neighbors, communities and the environments; and seeks to cultivate a felt sense of interconnectedness that can see communities through the climactic, social, and economic challenges ahead. She affirms how working with the pain of the world can be a vehicle for self and community transformation.
Pamela holds a BSFS from Georgetown University’s Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service, a Matrise de Lettres (MA) de L’Universite de Dakar, Senegal, West Africa, and is a Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Karma Kagyu Meditation Instructor.
She is a contributing author to Resilience.org, and is a member of Hudson Monthly Meeting, NY.
Registration closes April 1. However, there may be a few spaces left after that date. To check on availability of meals & rooms, you may go ahead & register online, or contact:
Susan Wade, Registrar 727-821-5048 Susan Wade.
the 2020 Walton Retreats
led by Pamela Boyce Simms
Retreat Session 1 Wednesday, April 8, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Environmental Resilience-building for an Uncertain Human Future
Effective, holistic environmental resilience-building proceeds simultaneously from the inside out, AND the outside in. We’ll consider a case study in sustaining a dynamic, spirit-led balance between: 1) hands-on preparation for thriving as climate change accelerates in the decades ahead, and, 2) purposeful, community-supported self-transmutation in service to the survival of the whole.
Retreat Session 2 Saturday, April 11, 10 am – 12 noon
Emergent Governance: Sociocratic Organizations and Movement-building for a Post-carbon Future
Organizations and movements that want to be authentically relevant vehicles for social change during the kaleidoscopic times in which we live, need to “unlearn” linear, fragmented, and static approaches to governance. They must commit to ongoing transformation in sync with incessant environmental metamorphosis.
Global society is on an ecologically self-sabotaging course because the meaning we’ve made of the world is distorted by the illusion of disconnection and duality. Whether explicit or implicit, this dualism translates into hierarchical dominance, power-and-control dynamics, competition, and hyper-individualism at every scale in the organizations and networks we create.
We will experientially explore how dynamic, Quaker process-derived sociocratic governance generates an aerated, egalitarian space for organizational evolution. We’ll learn how sociocracy creates safe space for innovative self-expression, emergence of the unexpected, and universally equivalent agency.
More Gathering Highlights
More Workshops & Interest Groups Thursday – Saturday
Workshop Descriptions >
Gathering Program Schedule >
Early Worship by the lake 7:30 am every morning
Worship Sharing Thursday thru Saturday, 9:00 am
Annual Sessions Meeting for Worship for Business, Thursday afternoon – Sunday
- Intergenerational play: afternoons, Thursday – Saturday Capture the Flag, Savannah-grams, & other fun see Bulletin Board for day’s activities
- Swimming Friday afternoon
- Canoeing & Birding Saturday afternoon
- Intergenerational Dance Friday night, with the ‘Faith & No Practice Band’
- Campfire Friday night after the Dance
Youth Program: see Youth Program tab
Healing Center: Bldg. 3 breezeway, Friday & Saturday, 1:15-5:15 pm. Energy healing, compassionate listening, tea & snacks, quiet space. Sign-up sheets for free healing sessions will be available Thursday – Saturday. All are welcome.
Music Singing after meals • The Faith & No Practice Band • “Jammin’ on the Bench”
Bookstore Books from the FGC Quakerbooks & SEYM Publications • Book Swap table • bring cash or checks
See the full Schedule>
Our theme is
Join us in Creating Community, Enjoying Nature, Making Friends, Having Fun and Deepening our Quaker Values.
Registration & meals for youth attending with their families are free of charge, thanks to generous donors.
Special Activities include:
- high ropes course on Friday morning for teens
- archery on Friday Morning — for Junior & Young Friends
- swimming on Friday afternoon — all ages
- Family canoeing — option for families
- movie night for Young Friends, Saturday evening during Walton lecture
- Easter Egg hunt Sunday
Wee Friends: Indoor & Outdoor Play & Story time • Toddlers to kindergarten • Every day
- 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!
Read more about the Gathering Youth Program>
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: $86/night (two twin beds) Children may sleep on the floor for free or reserve cots for $10/night.
- Singles, sharing a room: $43/night/person. Sharing a room? You must list a roommate’s name when registering.
- Private (1-person) room: $63/night.
RV CAMPING: in the open area west of the Pavilion. Full Hookups are $21/night, Partial Hook-ups are $16/night.
TENT CAMPING: in the woods beyond the Pavilion. The area to the right of the Pavilion is reserved for SEYM. Sites are $15 /night.
DAY USE: For Friends only attending during the day. $7/person/day for site use.
Life Enrichment Center Dining
- Breakfast: 8:00 – 8:45 am $8.50/adult
- Lunch: 12:00 – 12:45 pm $10/adult
- Dinner: 5:30 – 6:15 pm $13/adult
Meals for Youth (under 18) 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.
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:
- 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, April 1.
- Scholarship Form: Work with your Meeting Clerk, or appropriate committee, to complete the Scholarship Form, and e-mail it to Susan Wade, Registrar, by April 1st.
- You may go ahead and submit your Registration Form online, following the form instructions in the Scholarship section. Registration deadline is April 1st.
- To confirm your registration, by April 1st 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 Susan Wade, Registrar: 727-821-5048, Susan Wade, Registrar.
Florida United Methodist Life Enrichment Center
4991 Picciola Road,
Fruitland Park, FL 34751
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 Dining Hall (Main) 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>
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: email@example.com, 407-739-4150.