Sunday, July 10, 2005

Preface; FGC Gathering 2005: The Experience of a clerking young Friend

As I sat in the car on the way to FGC Gathering, watching the landscape change and keeping an eye out for groups of cows, I was in a state of utter disbelief that I was on my way to Gathering. Gathering! That one week of the year that I spend the rest of the year looking forward to, and here I was on my way to it! Not only that, but I was to be one of the 6 clerks who guide the high school community through the week. It was a disbelief in the sense that I was calmly sitting there looking forward to arriving while not dying with anticipation. I knew I would be busy, and I knew that the past three Gatherings were incredible, each one better for me than the last, but I had little notion of what this Gathering would bring. This year, as one of the clerks of the high school program, a week that would be easily considered intense by high school participants was to be even more so for me, if that sort of thing can even be compared.

[As part of this preface to my posts about my experience in the FGC Gathering High School Program, I need for Friends reading my posts to understand the basics of how the High School Program at FGC Gathering works. All of the guidelines of the program are ours, determined through hours of our own Meetings for Worship with Concern for Business. The counselors are there for guidance, not enforcement. During the week we all meet together for an hour a day in support groups of about ten or so high school participants and one counselor (these are analogous to groups often called family groups in other programs). Each support group sends one member to the Nurture Committee. Any concerns during the week, serious or small, are brought to Nurture Committee (which meets right after support groups each day), where discernment about how to address them takes place.

There are six HS program clerks (and one alternate) each year; these clerks are young Friends from the program, not adults. There are two co-presiding clerks, a recording clerk, and a support clerk of the Meeting for Business, and also two co-clerks of the Nurture Committee. Together, though, all of these clerks are clerks of the high school gathering during the entire week, a responsibility not limited to when meetings are occurring.]

I'm not sure how these posts of my experience will end up being, but I have faith that I will post in a manner that will convey what needs to be conveyed.

More coming soon…

Love and Light,

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