We are excited to host the next FGC Gathering, which will be held July 3-9, 2022 at Radford University in Radford, VA, USA as well as online. As a clerking team, we come from many places and are nurtured by many meetings. We have found joy, challenge, tension, and love in the work of building a Gathering.
The prospect of sharing space with many of you, some for the first time and some for the first time in a long time, is thrilling. We are also mindful that as we re-enter this space together, we are all grieving. Grief is not simply present after the loss of someone but takes different forms and space in our lives. Some of our grief is rooted in hanging on to things no longer serving us, while some of our grief is because of people, dreams, goals, experiences, and more that were taken away too soon.
Each year the Gathering is a space to stretch and grow, asking us to find the boundaries of our own needs, to check in with ourselves, our bodies, and one another. As we discover our own needs, we as a worshipping community have the opportunity to create practices and habits, to ask for help, to try new things, and to interrogate our discomfort.
The Gathering is a container for each of us to fill– with love, honesty, passion, kindness, and fearlessness. That process, where every individual is responsible to lead and to follow, to listen and respond, to grieve and heal, to share in the work and also to benefit from it, is deeply connected to our theme for the Gathering:
… and follow me
We recognize that our lives and experiences have changed in small and large ways since we last met. As a people who live into a theology of continual revelation and Spirit-led faith, we have the opportunity to bring our full, new selves to the 2022 Gathering. Together, we can build the community we seek. Together, we can transform ourselves. Together, we can be tender with ourselves and each other.
Loving and building,
Suzanne W. Cole Sullivan
Rebecca Cole Sullivan