The Gathering in Appreciation

This Gathering was an opportunity to be gathering in the spirit with multiple witnesses and a spectrum of Friends, beliefs, and practices:

  • a sense of larger life, among and beyond us
  • the strength of community that we are together
  • warm, inclusive, and appreciative greetings
  • listening and learning from a rich assortment of others’ experiences
  • informal, spontaneous moments of lending a hand
  • expanded thought that wakes one up
  • new awarenesses bursting open like 4th of July fireworks
  • good finding in each and all regardless of circumstances and conditions
  • a safe and evoking place
  • an awesome time to give and receive love in its many forms

There were many workshops and events (with a schedule that seemed designed so that there was a more relaxed pace than usual at Gatherings). Some workshops and events were clearly and easily nurturing, while others required more from us, so as to be accepting and understanding. In one sense, it didn’t matter, given that we can always learn from our experience, and do better the next time. Most important was the spirit in which we gathered, and we were reminded of our oneness—yes!

A vast array of Friends have been faithful and labored long to create this container known as the Gathering. And for the opportunities their work has made possible, and the resulting potential ripple effect, I am deeply grateful.

Margery Mears Larrabee

Margery Mears Larrabee, a member of Mt. Holly (N.J.) Meeting, is an elder and minister in Friends General Conference's Traveling Ministries Program.