What is keeping YOU from coming to Christ-centered Friends gatherings?

Hi, Friends! My name is Adria Gulizia, and I'm the "new media" coordinator for "Follow Me," this year's Annual Northeastern Christ-Centered Friends Gathering, which is happening at Powell House in upstate New York over Labor Day Weekend. I want to not only invite people who are curious about or committed to Christ to join us, but I would also like to know, for those of you who will not be joining us, why not?

I'm hoping Friends will tell me:

  • If you have come to Christ-Centered Friends Gatherings in the past and you aren't coming to this one, why not?
  • If you have never been to a Christ-Centered Friends Gathering, why not?
  • If you've been to Christ-Centered Friends Gatherings in the past and you ARE coming back, why do you keep coming?

Please be candid, Friends! I really want to know what you are thinking.

Thanks,

Adria

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I've never been to a Christ-Centered Friends meeting, although I'm Christian and would love to attend. The only thing stopping me is the gathering's temporal proximity to New England Yearly Meeting, which is usually the second week of August.  Two Quaker events in such rapid succession are a little logistically overwhelming for me (time away from family, money spent in travel and conference fees), especially as I often work weekends and have to negotiate time off. 

I simply do not believe in a christ, or that Jesus  was other than a man (n0t that there's anything wrong with your beliefs). That's why my path is to the unprogrammed meeting. Peace and happiness.

Thanks for your response! I wonder how many people are in the same boat, given that the summer appears to be yearly meeting season for many yearly meetings. Do you generally have to work Labor Day weekend, despite the holiday, or is it just too great a hassle to take two trips so close in time?

Sarah Rosemary Ann Zimmermann said:

I've never been to a Christ-Centered Friends meeting, although I'm Christian and would love to attend. The only thing stopping me is the gathering's temporal proximity to New England Yearly Meeting, which is usually the second week of August.  Two Quaker events in such rapid succession are a little logistically overwhelming for me (time away from family, money spent in travel and conference fees), especially as I often work weekends and have to negotiate time off. 

Thanks for your response, David! Not believing that Jesus was more than a man is a pretty good reason not to come - though if you are ever curious, know that you would be more than welcome! Also, don't forget that many other people have been led to the unprogrammed meeting (myself included!) who hold more traditional Quaker beliefs - one of the nice things about waiting worship is that almost anyone can benefit. Thanks again for chiming in!

David Bundrick said:

I simply do not believe in a christ, or that Jesus  was other than a man (n0t that there's anything wrong with your beliefs). That's why my path is to the unprogrammed meeting. Peace and happiness.

Friend Andria;

I would love to go - and as I understand it, I have at least a couple old f/Friends that will be there.  However, I have decided to go to QuakerSpring this year and because of time and distance, can not see clear to go to two Christ-centred Friends gatherings this year. 

 

I want to add that I think it is wonderful that there are multiple opportunities in the eastern states to have these kinds of gatherings.  For those of us who are renewing our Christian Quakerism - and exploring the way of Conservative Friends - these are such important opportunities.  I hope they will continue.  God bless you, Friends.

I have not been to a Christ-Centered Friends Gathering because there hasn't been one close enough to where I live and I cannot afford to travel very far. (I'm in south-eastern Wisconsin).

Hello, Cassie!

I think that there are Christian Friends' gatherings in Chicago.

Bill Rushby

Cassie Gornowicz said:

I have not been to a Christ-Centered Friends Gathering because there hasn't been one close enough to where I live and I cannot afford to travel very far. (I'm in south-eastern Wisconsin).

Hello, Adria!

My wife and I attended the last gathering of northeast Christian Friends in Massachusetts, and were happy to meet several people we had not known before.

We would like to attend the gathering at Powell House, if health allows.  I grew up on Lake Champlain, approximately 100 miles north of Albany.  My wife came from Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative).  We now live in the mountains of western Virginia.

You may be aware of the Northeast General Meeting, an abortive attempt to establish a Christian Friends' presence on an organizational level back in the 1970s.  Interestingly, it was held at Powell House, and drew a large crowd.  I think that its failure was a great loss.

We look forward to attending, if the Lord permits.

Bill (and Darlene) Rushby

 

 

 

Distance/cost/travel is the most obvious reason as I am on the Canadian west coast. We had wondered about trying to get to Barnsville on a family trip as there is an interest in connecting with Conservative Friends. However many of the recently "advertised" gatherings (as in mentioned on facebook) do not attract me I am afraid. I suppose in US terminology I am "liberal unprogramed", in Canadian or British terms I am just a "Quaker". Some of the gatherings I have heard about recently seem to be more of a mainstream US evangelical type rather than the type of Quaker christianity that I am used to in Canada and England. Evangelism, planned ministry by schooled/hired ministers, emphasis on scripture do not attract me. 

I hear truth in (what I understand to be) the teachings of Jesus the man, but not in the theology of Jesus as Christ. Which isn't to say that there isn't truth there to be had, or that it isn't profoundly meaningful for many others; I just haven't experienced it.

None of this would present any obstacle to attending a "Christ-Centered Friends Gathering", however, if I felt confident that other attendees respected and valued my encounter with the Spirit (for myself) as I do theirs (for them). Unfortunately, that hasn't been my experience of many people who identify themselves as "Christian", and trying to share fellowship with folks who don't recognize me as a "fellow" just makes me sad.

Hello, Aaron!

This is to let you know that I "resonate" with your good heartedness, and really wish you could come!

Bill Rushby

Proximity is the issue for me. I live in Seattle.

In response to David Brundick, please don't assume unprogrammed equals non-christian. I am an unprogrammed Christocentric Quaker.

To Aaron, I would welcome you at any gathering. I try to respect others' beliefs even as I would like my own respected.

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