2021 Virtual Section Meeting Activities

Click on the title or question to jump to the response…

What happens at the Section Meeting?

What are the different events at the Section Meeting?


What happens at the Section Meeting?

How is the schedule organized?  

Because we are meeting virtually, the schedule is a bit more complicated this year.  Our major events are scheduled on the weekends of March 12-14 and March 20-21, and other small group sessions are scheduled during the week of March 15th.  Because we are working across multiple time zones, some of the small group sessions have alternatives to meet earlier in the day or later in the day.  Please consult the draft schedule on our website at https://fwccamericas.org/_wp/event/2021-section-meeting/, as there may be changes to the schedule.

Do I have to participate in everything?  

We hope you will participate for as much as you are able!  We understand that with a virtual event like this over multiple days, not everyone will be able to participate in all the sessions.  If you are an official representative from your Yearly Meeting, we do need you to participate in the two business sessions.  We also very much hope everyone will participate in all three meetings of your home group, as that is the experience past Section Meeting participants have consistently valued most.

What are the different events at the Section Meeting?

Worship

We will have multiple opportunities to worship together, in worship styles reflective of the diversity of Friends in the Americas.  Larger programmed and semi-programmed worship services are being planned for both Sunday mornings, which all registrants are encouraged to attend.  There is an unprogrammed meeting for worship on Thursday during the week.  We are also organizing smaller morning worship and evening worship sessions during the week, for those who are interested and available.  Formats for those sessions will vary depending on the interest and willingness of different volunteers to lead them.

If you are interested in sharing music during worship services or in taking on a leadership role during weekend or weekday worship, please look for the appropriate places on the registration form to let us know that!

Workshops

Here is a list of this year’s workshops!  Each registrant will be able to participate in one workshop, and we ask that you identify your top three choices when you register.  Some workshops will be limited to a certain number of participants.   

  • Workshops on Tuesday, March 16 will take place at 5pm Pacific/6pm Mountain/7pm Central/8pm Eastern time.  
  • Workshops on Wednesday, March 17 will take place at 12 noon Pacific/1pm Mountain/2pm Central, 3pm Eastern time.  

On the registration form, you will need to choose your top three choices from this list of options:

  • On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry, Brian Drayton and Benigno Sánchez-Eppler (Tuesday March 16)
  • Pastoral Care Online, Carl Magruder (Tuesday March 16)
  • Supporting Clearness and Faithfulness, Marcelle Martin and Jorge Arauz (Tuesday, March 16)
  • Connecting with Indigenous Peoples through the Land, Paula Palmer (Tuesday March 16)
  • Virtual Children’s Programs At a Large Scale, Melinda Wenner Bradley and Cristela Martinez  (Tuesday March 16)
  • Alternatives to Traditional Committee Structures, Robin Mohr (Tuesday March 16)
  • Friends worldwide working together on sustainability, Susanna Mattingly and Faith Biddle (Wednesday March 17)
  • A Practical Guide to Spiritual Discernment, Jerry Knutson (Wednesday March 17)
  • Flourishing Pathways for Local Meetings, Scott Wagoner  (Wednesday March 17)
  • Disaster Preparedness for local meetings and churches, Walter Shore (Wednesday March 17)

Home Groups

Home Groups are smaller groups of people that will meet together three times during the Section Meeting.  The Home Groups offer the opportunity for us to connect with others, to create a smaller community within the larger gathering, and to share our experiences in a spiritually grounded place.  The groups will work a bit differently this year, due to the virtual setting, but our goal is to foster that same sense of community and closeness that can come from an in-person small group.  Home groups are bilingual, and their composition reflects the diversity of Friends in attendance.

Music Festival

We are inviting our brothers and sisters to share their musical talents (singing, piano, guitar, musical groups, etc.) at this year’s Section Meeting!  We are organizing a “Talent Festival” where Friends from the Section of the Americas can share a hymn of their congregation or a cultural song of their country. If you want to participate, check the appropriate box near the bottom of the registration form!

Note that we are also looking for volunteers to share music during worship services, and there will also be a place to indicate your interest in sharing in that format.

Business Sessions

The Section Meeting is the legal gathering of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas, and it is necessary that we conduct certain business matters during the meeting.  We have two business sessions scheduled, one on the afternoon of Saturday, March 13th and one on Saturday, March 20th.  It is important that people who are the official representatives of their Yearly Meeting attend, as we need a quorum to conduct the business.  Business will include items such as nominations, affiliations of two Yearly Meetings with FWCC, financial reports, and a budget for the next two fiscal years.

Advance documents and reports for the business sessions will be posted closer to the time.

If I’m not a representative, should I go to the business sessions?  

Everyone who registers is welcome and encouraged to participate in the business sessions!

What should I do to prepare for business sessions?  

Closer to the Section Meeting, we will be posting relevant documents and information.  Please review the agenda and advance documents before the business sessions.

Regional Meetings

On Sunday, March 14th, we will have regional gatherings.  This is an opportunity to get to know other representatives and interested Friends from your geographical region within FWCC Section of the Americas.

Interest Groups

An interest group has one or more facilitators, but does not have a pre-planned program.  Rather, it is an opportunity to talk with other Friends who share with you some specific interest or concern.  Interest group topics are suggested by participants and led by participants, so we won’t know what those will be until closer to the time.  Interest groups are open to all registrants who wish to participate.  We will post more information here as it becomes available.

Orientation

On Friday, March 12, we will have orientation sessions for newcomers to the Section Meeting, at which we can explain more about the different events and parts of the Section Meeting.  If you are unable to attend at the time, we will make a recording of this session available afterwards.

On the same day, we will also have an orientation session for representatives.  Again, the recording will be available afterwards if you are unable to attend at that time.

Bible Study

We will have multiple opportunities for bible study available during the week, with some morning/midday and some afternoon/evening sessions.  Please feel welcome, regardless of which branch of Friends you belong to!

Pastoral Care

There is a pastoral care team available, drawn from a diversity of backgrounds, to talk and pray with anyone who may need encouragement, comfort, or spiritual support.