Saturday, March 31, 2007

Press release

News Release

Quaker Pagans Host Conference in Michigan

Can one be a Quaker and a Pagan at the same time? Members of the Religious Society of Friends who experience the Divine through Nature not only say "yes," but are organizing nationally for the first time - at Great Waters Pagan Friends Gathering.

The Gathering takes place Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28, 2007 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Gathering includes workshops, worship, discussions and more at the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting on Hill Street. Huron Valley Pagan Friends Circle is sponsoring the Gathering.
While Ann Arbor Friends Meeting is not co-sponsoring the Gathering, the Meeting holds the Gathering in the Light; Gathering organizers also hold Ann Arbor Friends Meeting in the Light.

"Are you a Quaker who experiences the Divine primarily through Nature, the Earth and Her seasons, the Divine Feminine, the Goddess and the God, or other pre-Christian Deities?" the organizers write on their website, "Are you a Pagan who finds Quaker worship and Quaker testimonies - Peace, Simplicity, Equality, Integrity, and
Stewardship/Earthcare - a central part of how you walk through your life? [Then] come to Great Waters."

The $45 registration fee does not include food or lodging (information on both, including camping options, are available at the website).

Participants under the age of five attend for free.

Find out more about Huron Valley Pagan Friends Circle at

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New link list

I've just posted a new link list titled "Resources," which contains most of the resources listed throughout the blog in one place.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How to register for Great Waters

  1. Read the brochure completely, available here as well as at the link to the right.
  2. Fill out the registration form, available here as well as at the link to the right.
  3. Mail your registration, postmarked by by 05/03/07, to the address on the form, with the appropriate payment.

If you can't download the form, or if you have additional questions, please leave a comment here, or email us at

We are looking forward to the Gathering, particularly to seeing old F/friends and new, and to spending time together in community!

In Friendship,
Blessed Be,

Regsitration form and brochure now available!

Thanks to Friend Laura Salmonstone, the following files are now available on the Great Waters blog:

~ Registration form
~ Brochure
~ Full-page flier
~ Half-page flier

Click on the links to the right.

You can see Laura's work at

Thank you, Laura!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Modified brochure

Note: This is the same info as in the brochure, but formatted completely differently. - sm

Great Waters
Pagan Friends Gathering
A Gathering for Pagan Quakers & Quaker Pagans

Memorial Day Weekend
May 25-28, 2007
Ann Arbor, MI

Are you a Quaker who
identifies as Pagan?

Are you a Pagan who
identifies as Quaker?

Come celebrate
a weekend of community!


Are you a Quaker who experiences the Divine primarily through Nature, the Earth and Her seasons, the Divine Feminine, the Goddess and the God, or other pre-Christian Deities?

Are you a Pagan who finds Quaker worship and Quaker testimonies – Peace, Simplicity, Equality, Integrity, and Stewardship/Earthcare – a central part of how you walk through your life?

Come to Great Waters.


Great Waters Pagan Friends Gathering
Great Waters is a weekend for Quaker Pagans and Pagan Quakers:
• Quakers, or those familiar with and in sympathy with Friends beliefs, testimonies, and worship,
• who experience That-Which-Is-Sacred primarily through Nature, the Earth and Her seasons, the Divine Feminine, the Goddess and the God, or other pre-Christian Deities (or who also identify as Pagan).
• Hosted by Huron Valley Pagan Friends Circle, and held in spiritual care by an international group of Quaker Pagans/Pagan Quakers.
• We will share worship, worship sharing, ritual, meals, games, workshops and interest groups, time outdoors, and a visit with the Friends (Quaker) Meeting whose space we are renting.

Gathering Site
• Our Gathering site is Ann Arbor Friends Meetinghouse in Ann Arbor, MI.
• The Meetinghouse is wheelchair-accessible.
• Although Ann Arbor Friends Meeting is not co-sponsoring this event, the Meeting holds the Gathering organizers and attenders in the Light with love. Huron Valley Pagan Friends Circle likewise holds Ann Arbor Friends Meeting in the Light with love.

Gathering Schedule
Gathering events are planned at the Meetinghouse as follows:
• 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Friday night, May 25
• 8:00 am – 9:00 pm Saturday, May 26
• 8:00 am – 9:00 pm Sunday, May 27.
• 8:00 am – 12:30 pm Monday, May 28
Please note that we will be sharing space with regularly-scheduled activities in the Ann Arbor Friends Meetinghouse throughout the weekend, but particularly on Sunday (First Day).

We encourage you to make your hotel or campsite reservations as soon as possible.
• Hotels: Please see for a listing of area hotels.
• Camping: For information on local RV and tent sites (KOA, private, and state park), please see Fees at local campsites range from $10-$25 per night.
• Home hospitality: Whether local Friends will be able to offer home hospitality is not clear yet. If you will not be able to attend the Gathering without home hospitality, please let us know on your registration form.

• Because the Meetinghouse does not have a licensed kitchen, and catering would increase Gathering costs, we will not provide meals.
• However, during times when no other group has reserved the kitchen, individuals may use the Meetinghouse kitchen downstairs to cook food they have brought. We will organize potlucks for lunch Saturday, and dinner Saturday and Sunday. For lunch on Sunday, we will join Ann Arbor Friends Meeting’s regular potluck.
• Dining out is also an option: the Meetinghouse is near downtown Ann Arbor, with its many restaurants.

• Registration must be postmarked by May 3, 2007.
• Registration must include payment in US funds in the form of a check or postal money order.
• Payment is non-refundable unless another person can fill your spot.
• If space is available, registrations postmarked after May 3 will be accepted with a $10 late fee.

• The Gathering fee is $45 for each person over the age of 5 years.
• This fee represents an estimate of the cost of the Gathering (renting the Meetinghouse and the expenses of organizing the event) divided by the expected number of participants.
• This fee does not include housing or food, which are not provided by the Gathering. Those who wish to share potluck meals should bring an additional $3 per meal; see “Food” for more information.

Financial Assistance
If you need financial assistance to attend, please apply to your home faith community – Monthly/Yearly Meeting, Circle, Coven, Grove, etc.

• By air: The nearest airport is Detroit Metro (DTW) (30 minutes away). Shuttles and taxis usually cost around $45. For information on airlines and ground transportation (including car rentals and sample taxi fees), see
• By rail: Amtrak has a station stop in Ann Arbor (ARB) at 325 W. Depot St. (6 minutes away). For train schedules and fare information, see
• By bus: Greyhound Bus has a station in Ann Arbor at 116 W. Huron St. (5 minutes away). For bus schedules and fare information, see
• By car: We suggest for directions from home or the airport. The site address is 1420 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI.
• Carpooling: We strongly encourage carpooling! If you can offer a ride from anywhere along your way, including the airport, please indicate so on your registration form.

For more information
• On the web: See Includes additional resources and detailed camping information.
• Email: great-waters at hotmail dot com.

Information on camping

If a hotel feels a little too expensive, or if, like many nature-lovers, you're just happier camping, here is some information on local camping options (both RV and tent). Most of these are within a 30-minute drive of the Gathering site. Some additional campgrounds are listed here.

The average temperatures in this part of southeastern Michigan at the end of May are highs around 75 F, with lows around 50 F.

We hope this information is helpful!

Detroit / Greenfield KOA

6680 Bunton Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, (734) 482-7722
email: information at detroitgreenfieldkoa dot com
Reservations: (800) 562-7603 or on-line

Southeast of Ann Arbor, on Lake Greenfield, app. 20 minutes by car from the Great Waters site. Pet-friendly. Fees range from $26/night for tent camping with no hookup to $42/night for Kabins and are based on 2 adults. Please note that the campground does have activities planned for the holiday weekend.

KC Campground

14048 Sherman Road, Milan, MI 48160, (734) 439-1076
reservations by phone or on-line

South of Ann Arbor, also lakefront, app. 20 minutes by car from the Great Waters site. Fees range from $20/night for rustic sites to $25/night for electric and water and are based on 2 adults, with children under 17 free.

Pinckney Recreation Area (Bruin Lake)

8555 Silver Hill Road, Pinckney MI 48169, (734) 426-4913
reservations by phone or on-line

Northwest of Ann Arbor, on a chain of lakes in the beautiful Pinckney State Recreation Area, app. 30 minutes by car from the Great Waters site. Pet-friendly. Fees range from $10/night for rustic sites at Crooked Lake or Blind Lake, $16-$22 for modern sites at Bruin Lake, to $60/night for the Glenbrook Yurt (capacity of 5). For definitions of rustic and modern, click here.

Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permits are also required. Depending on the length of your stay, it may make more sense to purchase a yearly permit than a daily one. Reduced rates are available for people who receive Food Stamps. Be warned that the resident/non-resident designation depends on the registration of your vehicle, not your driver's license or checkbook.
~ annual resident permit, $24
~ annual non-resident permit, $29
~ daily resident permit, $6
~ daily non-resident permit, $8

Friday, March 9, 2007

Brochure and registration form

The brochure and the registration form are now available! Hooray.

However, I've run into a technical hitch and would love assistance. If there's a way to post a file on Blogger, I've yet to figure it out. So, if anyone knows how to do so, or would be willing to host two documents -- the brochure and the registration form -- on their website, please email us at great-waters at hotmail dot com.

Hosting would simply mean that when people clicked on the link on the blog, the document would open from wherever it's hosted; neither document would need to be listed anywhere on your website.

In the meantime, if you'd like to receive a copy of the brochure and/or registration form by email, please email great-waters at hotmail dot com.

The brochure and registration form are also available to members of the QuakerPagans YahooGroup in the Files section.


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Update on flier, brochure, registration form

Just a quick note to say that the flier and the brochure with registration form are nearly done, and should be available by the end of the week.

Explicitly Quaker Pagan resources

I had somehow managed not to post links here to the excellent work of Cat Chapin-Bishop and Peter Bishop. Let me remedy that.

Quaker Paganism
A Pagan's Queries
Resources, including lists of articles about Quaker Paganism and Quaker Universalism

Their blog:
Quaker Pagan Reflections: Welcome to the online journal of a pair of Quaker Pagans

One of the really nice things about Cat and Peter's work is that it comes from an explicitly Pagan Quaker/Quaker Pagan perspective.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Activities at the Gathering

What will happen at Great Waters?
Worship; worship sharing; interest groups and workshops; ritual; get-to-know you activities; fun and games; large-group discussions about Quaker Paganism/Pagan Quakerism; potluck meals together, as well as a potluck with Ann Arbor Friends Meeting; Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business; spending time with Ann Arbor Friends during their regular First Day (Sunday) activities; a No-Talent-Required-Show; and more.

Quaker Meeting for Worship.
We will meet for worship in the unprogrammed tradition. What is Friends' worship? Below are some resources from Friends General Conference. While some of these are from what may seem to non-Christians to be a narrowly Judeo-Christian point of view, please don't let that keep you from their wisdom. In addition, I am hoping some Pagan Friends will step forward to share their experiences on this site.
~ Enriching Meeting for Worship, from FGC's "A Quaker Toolbox."
~ The Quakers, or, Our Neighbors, the Friends, by William J. Whalen.
~ Friends and Worship, by Douglas V. Steere.
~ Silent Worship and Quaker Values, by Marsha D. Holliday. "What to expect at Friends' worship."
~ Helping Prepare Teenagers and Children for Meeting for Worship, by Margaret Kantranides.

Worship sharing.
In the spirit of worship, but a little less formal than Meeting for Worship; often based on a query or series of queries.
~ Worship Sharing, from FGC's "A Quaker Toolbox."

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.
How Friends do business within Meetings.
~ Quaker Business Basics, from FGC's "A Quaker Toolbox."

Interest Groups and Workshops.
Do you have a workshop you'd like to offer, or is there a workshop you hope someone else will offer? Let us know! (Leave a comment!) So far, some of our workshop ideas include sustainability, singing, a trip to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, what does it mean to be a Quaker Pagan/Pagan Quaker?, semi-programmed worship: where Quaker worship and pagan ritual come together, handwork in the Light/handwork ministry and magic, a walk in the Arb (Nichols Arboretum)... and more. What would help deepen your spiritual practice as a Quagan? What would help you feel part of a community of others who share both your Quakerism and your Paganism?

Many Pagan traditions share ritual and/or magic* as a form of worship. One example of a generic ritual structure would be: cleansing space and setting aside ordinary time, space, and worries; marking sacred space; welcoming the earth, air, fire, water, and spirit essential to life; welcoming the Divine; setting an intention (which could be as simple as experiencing the Divine); creating a symbolic representation of that intent; raising energy towards it; grounding the energy that's been raised; making a commitment to a concrete action in support of that intention; quiet time/ trance/ meditation time; sharing food and drink; thanking the earth, air, fire, water, spirit, and Divine presence; and re-entering ordinary consciousness.
* Dion Fortune and Starhawk both discuss/define magic as "the art of changing consciousness [or, the art of creating a change in consciousness] in accordance with will."

Get-to-know-you activities.
A Big Wind Blows, anyone? Okay, maybe we'll play A Big Wind Blows, maybe not. But you get the idea. We will spend some time getting to know each other in some non-threatening, not-too-personal, physically accessible, lighthearted, fun, silly and even serious ways.

Fun and Games.
Literally. Bring your favorite game -- board game, movement game, almost any kind of family-friendly game -- for our Fun and Games night.

Our lunch and dinner options are eating out, or potlucking together. On Sunday, we will also participate in Ann Arbor Friends Meeting's monthly potluck. (Jen, as you're on Potluck Committee for AAFM, is there anything you'd like to share?)

Read or tell a story, sing with some friends or by yourself, dance, tell a joke, do a skit, recite poetry, read something you've written... Some talent-sharing (or talent show, or no-talent show) offerings from other Gatherings that come to this writer's mind include: reading a favorite children's story, singing new versions of "Simple Gifts," leading a group song, stories, small groups singing both serious and silly things, little kids making fun of grownups, a dialog between Simple Life and Radiant Faith, a dialog between Prudence and Simplicity, three younglings singing FLGBTQC's new name to the tune of "ABC"... I'm sure other Friends can help me out here.

Spending time together... building and celebrating community.
Most of all, we will spend time together, in a space where each of us is 100% welcomed as a Pagan and as a Friend, where we can celebrate and enjoy being with each other.

A note
Our Gathering will not be comprehensively inclusive of all traditions with Quakerism or Paganism. (In fact, there's no way it can be.)

In terms of Quakerism, those of us involved in planning and supporting this Gathering come primarily, although not exclusively, from the unprogrammed Quaker tradition and are part of Friends General Conference. In terms of Paganism, we come from very different traditions -- some very structured, some very egalitarian, some feminist, some eclectic, some ecstatic; and I know I'm leaving many out.

I hope more of the folks involved in planning and supporting this Gathering will add their own voices to the posts about this Gathering.

Yours in Friendship,
Blessed be,
Sta┼Ťa Morgan-Appel