Thread Gatherings began in January of 2013 to draw meetings into closer fellowship, to nurture our collective wisdom and corporate ministry, and to share resources so work can be joined and strengthened. The image of the “thread” was and remains a useful metaphor, representing aspects of Quaker Faith and Practice that weave us together, as it were. From 2013 to 2015, six Thread Gatherings were held annually. Then in 2016, we engaged in some experimentation and reduced the number of Thread Gatherings to three.
2017 is upon us, and our testing has yielded an important revision to the purpose of Thread Gatherings. Thread Gatherings exist not only to draw together, nurture ministry and share resources. They also exist to provide the conditions for sustainable community and for shared work to be coordinated and continued after the gathering. The addition of these goals means that each Thread Gathering needs custom designing and expectations that are more specific to the topic at hand. For example, it now makes sense that Worship & Ministry might require a different program design than Religious Education because each focus and each associated audience has its own set of needs and relationships.