Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Tips for First Time Attenders at the Gathering

Welcome Sessions

All those new to the Gathering are encouraged to attend one of the Welcome Sessions on Sunday, June 27 at 6:30pm Eastern or Monday, June 28 at 9:30pm Eastern, held on Zoom. Welcome Sessions will introduce you to the Gathering and connect you to experienced buddies as well as other first time attenders. You can also practice your Zoom skills! Gathering registrants will be emailed the link. 

First Time Attenders are also invited to connect during the Wednesday, June 30 Open Hang Out Times at noon and 9:30pm eastern. 

Self-Care and Connection

There are many opportunities to make new friends at the Gathering! For many, workshops provide a comfortable home base with friendships that develop out of sharing a common interest. Worship sharing will be held in the morning and evening - participants who register in advance will be in the same group all week, or you may also drop-in on any day you choose. There are also three Open Hang Out Times available each day for Friends to meet, connect, and share with one another.

  • Be sure to get plenty of rest. Some experienced attenders encourage naps. You can’t do everything!
  • Take a break from the computer. Stretch, go for a walk, call a friend.


Since most of this year’s Gathering is on Zoom, make sure you have internet access and download the most recent version well before the Gathering starts.

Attend one of the Zoom Basics trainings for Gathering attenders.

Friends attending by phone only will be emailed the Zoom phone numbers to use. You can dial into most events using these phone numbers.

Worship & Grounding

There are numerous opportunities for worship and worship sharing during the Gathering. Worship sessions are open to anyone who wishes to attend. They are not limited to members of the sponsoring group, unless they say so specifically. The worship sponsored by FLGBTQC (Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns) is open to all Gathering attenders.

Additional Tips for Gathering in a virtual space:

• Think about timezones. When we Gather online, Friends join from many timezones. View the conversion chart and a downloadable schedule with different time zones.

• Family participation and multiple devices. If you have more than one adult and children participating in the Gathering, make sure you have enough devices to accommodate people in your household participating in different events at the same time.

• Plan ahead for demands at home like meal preparation, child care, and time off from work.

• Balance. Consider your time limits for online participation and register for events accordingly.

• Take care of yourself. Stay hydrated. Plan breaks in your day when you can go outside, take a walk, take a nap, or call a friend.


Learn more about registration, programs & events, and the schedule for the 2021 Gathering.

If you have questions about being a newcomer to the Gathering, you can reach the First Time Attenders Committee on the Gathering Contact Form

Land acknowledgment information can be found at and