Recent FFD Tours
LaGrande, Oregon Mini-tour (July 7-8, 2006)
This was a wonderful experience and groundbreaking territory for the FFD, our first-ever program hosted by an Evangelical Friends group. The LaGrande Friends Meeting is a New Works Movement of Northwest Yearly Meeting (Evangelical Friends). This innovative “new works” program allows meetings to grow organically, outside the usual “church” paradigm, and music and dance are at the center of the inspiration for LaGrande Friends. Carla Arnold found out about the FFD via the Web back in 2000 and has been looking for a chance to bring us to visit ever since.
A number of us were in Washington State for the FGC gathering and other matters, so we made the trek down to LaGrande immediately following the Gathering. Carla and two other local LaGrande folk dancers joined us to bring our numbers to 9, including 5 first-time performers with the FFD. We shared potlucks, fellowship and unprogrammed worship (they asked us to help them hold a completely unprogrammed worship, in contrast to their usual practice) in addition to all the dancing, and left feeling enriched and blessed by our newfound Friends.
Australian Tour (February 13 – March 4, 2006, Australia)
Six of us visited many corners of Australia, as much as could be squeezed into 3 weeks, and still allow us time to reasonable connect with each spot. We started in Melbourne, went to Hobart, Tasmania, traveled to Perth, West Australia, back to Canberra, the Australian national capital, over to Sydney and up to Newcastle. There were delightful people, places, animals and experiences throughout, and we finally connected with some Australia-origin dances at our last stop. We did public performances, some heavily attended by local folk dancers, and we were privileged to present our program to a number of schools as well.
Meri Goad was the master organizer for this tour (with Len’s help, of course), with able assistance and direction from Rosemary Coffey, and it was “brilliant”, a word that Meri (a Brit) is wont to use.
The 2006 Friends General Conference Gathering was held, for the first time, in the western half of the USA, and so we encountered a lot of new (to us) folk dance enthusiasts from the west coast. We again sponsored our nightly “special features” as in the past, concluding, on our last night there with live folk dance music! The nightly features included some Sacred Circle Dances, Easy Dances from everywhere, ballroom (Waltz, Rumba, Tango and Salsa), and others. Mark Helpsmeet (email@example.com) schedules the week and invites anyone with a specialty or who can offer general folk dance selections to contact him.
For information on the future Gatherings can be found at Friends General Conference (FGC)
We toured the Philadelphia area for just about a week, concluding with a program at the annual session of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. The tour included:
March 30th – Stapley in Germantown, 7:15-8:15 pm
March 31st – Cadbury Retirement Community, Cherry Hill, NJ, 2-3 pm
April 1st – Mullica Hill (NJ) Friends School, 10:30-11:30 am
April 1st – Media-Providence (PA) Friends School, 2-3 pm
April 2nd – Program at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Holiday Inn adjacent to 4th & Arch St, 7:00-8:30 pm
David Houghton organized this tour.
We were drawn back down to Arizona to do a program for the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), Section of the Americas annual meeting. Our itinerary was prepared by Rosemary Coffey, with stops at Phoenix and Flagstaff and our finale in Tempe.