Who is Responsible for Planning Blue River Quarterly?

The planning of Blue River Quarterly’s semiannual gatherings rotates among four groups of meetings, according to the following schedule adopted in Fall 2010:

Spring of odd-numbered years:
Urbana-Champaign Meeting (including Springfield) plans the adult program; “Small Northern Meetings” (Clear Creek, Spoon River, Bloomington-Normal) plan the children’s program.
Fall of odd-numbered years:
St. Louis Meeting plans the adult program; “Small Southern Meetings” (Columbia, Southern Illinois, Rolla) plan the children’s program.
Spring of even-numbered years:
Small Northern Meetings plan the adult program; Urbana-Champaign Meeting plans the children’s program.
Fall of even-numbered years:
Small Southern Meetings plan the adult program; St. Louis Meeting plans the children’s program.


In recent years, the location of gatherings has usually alternated between the following two locations:

Spring Sessions
Near Cantrall, Illinois
Fall Sessions
The DuBois Center
Near DuBois, Illinois

These are both rustic, camp-style retreat centers, run by the Central Illinois District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and the United Church of Christ – Illinois South Conference, respectively.

BRQ has also sometimes been held at the home meetinghouse of the meeting responsible for planning, or at one of the following locations:

Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center
Near Tiskilwa, Illinois
This is a camp and retreat center run by the Illinois Mennonite Conference
Camp Brim Shire
Near St. James, Missouri
This is a camp run by the Association for Midwest Disadvantaged Youth
Riverview Retreat Center
Near Mahomet, Illinois
This is a small, rustic retreat center run by the Champaign County Forest Preserve District
Note: No overnight facilities

Planning Timeline

This timeline is meant as a rough guide to what needs to be done when, to assist BRQ planning committees.

One year in advance
Reserve the location. Usually this is done while we are on-site for the previous year’s session.
Six months in advance
Meetings responsible for adult program and children’s program should appoint planning committees. If more than one meeting is involved in either program, the meetings must inform one another about the membership of the committee. In each meeting, a Friend should be appointed to clerk or convene committee meetings; he or she should contact other members and arrange a time and location for a meeting. Committee members from the various meetings should contact each other and agree on a division of responsibilities among the meetings.
Five months in advance
The planning committees should decide on themes for the adult and children’s programs. If individuals from outside the committee are to be invited as speakers, or to conduct workshops or the children’s program, the committee should decide on who to invite, and issue the invitations. If square dancing is planned, arrange for music and caller. Confirm facilities reservations. Arrange the details of menu, lodging, etc. with camp administrators.
Four months in advance
Details of the program should be decided. See “Sample Program” below. Post the program to the BRQ and ILYM websites. Calculate expenses and determine registration fees, bearing in mind that BRQ does not charge any fees for Friends below the age of 18.
Three months in advance
Volunteers should be identified to staff the registration desk and perform any other necessary tasks.
Two months in advance
A reminder postcard should be designed and sent out, with information about the dates, location, and theme of the meeting. Email announcements should also be sent the the ILYM and BRQ mailing lists. (Contact Sharon Haworth for BRQ postal mail contact list; send messages to her to be forwarded to the BRQ and ILYM email lists.)
One month in advance
Design and send out a brochure, including the program, registration form, child emergency form, driving directions, etc. See “Materials from Past Gatherings” below for models.

Sample Program

Friday Evening
Friends arrive after dinner or bring food to share. Possibly a brief planned activity; or just informal conversation and getting acquainted.
8:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast
Note: Meal times may be set by the camp, not us!
Check with camp contact person for correct meal times.
9:30 am – 10:30 am Adult Program Children’s Program
11:00 am – 12:00 pm ILYM Planning Meeting Children’s Program
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Recreation/Free Time
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Meeting for Business Children’s Program
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Supper
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Free Time
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Program/Recreation
(At Menno Haven, this often is square dancing, with local Mennonites invited;
at other locations, it often includes a bonfire)
8:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am – 10:00 am Carry over business from Saturday, if necessary Children’s Program
10:00 am – 11:00 noon Meeting for Worship Children’s Program
(Children in Meeting for Worship for last 15 minutes)
11:00 am – 12:00 am Clean up
12:00 pm – 1:00 am Lunch
1:00 pm – 2:00 am Farewells

Materials from Past Gatherings

Date Materials
2017 Fall Web page with link to brochure and registration
2017 Spring Web page with link to brochure and registration
2016 Fall Web page with link to brochure and registration
2016 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2015 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2015 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2014 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2014 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2013 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2013 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2012 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2012 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2011 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2011 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2010 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2010 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2009 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2009 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2008 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2008 Spring Brochure (PDF) | Registration (PDF)
2007 Fall Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2007 Spring Brochure (PDF) | Program & Queries (PDF)
2006 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2005 Fall Brochure (PDF) | Queries & Definitions (PDF)
2003 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2002 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
2000 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
1998 Spring Brochure & Registration (PDF)
1979 Fall Program (PDF)
1968 Fall Program (PDF)
1967 Fall Program (PDF)

Themes and Speakers/Facilitators from Past Gatherings

Date Themes Speakers/Facilitators
2013 Fall Sharing our Experiences with God: An Intergenerational Weekend David Wixom & Pamela Hosler
2013 Spring Seeking the Divine through Music and Art Bobbi Trist & Dale Gardner
2012 Fall QuakerSpeak: Quakers Impacting the World Maurine Pyle, Peter Lasersohn, & David Finke
2012 Spring Celtic Christianity and Quakers Ken & Katherine Jacobson
2011 Fall Deepening our Worship and our Relationships Jean-Marie Barch
2011 Spring The Testimony of Integrity from a biblical perspective
A guided Bible study and reflection / Quarterly Meetings
Fernando Freire
ILYM Faith and Practice Committee
2010 Fall Inner Work and Outer Witness: Recognizing our Spiritual Baggage Before Trying to Save the World Chuck Hutchcraft
2010 Spring Peace: A Quaker Testimony Paul Buckley, Chuck Hutchcraft, Dawn Ruppert, & Garnet Fay
2009 Fall Telling Our Stories, Nurturing Our Community
2009 Spring Quakers and Tough Economic Times Steven Walsh
2008 Fall We are God’s Hands: Creativity and the Peaceable Kingdom James Taylor
2008 Spring Holding On & Letting Go
2007 Fall Deepening Community, Enriching Relationships
2007 Spring Simplicity is Complicated
2006 Fall Developing Meeting Community Tom Paxson
2006 Spring Service through Faith David Finke, Maurine Pyle, Clyde Baker, & Dawn Amos
2005 Fall Building Community among Friends: Historically, Recent Experiences, Dreams for the Future David Finke, Nancy Duncan, Neil Mesner, & Peter Lasersohn
2005 Spring Spirit-Led Decision-Making Martha Turner
2004 Fall Spiritual Paths to Peacemaking Malesi Kinaro
2004 Spring Being Faithful Witnesses: Serving God in a Changing World Elizabeth Mertic
2003 Fall Affirming Diversity
2003 Spring Taking Back our Quaker Time
2002 Fall Gathering Together to Renew the Spirit in Our Lives
2002 Spring Dreaming about the Future of IYM Roxy Jacobs
2001 Fall Spiritual Experiences and the Outward Life
2001 Spring Walking with God
2000 Fall We are Teachers of Each Other Jane Driber and David Wixom
2000 Spring Conscience in Action: Quaker Witness in Iraq Mira Tana & Jeff Stack
1999 Fall Understanding and Finding Friends Responses to the Crisis in Kosovo Kelly Maynard & Merlin Taber
1999 Spring Nurturing Spiritual Growth and Discernment Deborah Fisch
1998 Fall
1998 Spring Peacemaking among Friends Tom Paxson, Barry Zalph, & Nancy Duncan
1997 Fall Living Simply — Treading Lightly: Our Relationship with the Earth
1997 Spring Living the Peace Testimony Patrick Nugent, S. Gross, & R. Lipecal
1996 Fall Friends Traditions Barry Zalph
1996 Spring Alternatives to Violence Project Pat Wixom
1995 Fall Unfinished Friends History Michelle Tarter
1995 Spring Spiritual Concerns on Quality of Life and Overpopulation Bob Wixom
1994 Fall Outreach Then and Now
1994 Spring Friends and Traveling Lorena Jean Tinker
1993 Fall What Does It Mean to Be a Quaker B.A. Davis-Howe
1993 Spring Finding That of God in Every Person
1992 Fall Tending the Spiritual Life of Our Meetings — Sharing Our Experiences
1992 Spring AFSC — A Historical Perspective Bill Ramsey
1991 Fall Holding One Another in the Light Wayne Benensen
1991 Spring Inner Sources of Creativity Bob Wixom
1990 Fall Making Meeting Matter to You and Others Grayce Haworth
1990 Spring Whose Business is it When Friends do Business Tom Paxson
1989 Fall Virginia Gilmore
1989 Spring Should BRQM be Laid Down? Reflections on Quarterly Meeting Peg Morton
1988 Fall FWCC Triennial Meeting Carolyn Treadway
1988 Spring Childhood Heroes / Becoming Spirited Heroes
1979 Fall Love Made Manifest: Religious Life and Social Action