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Meet Gretchen Hall: Clerk of the Executive Secretary Search Committee

February 23, 2010

Last week marked the end of many Committee meetings here at FCNL and since we had so many people visiting the office, it gave me the chance to ask Gretchen Hall a few questions about her connections with FCNL and other things. As FCNL continues the process of searching for a new Executive Secretary Gretchen will continue her work with the organization as Clerk of the Search Committee. To see what Gretchen said, read on – this is your chance to get to know her a little bit better!

Q & A with Gretchen Hall, Clerk of the Executive Secretary Search Committee

R: How did you first get involved with FCNL?

G: Beyond the famous (then yellow) newsletter that I’d been reading since college, my first direct involvement with FCNL was in the mid-80s. I had recently lived in a poor, rural area of the country and felt deeply the difficulties and challenges faced by many of the residents of that and other rural areas. I found myself working with Ruth FLower as a Friend in Washington on agriculture and rural issues. At the time, a debt crisis had affected many farmers and rural dwellers. Some of our Friends in the mid-west thought FCNL should be addressing the issues that so pressed upon them. FCNL had the policy but not the people power to agree. One of the better legislative outcomes was the inclusion of mediation at the state level in the bill.

R: What’s exciting about working with FCNL right now?

G: FCNL is am amazing mix of steadfastness and nimble responses. All through the decades FCNL has stayed true to its lobbying purpose and has been faithful in witnessing to the priorities chosen by Friends. At the same time, the staff and grass-roots activists have an incredible capacity to find opportunities where we can jump in and make a difference right now.

R: What are your favorite books?

I could not possibly name a favorite book! Recently I’ve been re-reading the biography of Frederick Law Olmsted, A Clearing in the Distance. Currently on my reading pile is a volume of Mary Oliver’s poetry, a book about curry, The Fourth Part of the World, and a recent Pendle Hill pamphlet. Of course there’s a mystery lurking as well!

R: What’s your favorite FCNL memory?

G: One of my favorite FCNL memories is speaking to the General Committee as we concluded the 50th anniversary campaign in 1994. As I looked out into the group, I could recall visiting most of the Friends present over the three years of the campaign — enjoying their hospitality, worshiping together, sharing their love for FCNL.

In peace,


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