Should Quakerism be a soft option?
Secret Quaker wants us to be clear about what we’re offering and expecting:
Although to me it is very important that our Meetings are fully and absolutely inclusive, I think we should also make it clear that in our silence we provide an opportunity to also be Seekers after Truth. Here we may further our spiritual journeys by listening out for God. It is not the easy option.
Are we insecure about our identity?
The Secret Quaker shares some observations about our online conversation:
Some of the comments I read concern me since they would suggest insecurity among some Quakers, making them unhappy. At times this feeling is reflected in very strongly expressed opinions. Whether this be towards Quakers, or others within the wider community, an intolerant approach inevitably creates barriers. Since Quakers believe that there is that of God in everyone, this form of expression would seem more of a panic reaction.
Can we get past a fear of confrontation?
James Tower asks us to lower the pedestal:
Jesus, in a sense, calls us to “conflict;” a constructive form of conflict that aims to restore our relationships. So often we settle for something less than full restoration, and Quakers are just as guilty of it as anybody else, especially when it comes to confronting those in leadership positions.
Doug Bennett asks who speaks for peace on Memorial Day
Doug Bennett tries to find a way to remember the dead without setting up future wars:
For too many people, those two messages go hand in hand. Most Americans can hardly imagine how it could be otherwise. War, they believe, is not only justifiable, it is essential. And so, they believe, there will always be those killed in battle, those we will later want to remember and honor. That is just the way it is. So who speaks for the possibility of peace on Memorial Day?
Spiritual transplants and mashed-up identities
Steven Davison on the tug of his disparate spiritual threads:
Quakerism does not speak directly to any of this. When I found Friends, I thought at first I could not transplant myself into this religion. A dear F/friend, who was a Wiccan witch, convinced me that I could take all my previous spiritual gifts with me, so I joined. And here I am.
Peggy Senger Morrison on the terrorist acts in Conn. and Calif.
Naming the terror:
The media has decried these events. Everyone decries these events. But they name the perpetrators as “extremely disturbed individuals.” It is time to call them what they are. Terrorists.
Can we go beyond tolerance?
FWCC’s Gretchen Castle looks at our multiple definitions:
Whether we were raised in a Quaker church or meeting or whether we came to Quakerism later in life, we have an experience of Quakerism that we can claim — it is what we know. We can each say, “I am a Quaker.” When others worship differently, it does not diminish our own experience in any way.
Religious but not spiritual?
Quaker Tom Shakespeare looks at the Spiritual But Not Religious (SBNR) trend:
Whereas my biggest problem with SBNR is the opposite. It’s that it often retains the mumbo-jumbo, aspects of religion. People have rejected the shelf with the ready-made religious beliefs, and gone straight around the corner to the pick’n’mix shop to buy a more or less random set of beliefs.
Gathered worship and gathering action
On the AFSC blog, Lucy Duncan compares worship with a growing justice movement:
What will it take to knock down the separation walls, the checkpoints, the intricate restrictions that Palestinians experience every day? As I’ve met Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation, I have felt the Spirit rising, have felt a powerful nonviolent commitment to come together to knock down the structures that separate