Furthermore, I believe (and hope) that I am now even more successful thinking/acting outside the box, outside my silo, and/or outside my comfort zone. This is not to say that non-Quaker planners cannot do the same thing, but I have found my Quaker thinking cap comes in handy.
The ideal Quaker process works in such a way that, although we each share our own conviction and sense of leading, we listen for the Spirit’s guidance. We let go of our own understanding, our own need to be right, our own fears, and we submit to the will of the Spiri
I specifically mean that we were unwilling as a yearly meeting to examine what biblical authority means to us, and why it means different things to different Friends. In my more jaundiced moments, I felt that it was more important to some influential Friends to maintain a stance as heroes of biblical authority than to grant grace to those who cherish the Bible equally but come to different conclusions on controversial issues. I
Babylon is the personification of a union between church”in its unfaithful role as earthly ruler” and state power. (See Doug Gwyn’s Apocalypse of the Word, pg. 192 for a pithy accout of George Fox’s usage.) A threat to either is a threat to both, so when Friends (or others) rejected the established church, or choose to “obey God rather than man” and refuse oaths, hat honor, tithes, or war, both halves of the Babylonish power responded with persecution and rage.
Religious stories, myths and images are not irrelevant details, but constitutive of an emotionally charged imaginative world. The stories of the Christian tradition enable an emotional identification with specific people, places and events that is often lacking from an intellectual commitment to abstract values.
At our pedagogical best Friends schools teach young people skills of reflection and inquiry; to ask critical questions; to seek insight and information; to listen with respect to others; and to share their own thinking in the context of a learning community. These skills are particularly focused in a Quaker school’s meeting for worship where students and faculty can express their deepest beliefs in a setting designed for support and growth around our disagreements. These are practices that we know serve students well after they leave our schools. These skills affirm students’ identities and their roles in the world and serve them well as they go forth to mend a broken world.
While Quakers around the country will find ways of protesting, on Saturday, 6 May 2017, many will climb Pendle Hill in Lancashire to protest against the effects of fracking, both locally and around the world. Quakers are known for worshipping in stillness and they will gather in a meeting for worship for witness. Pendle Hill is at the centre of an area licensed for fracking. This is also a significant place for Quakers. In 1652, George Fox climbed the hill and had a vision of creating a great movement of people.
Friends Schools were founded by Quakers as a path to equality, ending injustice and furthering knowledge about the world. Quakers have a long history in support of justice in Palestine/Israel dating back to the establishment of the Ramallah Friends School in 1869. Quaker decision making is done through a discernment process rooted in values such as peace, integrity, community, and equality. We do not see those values reflected in Friends Central’s decision to disinvite Dr. Atshan.
But long before Facebook was invented, we Quakers had our own version of social media, meeting for worship, which from its start insisted pastors and priests were not the only ones with the right and responsibility to speak. The floor would be open to all.
Baker was also a Quaker. While working in Germany in 1932, just before Hitler rose to power, she wrote of her disgust at the way the Jews were treated. “I don’t like being with people who enjoy hurting others,” she wrote. “No good can come of it, but worlds of trouble.”