Social media represents an unprecedented platform for witness and ministry. Many people under the age of forty use social media as their exclusive source of information and communications. Six monthly meetings in New York Yearly Meeting participated in an 50-day experiment using social media ads as Quaker outreach.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, we do have leaders in our monthly meetings, in our yearly meetings, in our international organizations, and in our informal Quaker networks. We can choose to identify, nurture, support, and hold accountable these leaders, or we can choose to pretend they don’t exist.
Here’s the thing, though—not being formally educated as ministers does not mean that we shouldn’t be learning. Even aside from the pieces around deep spiritual reflection, there are practical skills involved in a wide variety of ministries that we don’t seem to recognize are things you can learn.
But there’s another way to solve the gap between what is and what could be, and that’s to simply change what could be. This is so much easier than changing what is, because after all, what could be is a theoretical (or in the case of Friends, a spiritual) thing. All we have to do is change the way we think about it, and—poof!—we’ve changed it! So we redefine what could be so that it feels like something that’s easier to reach.
Those who walk on the climate pilgrimage are walking naked, stripped this time not of their clothes, but of propriety, of the armor of policy, and the pretenses of technique.
Professor ‘Ben’ Pink Dandelion, Editor of Quaker Studies, said “This is a very exciting moment for the journal and for Quaker studies as a whole. The new arrangement will be of great benefit to scholars worldwide, in Quaker studies and in the wider humanities.
“Quaker time” is not a thing. We’ve made it a thing. Discernment is not about doing things in “Quaker time,” it’s about doing things in God’s time, which is sometimes much slower than earthly time and other times faster. I don’t think early Friends, the Publishers of Truth, often wrote a pamphlet and then sat on it for six months because they weren’t completely sure about the placement of a comma.
Includes views from Joyce Ajlouny, director of the Ramallah Friends School, and incoming general secretary of American Friends Service Committee.
What follows are field notes from my experience serving at the intersection of institutional leadership and renewal in the Quaker movement. I hope this reflection might offer encouragement to your work of exploration and discovery in your own context: your local meeting, yearly meeting, other Friends institution, or in some new garden where you find yourself called to labor.
The Vineyard holds that ministry is not the job of the paid clergy alone, but every member of Christ’s body. As John used to put it, “Everybody gets to play.” Worship is a participatory experience, as all can listen and follow the Spirit. Though silence does not often play a role in the Vineyard liturgy, the act of listening to God – waiting upon the Spirit – is vital to Vineyard’s culture of prayer.