Hey all, the Reclaiming Primitive Quakerism workshop at California’s Ben Lomond Center wrapped up a few hours ago (I’m posting from the San Jose airport). I think it went well. There were about thirty participants. The makeup was very intergenerational and God and Christ were being named all over the place!
I myself felt stripped throughout the first half, a sense of vague but deep unease – not at how the workshop was going, but about who I am and where I am. Christ was hard at work pointing out the layers of pride that I’ve used to protect myself over the last few years. This morning’s agenda was mostly extended worship, begun with “Bible Reading in the Manner of Conservative Friends” (video below) and it really lifted the veil for me – I think God even joked around with me a bit.
As always, many of the high points came unexpectedly in small conversations, both planned and random. One piece that I’ll be returning to again and again is that we need to focus on the small acts and not build any sort of movement piece by piece and not worry about the Big Conference or the Big Website that will change everything that we know. That’s not how the Spirit works and our pushing it to work this way almost invariably leads to failure and wasted effort.
Another piece is that we need to start focusing on really building up the kind of habits that will work out our spiritual muscles. Chad of 27Wishes had a great analogy that had to do with the neo-traditionalist jazz musicians and I hoped to get an interview with him on that but time ran out. I’ll try to get a remote interview (an earlier interview with him is here, thanks Chad for being the first interview of the weekend!)
I conducted a bunch of video interviews that I’ll start uploading to my Youtube account and on the “reclaiming2009” tag on QuakerQuaker. When you watch them, be charitable. I’m still learning through my style. But it was exciting starting to do them and it confirmed my sense that we really need to be burning up Youtube with Quaker stuff.
I need to find my boarding gate but I do want to say that the other piece is putting together collections of practices that Friends can try in their location Friends community. Gathering in Light Wess led a really well-received session that took the Lord’s Prayer and turned it into an interactive small group even. We took photos and a bit of video and we’ll be putting it together as a how-to somewhere or other.