“Food for Fire” workshop at Powell House

In ear­ly Feb­ru­ary I’m lead­ing a young adult work­shop up at New York Year­ly Meeting’s “Pow­ell House”:http://www.powellhouse.org. I don’t have any desire to get into the “spir­i­tu­al work­shop cir­cuit,” but I was asked and it seemed like an oppor­tu­ni­ty to gath­er some inter­est­ing folks to talk about what we hunger for. The work­shop is called “Food for Fire: Break­ing into the Pow­er of Quak­erism” (already regret­ting the “break­ing in” metaphor – shouldn’t it be “bro­ken in by?”).
I hope that some of the extend­ed Quak­er Ranter fam­i­ly will be able to make it out. This could be a kind of Mid-Atlantic/New Eng­land gath­er­ing of what­ev­er this of infor­mal movement/network is. Because this is a work­shop mod­el I am expect­ed to impart knowl­edge but while I’ll come with an worked-out agen­da, I’m hap­py to loosen and/or toss it aside if need­ed. The work­shop descrip­tion:
bq.. Many of the clas­sic themes of Quak­erism speak to the con­di­tion of a world wracked by con­sumerism, war, big­otry and envi­ron­men­tal dis­re­gard. Friends have a his­to­ry of unit­ing truth and love and turn­ing it into action. We’ll reach into the Quak­er attic to dust off gospel order, plain liv­ing, trav­el­ing min­istry, prophet­ic wit­ness; we’ll try them on and see how they fit into our expe­ri­ences of the liv­ing Spir­it. There will be plen­ty of time to share sto­ries in small groups and togeth­er. How are our month­ly meet­ings doing rec­og­niz­ing the gifts of min­istry and ser­vice among younger Friends? How are Friends doing spread­ing the good news of the Quak­er way? There is a great peo­ple to be gath­ered still but how can we enter into the faith­ful­ness required? Jesus came up the fish­er­men and said “Come, fol­low me;” what would we do if we got that call? Like any pro­grammed Quak­er event the work­shop is real­ly an excuse to assem­ble Friends togeth­er in prayer and faith­ful­ness to God. The most impor­tant thing we could do this week­end is build friend­ships: friend­ships of sup­port, mutu­al account­abil­i­ty, and peer men­tor­ship. Friends from all branch­es of Quak­erism wel­come, as are the newest of seek­ers.
p. The price is $180 for the week­end (reg­is­tra­tion form) but if that’s a bur­den then try to get your meet­ing to pay – I sus­pect they’ll be hap­py to see that you’re show­ing an inter­est in Quak­erism. I’ll be dri­ving up from South Jer­sey and will prob­a­bly be able to pick up folks from Philly & New York. Email me if you have or need a ride from oth­er points and I’ll try to con­nect you with oth­er trav­el­ers.
If you’re too old or too impa­tient to wait for Sec­ond Month to roll around, pick up Bri­an Drayton’s new book On Liv­ing with a Con­cern for Gospel Min­istry and read that instead. Yes, I plugged it five days ago and yes, my pay­check comes from the pub­lish­er – but I’ve now now read the first chap­ter and it real­ly is that good. Read­ing it feels like putting that soon-to-be-favorite pop album on the turntable for the first time. Where were you when you first heard Sgt Pep­pers? (for the YAFs in the audi­ence: yes I’m being sil­ly with the Bea­t­les ref­er­ence; if you remem­ber first putting that album on a turntable in 1967 then this isn’t your work­shop!).

  • Jeff Hipp

    As New Eng­land YAFs are prone to say, the retreat sounds rockin’.
    I’ve dropped an e-mail to a few NEYM YAFs in my area who might be inter­est­ed in a road trip. If any­one in the Boston area is inter­est­ed in join­ing, drop me a note at jeff [at] plow​shares​.us
    I’m look­ing for­ward to read­ing Brian’s book. From my expe­ri­ences at YM, he’s a gift­ed and well-seasoned min­is­ter with a strong con­cern for deeply-grounded min­istry. On a semi-related note, the read­ing group that a few of us start­ed at Friends Meet­ing at Cam­bridge is read­ing Lloyd Lee Wilson’s (NCYM-C) “Essays on the Quak­er Vision of Gospel Order.” The group has about eight peo­ple who attend, and about half of us are under 30!
    Love,
    Jeff
    NEYM

  • Mar­tin–
    I’m going to try to be there. There’s no way I could swing $180- but my family’s home is not 20 min­utes from Pow­ell House (it was where I attend­ed my very first Meet­ing!) and I just might be able to man­age the $90 com­muter charge, espe­cial­ly with the $40 ‘first time dis­count’ that they offer … At any rate, I am going to try my best. the descrip­tion of the work­shop sounds won­der­ful. That’s just the sort of dis­cus­sion I’m eager to have. And it’d be nifty to meet you/any oth­er blog­gers who show up/more Quak­ers in gen­er­al!
    I live in South­ern Ver­mont; I don’t know how like­ly it is that any­one will need a ride from here, but I’m hap­py to be net­worked in.
    -Sarah (of A Thing So Small)

  • Rob

    Hey Mar­tin,
    Great idea! We could all use a lit­tle fire this win­ter. I’m check­ing my cal­en­dar right now.
    Rob
    Con­sid­er the Lilies

  • Ooooh. I will see what I can do about this. It sounds great. I am look­ing for­ward to read­ing Bri­an Drayton’s book, too.

  • Good for you, Mar­tin and fel­low QR read­ers who might be able to make it! This is the sort of work­shop and inter­vis­i­ta­tion that I feel hun­gry to bring to the hin­ter­lands of the upper mid­west. And if I didn’t already have plans to trav­el in late Jan­u­ary (Mead­owlarks, a fellowship-through-folk-singing group con­nect­ed to Iowa Con­ser­v­a­tive Friends) and again in late Feb­ru­ary (FGC’s Min­istry & Nur­ture Com­mit­tee), I’d con­sid­er mak­ing the trip.
    And I, too, have start­ed dig­ging into Bri­an Drayton’s book: the chap­ter head­ings alone speak to my con­di­tion! (See the link in Martin’s orig­i­nal post for the book.)
    Bless­ings,
    Liz, The Good Raised Up

  • Well, let’s see now, where’d I set them bifo­cals?

  • Well, I wasn’t born yet in 1967, but I do remem­ber when my old­er cousin first put on the Peter Frampton/BeeGee’s ver­sion in 1978. Am I still too old to come to the work­shop?
    I am def­i­nite­ly too far away. Hope it goes well — we’ll want to hear all about it.

  • Semi-tangenential (but only semi)-
    Did you catch this thread over on live­jour­nal Quak­ers? It’s all about the dearth of YAF in most folks’ Meet­ings. Thought it was the sort of thing you’d be inter­est­ed in check­ing out.
    -Sarah

  • Hi Sarah,
    I like to main­taint the myth that I see every­thing Quak­er on the inter­net. But I actu­al­ly did see that Live­jour­nal thread. Either I didn’t have time or didn’t quite feel led to add any­thing.
    I’m kind of in this awk­ward in-between’ness about YAF issues as I’m sort of a YAF (young adult Friend) but also not a YAF. I’m a good bridge, both gen­er­a­tional­ly and insti­tu­tion­al­ly (since I work for Friends) but some­times I let YAF con­ver­sa­tions go their own way. I don’t want to be the old­er Friend who haunts YAF boards giv­ing “help­ful” advice. I know from expe­ri­ence that some­times younger Friends just need to dis­cov­er and name issues for them­selves. It’s a bal­anc­ing act, I guess.

  • So, when will we get more news on how it went? Inquir­ing and impa­tient minds want to know.
    Peace,
    Robin M.

  • Rob

    hey Robin -
    It took me weeks before I could write about the World Gath­er­ing of Young Friends, and I sus­pect this will be the same. It was cer­tain­ly unlike any work­shop I’ve ever attend­ed. 🙂
    love,
    Rob