On the Web: Transmitting Quakerism and Being There for God

Liz Oppen­heimer has post­ed an extra­or­di­nary account of how “Friends trans­mit­ted Quak­erism to her over time”:http://thegoodraisedup.blogspot.com/2005/03/Quakerism-from-generation-to.html. I find myself at a loss of words to sum it up – you have to read it for your­self and I strong­ly rec­om­mend you do. Here’s just the mer­est snippet:
bq. It took me years to under­stand that there was much, much more to Quak­erism than just meet­ing for wor­ship… I had yet to under­stand the con­cepts of cor­po­rate dis­cern­ment or Gospel Order or wait­ing on the Spir­it for guid­ance. None of my peers or spir­i­tu­al friends at the time were talk­ing with me about this stuff; and I have no rec­ol­lec­tion of any­one mak­ing the Quak­er decision-making process more explic­it at the time.
Liz will be offer­ing a work­shop at this year’s “FGC Gathering”:www.FGCQuaker.org/gathering. The descrip­tion sound­ed great but if this post is any­thing like the shar­ing that will go on in that work­shop, then you’ll want to be there.
In a sim­i­lar vein, the Con­trar­i­an Quak­er explains “I’m not here to be seen by men. I’m here to wor­ship God”:http://Quakerman.blogspot.com/2005/03/i-go-along.html; “New peo­ple, as they walk in, are met with smiles and intro­duc­tions but by their sec­ond or third vis­it they end up stand­ing in the midst of a gab­bing throng com­plete­ly ignored after meet­ing for wor­ship… I sim­ply decid­ed that I was here to wor­ship God.”

  • Phil

    Hi! I’ve been read­ing your blog for some time and real­ly learn­ing and enjoy­ing it — so thanks. Here’s a gen­er­al com­ment I’d like to make about my jour­ney towards (and I guess away from) Quak­erism. I’m a fol­low­er of Jesus but I’ve grown dis­at­is­fied with main­stre­an church because I can’t see a com­mit­ment to peace, care for the poor or often a real rad­i­cal seek­ing after the pres­ence and lead­ing of God. Because I was born and grew up near where George Fox was born I read his jour­nal and start­ed think­ing about Quak­erism. I’d also known a won­der­ful old Quak­er lady who was def­i­nite­ly a fol­low­er of Jesus and believed the teach­ings of scrip­ture. Her gen­tle­ness impressed me alot. She used to annoy peo­ple by the way she would nev­er show dis­re­spect to any­one even if they weren’t there at the time. This was very inspir­ing for me.
    I ven­tured along to a meet­ing — but to my aston­ish­ment found that they weren’t wor­ship­ping Jesus, but made state­ments that seemed more like Bud­dhism to me. I’m not want­i­ng to judge them at all, but it did make me hur­ry away from the meet­ing which is a shame because I real­ly need­ed the peace at the time.
    Over the years I have stayed inter­est­ed in Quak­erism, but have always at the last moment decid­ed that it would draw me away from Christ and that is the last thing I want. I work for a Chris­t­ian NGO now which works with the poor. I joined an evan­gel­i­cal Friends church while I was liv­ing in India, which was great, but not at all Quaker.
    So, here I am, wish­ing that Quak­erism was all about Jesus and long­ing for the kind of spir­i­tu­al­i­ty that Fox showed (although I do wish he would admit to a mis­take some­times in his journal!)
    I love your blog and many of the blogs linked to it. I won­der how many of us evan­gel­i­cals are on the out­side look­ing in, think­ing, “if only.…”

  • Hi Phil: you’re going to make me cry. Yes!, how many are there look­ing in say­ing “if only!” I’m glad you’ve found the blog but we’re all look­ing for more than web­sites and emails…