Sightings: Quaker Families, Friends Leadership and In-Group Dynamics

  • Young fam­i­lies need Quak­erism, and Quak­erism needs young fam­i­lies. Where does the Reli­gious Soci­ety of Friends stand in rela­tion to today’s “belea­guered moms and dads”? To the extent that Quak­er cul­ture has not inten­tion­al­ly orga­nized itself around the needs of young fam­i­lies, many peo­ple of my life stage have opt­ed out of par­tic­i­pa­tion in orga­nized Quak­erism. We know this from research as well as expe­ri­en­tial­ly, as many Friends’ own adult chil­dren – and there­fore their grand­chil­dren –are not active in a meet­ing community.

    tags: quak­er quaker.youth quaker.community quaker.parenting quaker.philadelphia

  • For myself, I have found that I lost inter­est in or dis­liked many things over the years. I avoid a lot of enter­tain­ments because I find them over­stim­u­lat­ing, they are too loud, too fran­tic and too full of events designed to pro­voke phys­i­o­log­i­cal arousal. More recent­ly I find the amount of rude­ness, vio­lence and sex­u­al­i­ty dis­turb­ing. I am left feel­ing exhaust­ed but restless

    tags: quak­er

  • The kids who remained part of the Meeting’s youth group tend­ed to be ones who strug­gled to find their place in oth­er areas of their lives. Through a set of shared rit­u­als — jazz hands, cud­dle pud­dles, and wink — and shared cul­tur­al assump­tions and behav­iors, the pri­ma­ry pur­pose of the Quak­er youth com­mu­ni­ty becomes about sup­port­ing “peo­ple like us”… This in-group dynam­ic is not lim­it­ed to the youth.

    tags: quak­er quaker.youth quaker.liberal quaker.baltimore quaker.community

  • While it is true that lead­er­ship can be a trou­bling con­cept for Friends, I have come to believe that we should move beyond our old hes­i­ta­tions. We would ben­e­fit from fuss­ing less about the things that can go wrong, instead invest­ing time reflect­ing upon the top­ic and devel­op­ing an under­stand­ing of lead­er­ship that can func­tion well in our context.

    tags: quak­er quaker.community quaker.indiana

  • My par­ents acci­den­tal­ly sent me to a lib­er­al Friends sum­mer camp not expect­ing me to come back hun­gry for faith. I missed hav­ing meet­ing every day. I missed the peace I felt in the meet­ing cir­cle and the con­nec­tion to God I found there. I used to go dur­ing free time to re-center myself and to seek a feel­ing I got dur­ing meet­ing. The best way to describe it to anoth­er per­son is that I was get­ting a hug from the Holy Spirit.

    tags: quak­er quaker.youth quaker.liberal quaker.plain quaker.newyork

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