What Does Community Mean When People Keep Leaving?. Micah Bales looks at transient communities:
What does this transience mean for the possibility of being part of a long-term, stable community? What does community even mean in the context of the unceasing ebb and flow of arrivals and departures?
A Gathered People. Craig Barnett on community in the modern world:
A gathered people is not just an association of individuals who happen to share overlapping values or interests. It is formed by the raising and quickening of a new spiritual life and power within each person.
The refuge of community. The Malachut blogger gives a modern response to the early Quaker letter from Balby:
The Elders end this advice with“Lest the Truth Suffer“this to me means that we cannot have onne form of the community without the others.Community itself cannot exist without being something without compassion just as much not being a place that goes far beyond it’s borders.
Reflections on the 2014 Swarthmore LectuBeing honest about the stories we tell:
Mark Russ on the stories in our Quaker theologies: > We need good theology, because there’s a lot of bad theology out there. I believe that theology in its simplest form is the story we tell as a religious community, about our beginnings, how we got here and where we’re going.
A story incomplete: Virginia Alexander’s life among Friends:
In the AFSC blog, the story of pioneering Friend:
Even though Dr. Alexander graduated from two élite universities, cared for Quakers in her medical practice, and was very active in Quaker circles, she was still not welcomed by all into a religious community that she claimed as her own.
The Atlantic City history of Monopoly:
Because of a new book by Mary Pilon, the not-so-secret history of Monopoly is once more getting a lot of attention. This excerpt from Pilon’s The Monopolists shares the A.C. history.
On one side were the masters of vice and those who tolerated that vice because of the wealth pouring into the town. On the other side were the reformists, including the Quakers, who wanted Atlantic City to be a clean, middle-class getaway, not a sordid playground.
And in case you thought A.C. has changed so much, it’s not a coincidence that the community college campus where my wife often teaches is on Baltic Avenue, that dirty-orange, low-price strip Baltic Avenue.
Some good tips about polling your website’s audience to learn what they’re looking for. The author +Daniel Treadwell the developer of the Google+Blog plug-in for WordPress that lets you sync between the two.
Know your Audience
Last year with the release of Google+ it was made very obvious that a large amount of people have been looking for a new community that allows them to share their time, their art and their opinions with others in a way that was not previously available.
Once you have gained a significant amount of followers (and this amount is subjective and personal, what is a large number to one may not be to another) most people will start to wonder exactly what it is that their audience is most interested in
Google+: View post on Google+
One of the things that is intriguing me lately is the nature of Quaker debate. There are half a dozen seemingly-perennial political issues around which Friends in my circles have very strong opinions (these include abortion, nuclear power, and the role of Friends in the troubles of Israel/Palestine) . We often justify our positions with appeals to our Quaker faith, but I wonder how often our opinions could be more accurately predicted by our demographic profile?
How many of your political positions and social attitudes could be accurately guessed by a savvy demographer who knew your date of birth, postal code, education and family income? I’d guess each of us are far more predictable than we’d like to think.If true, then what role does our religious life actually play?
Religious beliefs are also a demographic category, granted, but if they only confirm positions that could be just as actually predicted by non-spiritual data, then doesn’t that imply that we’ve simply found (or remained in) a religious community that confirms our pre-existing biases? Have we created a faith in our own image? And if true, is it really fair to justify ourselves based on appeals to Quaker values?
The “political” Quaker writings I’m finding most interesting (because they’re least predictable) are the ones that stop to ask how Quaker discernment fits into the debate. Discernment: one could easily argue that Quaker openings and tools around it are one of our greatest gifts to human spirituality. When we build a worship community based on strict adherence to the immediate prompting of the Holy Spirit, the first question becomes figuring out what is of-God and what is not. Is James Nayler, riding Jesus-like into Bristol, a prophet or a nut?
When we go deep into the questions, we may find that the answers are less important than the care we take to reach them. Waiting for one another, holding one another’s hand in love despite differences of opinion, can be more important than being the right-answer early adopter. How do you step back from easy answers to the thorny questions? How do you poll yourself and that-of-God in yourself to open your eyes and ears for the potential of surprise?