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Rebecca Henderson


Quaker Culture: Clerks and Committees For Friends . . . “A lot of work happens in Quaker committees. A lot of work is done by appointed individuals. (We hesitate to call them Officers, as that sounds quite corporate or military.) A lot of work is carried out by those who know how to do it. . . Committees are appointed for action, not for stalling or burying an issue. Quaker individuals work as best they can; they are not figure-heads and do not have honorific titles. For example, the Meeting has a Clerk. In old English that meant a secretary, a servant. The Clerk and others serve the Meeting as workers, as servants, not as high-handed administrators.”

Issue: On Bosses (July 2018)

Quaker Culture: Contributing to Decisions Decisions [among Friends] are not made based upon how many agree most and most loudly, but upon whether the speaker has caught the Sense of the Meeting and articulated it well. Speaking twice does not give your words more weight. . . . We may have to train ourselves out of some of the attitudes we have learned from the cultures we grew up in. We may have to leave behind a need to always be right, to be obeyed, to be “the best.” We may have to leave behind a manner of speaking (either too softly or too loudly) that doesn’t communicate well what we have to say.

Issue: On Competition (January 2017)

Quaker Culture: Lifting Each Other Up One Quaker idea that is not main-stream is that we are each to help one another do the best we can. There is no place for one-upsmanship or arrogance. We try to lift each other up and consider how we might help each other thrive and enjoy the Meeting. An often-heard phrase is “Let’s hold each other in the Light.” In Quaker practice this is not translated as “I’ll pray for you to do better,” but it is a request to Spirit to help someone else out, without naming specifically what we think should happen. We are inviting the Spirit to work among us.

Issue: On Family (September 2014)

Quaker Culture: Meeting for Worship for Business We are the inheritors of a particular way of making group decisions. This way needs to be practiced, over and over, to be learned and understood. One can not learn it simply by reading or observation: one learns through experience, trial and error. . . The business focuses upon how we make our Light visible and creative. Our focus is upon the practical details of our work in the world and how we deepen and strengthen our spiritual lives.

Issue: On Production (May 2014)

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