In your Quaker meeting, you may have experienced events similar to these: a Friend doesn’t want to be on a committee with another Friend due to a past conflict; two Friends complain about a third party, whom they find to be impossible (yes, it does happen); a Friend speaks up in business meeting about a conflict that is going on, and no one responds or takes any follow-up action.
When I first got involved in Friends Meetings, I was fortunate to have a number of role models and elders to guide my first steps into this society, which was foreign to the world I had known. I felt immediately that I was a Quaker and that I had been one for years before discovering a meeting. But learning the Quaker jargon took a while.
Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) is an eleven-month service program for people aged 21-30 who are ready to enter into an experiment in community centered on Quaker values. Fellows have full-time social justice employment and participate in an intentional program of spiritual deepening. We are in our eighth year and have houses in Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Portland OR, and Minneapolis.
So. Faith, fear, and our future. You guys don’t mess around with topics for keynote speakers!
Dear Friends: A few years ago, a friend of mine came to his first-ever Quaker Meeting. Salim is an Indian actor, a Sufi, a Reiki master. I was nervous in case the ministry didn’t speak to him. But he came out of that meeting having loved the silence and feeling that the ministry had flowed organically from it. “But,” he said, “you’re all so incredibly serious.