welcoming newcomers

Black. Christian. Anarchist.

I am an African American whose encounter with God is more an attitude than belief system, a certain swagger and daring in the face of what black liberation theologian James Cone would refer to as “obvious failure.” By all quantitative standards, the post-Reconstruction experience of African Americans would meet the definition of failure.

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Journey to the Heart of Worship

Many Quaker meetings prepare cards or brochures to introduce newcomers to Quaker worship and the meeting. One of my favorites is a tri-fold brochure from Strawberry Creek Meeting in Berkeley, California, which describes meeting for worship in straightforward terms:

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What’s Not to Like about Quakers?

During clearness committees with people applying for membership to our meeting, we typically come to a point in the conversation when we ask the applicant, “What questions do you have for us about Quakers and the meeting?” At one such moment recently, the applicant hesitated, seemingly lost for words. Then she exclaimed, “I have one! What do you like least about being a Quaker?”

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