“… the kingdom of heaven did gather us and catch us all, as in a net; and his heavenly power at one time drew many hundreds to land [from the sea of the world’s nations], that we came to know a place to stand in, and in what to wait in, …”
Edward Burrough, 1634-1663
How do we make our Meetings vibrant and Spirit-led when we are all so busy, and beset by the worries of the world? How do we realize our gifts in a secular world?
Quakerism is facing many challenges, not least the increasing secularisation of wider society, individualism and the growing disinclination to join organisations, and our own internal hesitations about how to present the Quaker tradition to newcomers and enquirers. The world seems to be heading away from our values and the demands of daily life combined with Quaker commitments can feel overwhelming. This course will try and put our collective spiritual quest in perspective and offer some suggestions for lightening our load and nurturing the spiritual life within our Quaker communities.
Both courses will be centered around talks but with some small group sharing. Worship will frame our time together. No prior knowledge or experience is required and participants need only to bring their curiosity.
About the Workshop Facilitator
Ben Pink Dandelion is a member of Pendle Hill Area Meeting, part of Britain Yearly Meeting. He has worked at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre since 1992 and currently directs their postgraduate program. He has written and edited a number of devotional and academic books on the Quaker way and the history, theology and sociology of Quakerism. He gave the 2014 Swarthmore Lecture Open for Transformation: being Quaker and also wrote the
companion volumes celebrating the Quaker Way and Living the Quaker Way. This is his first visit to Ben Lomond.
“We need to understand the worship that is more in our everyday life that is manifested more by efforts of love and of devotion to truth and righteousness. We need to consecrate ourselves more to God and to humanity and less to forms and ceremonies and to ritual faith. It is time that Christians were judged more by their likeness to Christ than their notions of Christ.
~ Lucretia Mott, 1849
Please join us to explore the theology, spirituality, and activism of two Quaker human rights radicals, nearly
contemporaneous in their long lives, and consider their contributions both to America and to Quakers. We
will examine the lives of Quaker Abolitionists such as Coffin and Mott, and the theological ideas that
inspired them (and that they in turn used to inspire others).
As we look at the history in which these Quaker mentors were ensconced, we will consider their relevance
to our present situation in the latter part of the second decade of the twenty-first century. Discussions
about mid-19th century history and theology, relevant to the life and witness of Mott and Coffin, will be
encouraged. In addition to spending time in large group discussions, we’ll also break into smaller groups
for discussion and integration.
Stephen Angell and Carole Spencer wrote articles relevant to this workshop that we hope you’ll read before
you come. You can access them (and a number of other articles on Quakers) with this link:
About the program leader
Stephen W. Angell is the Leatherock Professor of Quaker Studies at the Earlham School of Religion. He is also the author and editor of many books and articles on Quaker studies and African-American religious history, including Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights (with Hal Weaver and Paul Kriese; Quaker Press of FGC) and the Oxford Handbook of Quaker Studies (with Ben Pink Dandelion; Oxford University Press). Making his home in Richmond, Indiana, he lives in the same county (Wayne) that was home to Levi Coffin during many years of abolitionist activism. Lucretia Mott is a weighty presence in many courses that he teaches, including “Quakers and the Bible.” And he loves to sing the Lucretia Mott song!
Quaker Center’s website has a new look and feel. We now have online registration and a new blog! Check out the new photos and get all the information you need and register online for all our upcoming programs: To Be Broken and Tender with Margery Post Abbott and Kathy Hyzy from Sept. 30 – Oct. 2nd., John Calvi’s, The Goodness Workshop from November 4th-6th, and our two December programs, the Music and Dance Weekend from December 2nd-4th and the Year-end Retreat, from December 29- January 1, co-led by the Runyans, Janet Leslie and Jim Anderson.
Quaker Center in the early fall is blessed with delightful weather and glorious blue skies all day long. We recently enjoyed the youthful energy from a brief visit with the Woolman Semester students who stayed here during their food intensive. We are grateful to San Jose Friends who expressed their enthusiasm for supporting youth by offering two scholarships for young people to attend a Quaker Center workshop. Please remember that Quaker Center will not turn away anyone who cannot pay even the most subsidized rate on our sliding scale, so please don’t let cost be an obstacle if you want to attend a program. And we hope that all monthly meetings will support members and attenders, young and old, partnering with Quaker Center in our efforts to nurture the spiritual lives of all regardless of their financial means.
We’re hoping to see lots of Friends at these at these enriching workshops. To that end, we are offering a $100 bring a Friend discount if you bring a newcomer to a Quaker Center program. See you soon!