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Quakers…in the Life
Led by Jim Anderson and Friends
“Oh! that Friends would so dwell in the life , that they might in all things exalt the standard of Truth… “
– John Comly, Journal of the Life and Religious Labours of John Comly, 1853
The title phrase is an old Quaker term referring to a sense of being gathered in a powerful unity, a sense of presence directing our lives. This, at least, is my understanding of it, and I wonder how many of us are craving a stronger sense of this in our meetings. Do we know the empowering experience of ourselves as participants in a community at work, seeking to embody a great vision of how life is to be lived? What is the source of this power, the shape of its practice in our meetings? I think we see the traces– in our tradition, the lives of earlier Friends, in writings deeply entered into, in occasions of joint work, study, worship, and service, in strong and deepening friendships. My hope is that a group of us, in a week-long learning community, might engage with these traces and nourish the seeds we find in our own lives. I hope, too, that we might carry our experience home as provocation and good news to our monthly meetings.
My plan is for a week-long series of short presentations or workshops offered by various Friends including Eric Moon, Rachel Findley, Stephen Matchett, Diego Navarro, Kathy Hyzy, and Paul Harris, that would each take up only a portion of one day. These would be supplemented by follow-up activities that would extend and integrate these into a coherent exploration of who we are as Friends and how we can work to invigorate and enrich our own Quaker lives and the lives of our home meetings. How Friends relate to the bible, to our testimonies, our social witness, our engagement with life and death, our spiritual practices, the lives of early Friends, the stories that shape us—there is certainly more to draw on than our week can contain. Yet I am convinced that a half-dozen topics, offered by Friends deeply engaged, can provide the framework for a compelling, even transforming, week.
The typical daily pattern will include:
–morning worship and a morning presentation,
–afternoon sessions of worship sharing, conversation, hikes, individual retreat time, informal gatherings, and
–evening sessions of music, story, participant presentations, and a quiet closing worship time.
On the last day, we hope to create together, a document, a program, a story, some “embodiment” to carry back to our monthly meetings as a seed, or a challenge.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP LEADER:
Jim Anderson joined the Society of Friends in 1980 while teaching in Hong Kong. He has been active among west coast Friends since that time, while teaching comparative religion at the state university in Chico. Recently he has felt called to work with Friends eager to rebuild and revitalize our Society—through study, restructuring, active witness, and new patterns of daily living. Attendance at the world gathering in Kenya gave this work a larger context. He hopes this week long session will create a learning community that will seed transformation.
Upcoming Programs2015 Program Calendar
2016 Program Calendar
Register Here. Registration is open for the following programs:
October 30 - November 1
Roots of Contemplation - Roots of Action
with Christine Hall
Music and Dance Retreat
with participant leaders
December 11 - 13
Quaker Centering Consultation
(meeting designees only)
with Kathy and Bob Runyan
December 27 - January 1
Year End Retreat: In the Life and Power of God
with Marcelle Martin
Quaker Quote of the WeekAnd dwell in that which is pure of God in you, for fear that your thoughts get forth, and then evil thoughts get up, and surmising one against another, which arises out of the veiled mind, which darkens the pure discerning. But as you dwell in that which is of God, it guides you up out of the elementary life, and out of the mortal into the immortal, which is hidden from all the fleshly ones, where is peace and joy eternal to all who can witness the new birth.
~ George Fox, 1624-1691
[full context of this Quaker Quote]
[archive of QC's Quaker Quotes]
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