Primitive Quakerism / Postmodern World
The catalog will list it like this: Primitive Quakerism/Postmodern World
Explore the re-emergence of primitive Quakerism in the postmodern era. Experiment with traditional and new spiritual practices to help us fearlessly live up to the Light that we have been given. Daily hour of worship, plus reading, writing, animated discussion, singing, new media, some homework. Expect inclusive and Christian language.The format will be more or less like this: Most days we will begin with a song. I will provide some reading material and facilitate a discussion on the daily theme. After a short break, we will have (almost) an hour of unprogrammed worship. Then we will experiment with some relevant spiritual practice(s) and close with briefly praying for each person in the group.
Below is an outline of the workshop. For each day, I have listed some of my guiding queries or theories for the theme in the first paragraph and then listed some of the planned activities in the second and third paragraphs. We will allow the Holy Spirit to direct us as needed.
Sunday: Introductions, Terms & Definitions (a shorter session)
What do you mean “post-modern”? And what is “primitive Quakerism”? And who are “convergent Friends”? Plus my pendulum theory of renewal in the Religious Society of Friends.
We will introduce ourselves, in words and movement, review the outline of the workshop and learn the song for the week (Teach Me To Stop and Listen).
How did traditional practices like plain dress or plain speech affect early Friends? What are the postmodern equivalents? What criteria can or do we use? How do we get the exteriors of our lives in order so that we (and God) can do the inner work?
We will read some explanations of old and new testimonies of plainness/simplicity and discuss our own postmodern criteria for plain living. We will experiment with holding the intention in worship of seeking a leading in simplification. You can choose a practice to "try on" for the week [I am collecting examples, suggestions are welcome], and write your own manifesto of your beliefs & commitments in this area.
Tuesday: Individual Preparation: Study & Beyond
Some say that George Fox knew the whole Bible by heart. How many of us have any in-depth knowledge of the Bible, Fox’s Journal or any other spiritual writings? What other individual preparation do we need to put a strong foundation under whatever work God is leading us to?
We will read some of the plain statements from yesterday and discuss how individual development affects a group/monthly meeting. We will hold the intention in worship of seeking a leading in individual improvement. We will each try to memorize the Beatitudes as an example and choose an individual spiritual learning task for the future.
Wednesday: Discipline/Submission: Queries & Community
What community support do we want or need? How do you feel about concepts like discipline, obedience, submission? What did early Quakers think/say/do? Where do we learn about or practice them?
We will recite our newly-learned Beatitudes out loud. We will discuss the hardships and benefits of discipline, community, submission. (Sandra Cronk’s pamphlet on Gospel Order , Tom Gates’s pamphlet Members One of Another, Lloyd Lee Wilson’s essays on community & ministry, and my blogpost on Parenting as a Vocation will be resources.)
We will hold the intention in worship of Love. We will symbolically and physically serve one another by washing each other’s feet. You will have an opportunity to compose queries for a community you are regularly part of.
Thursday: New Wineskins: media, prayer/worship
We will try two different forms of spiritual teaching: body prayers and watching a Nooma film, both products of emerging church practices. We will hold the intention in worship of inviting innovative ideas. We will discuss how technology is a part of our spiritual lives, for good and ill. We will consider how we are open (or not) to new forms of worship and prayer. You will have an opportunity to compose a blogpost or traditional epistle or draw a self-portrait or diagram about something to do with the workshop.
Friday: Prophetic Witness: spiritually grounded social action
Where do we hear Creation groaning ? Where are you called to bring God’s love and healing to the world? If we only aim to improve ourselves without sharing that with the suffering world, our efforts are certainly incomplete and maybe ultimately wasted.
We will read passages from the Bible, John Woolman and Isaac Penington about the cry of the Earth and its people, and the Divine response of Love. We will share our complaints with God, ask for healing and literally groan in growth and rebirth, based an exercise I learned from the Re-Imagine community in San Francisco. We will hold the intention in worship of seeking our own personal point of intervention, large or small, where we feel God is calling us to service.
You will have a time to journal briefly about what you have learned and where you want to grow in the future. There will be a final time for worship-sharing about "where do we go from here?"
If you have any questions, please leave a comment or send an email to the address in my profile. I am still developing the details of the week. I am open to suggestions, concerns, questions, and praise.
If you decide to come, this is what to bring:
- an open, experimental attitude
- writing paper or your journal
- pen or pencil
- a Bible if you have one
- a towel
- courage and enthusiasm
Even if you aren’t coming, please hold me and the future participants in the Light.
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]