Follow up on QHD 2011
The longer version is, by definition, more complicated and some of it is still reverberating in my brain and will therefore take longer to write about. But I didn't want to wait anymore to write a little bit about it.
As I've said before, Quaker Heritage Day is an important annual event in my spiritual journey. This year, the speaker was C. Wess Daniels, released minister from Camas Friends Church, in WA, near Portland, OR. I first met Wess in person at QHD in 2006. He is still a Ph.D. candidate at Fuller Seminary and he presented some of his material from his dissertation research. It was challenging in a intellectual way, like a college level class on Quakerism. Here are the slides & other documents from his presentation. It opened up new connections between Quaker history and postmodern culture, in a way that offers me hope for the relevance and vitality of Quakerism in the future. The four points I'd like to highlight (and write more about) were the redefinition of mission, the role of the church as midwife to the spiritual life of a community, Quakers as exemplars of fan culture, especially as remixers and participatory producers, and the role of faithful betrayal in spiritual matters.
I think my role in this event is as an engaged fan of QHD, in the technical sense of fan culture that Wess described. I helped spread the word; I encouraged more young Friends from a wider geographical area to come; I helped support the child care, and I coordinated the after-party. I am enthusiastic about the stimulation I receive from QHD and I just assumed that I could help in some way. Which may be irritating to the real organizers at times but I think overall it makes for a better event. Or I'd have stopped by now.
There are some photos on Facebook. Lisa H. wrote two good posts on Quakers and Remix Culture, (part 1 and part 2) and Chris M. shared some of his own further reflections. I hope to write up posts on the four points I mentioned in the next week or six, in between everything else that I have going on. God willing, and the internet connection doesn't bail out again.
And next year, you should really think about coming. It's not a balloons & facepaint type of party, although I apparently gave that impression to some local Friends, for which I apologize, but it's a good time for Quaker thinkers.
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