QHD 2007, the longer version

Third in a series of seven posts about QHD 2007

Saturday was the fourth annual Quaker Heritage Day at Berkeley Friends Church. The first speaker was Hugh Barbour, second was T. Canby Jones, last year it was Margery Post Abbott and Peggy Senger Parsons. A few moments on Saturday afternoon were dedicated to holding Peggy Parsons in the Light, as we heard she had just returned the day before from two months of training trauma healers in Burundi. Last year was my first time at QHD and I was just about blown over by the experience. It was a more low-key presentation this year, but then it pretty much had to be.

This year's speaker was Brian Drayton, author of On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry, one of the biggest sellers at last year's QHD book table.

I think I counted 12 adult attenders from my Meeting alone. Maybe a fourth or fifth of the event. Pretty much all the regular attenders of the Thursday night study group. Bet the discussion this week will be rich. (Alas, I'm providing childcare for the Executive Director of the HEART of San Mateo County while he attends a county planning meeting.)

I've struggled a bit with what to say about the talks. But plain speech is winning out. I don’t think that Drayton presented much that was really new to me. Using Bownas’s categories of milk for babes or meat for grown men, I felt like I was being fed bananas or avocados – nutritious, but nothing to really chew on, nothing spicy hot. Chris M. took better notes than I did, and he’ll probably post some of the juiciest nuggets. Nonetheless, I think it was good to soak in the atmosphere for a whole day. And other Friends were deeply moved by the whole thing. I think I just didn’t manage my expectations very well.

In the closing worship, I had these words but no opportunity to share them, so here they are:
Just as prayer can be a full-body experience, ministry can be a whole-life experience.
I was thinking of my Friend Elizabeth’s image of praying for the world’s children by hunching over like a woman in labor, crying “Save my baby!” Or the image of a novice entering religious life fully prostrate, face down on the floor, in submission to Christ. And I was thinking of all the ways are lives are called into holiness, into seeking perfection, in order to become a clear channel for the presence of God in gospel ministry. Earlier in the day I had used words like purity, chastity, temperance and humility. Brian Drayton had added time management or avoiding over-busyness to the list. Which was both disappointingly mundane and absolutely accurate.

I don’t know if BFC will have QHD again next year, since Max Hansen is leaving the pastorate, but I sure hope so. If you have suggestions of possible speakers, I’d be happy to pass them on to the church leadership.

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Blogger Chris M. said...

Well, it was the City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG) board meeting, and they approved our package of concepts for legislation to fund affordable housing. So it was Kingdom Work, my Friend, Kingdom Work!

Also, I told you this in person but I'll say it here for the benefit of your readership: There was actually a lot to soak in at QHD. It has continued to work its way through me. For instance, on Tuesday I read the old London Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on a train ride to Sacramento (more legislative work), and I was far more open to it then than ever before. (I need to save this thought for my own blog...) It definitely was not an emotionally "up" day, not charged or "on fire." And yet it was centered.

Thanks for inviting me! :)

-- Chris M.

3/10/2007 12:18 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Sweetheart, I'm so glad you could come this year! It's always more fun with you.

3/11/2007 1:45 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thanks Max for the clarification. I misunderstood what you said at the beginning. But thank you also for all your work putting it together!

3/14/2007 12:34 AM  

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