Faithful Obedience at FGC Gathering?

Have you noticed a little theme going on around here over the last week or so? It’s not just coincidence. This question keeps coming up for me: how does paying attention to the small nudges from the Holy Spirit prepare us to be faithful in the big moments and movements? All through my preparations for my workshop at the FWCC meeting, when I was in Boston, here at home, it seems to be a theme in my spiritual life these days.

Another theme in my spiritual life is the growing interest in convergent Friends. It seems like everyone has a different idea of what it means. I am hearing rumors that there are folks who would like to get together to talk about it this summer. I read somewhere that Martin and Wess are leading a workshop [on? for?] convergent Friends at Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative). I’m working on organizing another convergent dinner after PYM. But when someone asked Liz Opp if we were planning another interest group at this year’s FGC Gathering, we talked about it some and I thought about it a lot, but there was no life in the idea for me. I didn’t feel much like expounding on what is or is not convergent.

Then Liz mentioned that she was thinking about the topic of faithfulness. Oooooooh! I thought. That’s it! I immediately had six ideas for what we could talk about, and how to put it together.

I still hope some of the same folks will come who came last year. I hope we’ll have some of the same Spirit, Life, and Power. In the meantime, this feels like one step in the right direction, a small example of following the small nudges that may be part of the path of faithful obedience.

Here is the formal description of the interest group:

On Fire! From Small Nudges to Faithful Obedience

Faithfulness and obedience in small things is what makes obedience and faithfulness in the big things possible. Phrases and queries such as "Not my will, Lord, but thine" and "How might I be of service?" help us in our yearning to be faithful. How might we support one another to stay faithful amidst busy lives and chaotic times? How might our individual faithfulness support the renewal of the Religious Society of Friends?
(Actually, this is more than 50 words so they made us cut it back a little bit for the official listing, but this is my blog and I wanted to post the whole thing.)

Liz and I are both posting about this today, here is the link. We are also already working on a reading list of related books, pamphlets, articles and blogposts on the subject of faithfulness and holy obedience. If you have a favorite you’d recommend, please tell me about it in the comments.

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Blogger Unknown said...

This fits well with what I have been discerning over the past several weeks. Even though my high school coordination, by its nature, is close to a 24-7 involvement, I look forward to the possibility of attending any such interest group.


Dave French

5/21/2007 1:42 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Hi Dave!

What would be the possibility of some of the high school Friends coming too?


5/21/2007 1:49 PM  
Blogger Cat C-B (and/or Peter B) said...

Oooo... _now_ I wish I was going to FGC this year!

Please, please, please post about your experiences? I will be awaiting that post eagerly...

5/21/2007 3:44 PM  
Blogger Martin Kelley said...

Hi Robin,
Sounds great. I'm sort of glad you're not going with the whole Convergent theme, I'm almost wondering if we're beating that to death lately. As I'm sure you'd agree it's not about coming up with a trendy name for the new cool kids, but rather modeling that kind of deep faithfulness. We show that by doing and giving it a new name is a great way to do that.

Besides, at the FGC Gathering, if you do something two years in a row you'll be expected to do it for the next ten. There are people who have led the same workshop year after year and it's hard to imagine how it's staying fresh to the Spirit's immediate promptings through all that. Although all the workshops I've led tend to focus on similar themes, I've tried to formulate them from scratch each time to fit my most recent interests and leadings and what I know of the participants. As I've mentioned before, I don't think workshops and interest groups are necessarily the most natural form for Friends and while we have to use them because of their current popularity we also need to be mindful of how we use them.

Anyway, enough babble, the real thing I'm trying to say is that this sounds great and I wish you all of God's blessings for the interest group. Yea!
Martin @ Quaker Ranter

5/21/2007 5:22 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Cat, for sure I will write about it. I find it hard to believe that it's only six weeks away now.

Martin, thank you so much for your kind words - it means a lot coming from you. And of course, we can use all the prayers we can get.

5/21/2007 11:59 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

As of today, May 29, 2007, I heard that our interest group proposal was officially accepted. So I hope we'll see you at the Falls!

(It's still not too late to register at the FGC website...)

5/29/2007 2:37 PM  

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