FWCC Late Night Fun

Shawna and I have been asked to lead a late night (meaning starting at 9:30 pm) interest group about convergent Friends at the FWCC Section of the Americas annual meeting.

Last year, she and I (and Wess and David, who is still not blogging that I know of) co-led an afternoon workshop that we titled "Convergent Friends: Reclaiming the Power of Primitive Quakerism in a Postmodern World."

For this year, we are thinking to do a little introduction and then leave it mostly open to questions and answers.

So here's your chance to be part of leading this interest group too:

What do you think Friends who are new to the term "convergent Friends" but already interested in cross-branch communication (obviously, because they've come to FWCC) need to know?
What questions would you ask if you were there?

Any contributions you can make here will help us to prepare for the session.

Also, a reminder that on Sunday, April 6, 2008, after the end of the FWCC meeting, there will be a convergent Friends dinner at Ploughshares Farm, the home of Brent and Nancy Bill, in Mooresville, IN. Not too far from the Waycross retreat center where the FWCC meeting will be. If you would like to come, it's not too late. Send me an email via the address in my profile with your contact information and I'll send you more details when I have them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


One thing I would like to communicate is how the convergent conversation has blessed those of us engaged in it.

I sense that each of us has benefited in unique, specific ways.

I suspect that there have been some gentle and pleasant surprises.

Perhaps Friends could send in brief summaries of their discoveries as they connect with others in open, candid, caring ways.

One example from me is that the Lord has spoken to me about my spheres of acquaintance and how I function within them. He wants me to get out and circulate, to listen, to minister, in wider concentric circles (with Him in the center).

Having a chance to read the writings of and listen to and visit with convergent Friends has helped refine my understanding of the promptings of the Spirit.

It has also, simply put, been fun to meet people who are interested in fellowship. I enjoy corresponding with people who are happy to share spiritual insights and concerns.

My engagement in the conversation has encouraged me to reflect on my spiritual identity. It has affirmed that I am where I need to be in many ways (and that, as you know, is not a static "place").

So, I haven't abandoned my home meeting, nothing of the sort. I do feel that I have a larger spiritual community, and that we are happy to see each other grow, and to help each other as we can.



3/20/2008 7:32 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Raye, thank you very much!

3/24/2008 12:48 AM  
Blogger kathy said...

Robin, I had a great conversation with someone in my own meeting who was frowned upon as a young adult because she joined a AFSC project that determined the trajectory of the rest of her life and career. Somehow, she has held the tension between her meeting and her calling in good balance for more than 40 years. I want to continue to learn from others how better to do that and I see great hope for it in convergent Friends.

If I think of any great questions, I'll let you know. Otherwise, thank you for doing this!

3/25/2008 10:08 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Kathy, last year at the FWCC meeting, I met an older woman from your meeting who was so inspiring. I think she was in her eighties. She was able to hold and express her own beliefs and engage in dialogue and be open to exploring new things - I want to be like that when I'm eighty!!!

3/25/2008 1:27 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

If it's who I think it is, she and her husband are one of the most inspirational couples in all of Quakerdom but a different woman from the one I mentioned earlier. The friend you speak of is preparing for a trip in the next couple of weeks and it wouldn't surprise me if this is the one. The thing I love about this elder is that she is eager to always be listening and learning - still well into her 80's. That, and she wears the most adorable red shoes to church once in a while. :) I want to be like that too! If I'm right, I'll ask her to search you out.

3/25/2008 9:16 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Hi, Robin.

It's great to see that you and Shawna have another opportunity to speak to Quakers about Convergent Friends!

One way that I approach a kind of "Part 2" of an ongoing conversation or workshop is by asking very early on questions that get to the underbelly or less visible side of things:

"What confuses you about this topic [Convergent Friends]? What gets your goat or pushes your buttons? What rumors have you heard that you either want to buy into or want to get to the truth of?"

Rather than saying, "You can ask whatever you want to ask or say whatever you want to say"--which doesn't necessarily mean that people will feel comfortable doing so--these sorts of questions are more likely to show your interest in hearing the unspoken or taboo things...

Of course, I think there's so much good stuff out there, too, about Convergent Friends, that it will be easy enough for the conversation to turn to more positive topics as the interest group gets underway.

...Thinking about it a bit more, and re-reading your original question about "Friends who are new to the term," the questions I offer here may not be appropriate! My guess is you'll get a mix of Friends, which is always tricky to navigate, too.

Nevertheless, I'm sure you will both do your best.

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

3/26/2008 6:05 PM  

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