Reclaiming the Power of Primitive Quakerism for the 21st Century

Are you seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic life in the kingdom of God on Earth, radically inclusive of all who seek to live this life?

Are you not sure what you believe about Jesus and Christ but you're interested in wrestling with this question?

Are you quite clear what you believe but you're willing to listen to others who are still struggling?

Do you think that a lot of Quaker anachronisms are silly but you're willing to experiment to see which ones still hold Life and Power?

Are you willing to listen and speak across the artificial boundaries and at the same time to respect the real differences and diversity that exist between and within Quaker institutions?

Then come to this weekend gathering! February 20-22, 2009 at Ben Lomond Quaker Center, in the Santa Cruz mountains, just south of the San Francisco Bay Area.

A weekend with convergent Friends, facilitated by Robin Mohr, C. Wess Daniels, and Martin Kelley. (Yes, THE Wess Daniels and THAT Martin Kelley. The ones you’ve wanted to meet for so long. This is your chance. If you haven't heard of them, there's more about the three of us below.)

A weekend for good food and serious conversation and dreaming and silliness. My idea of fun.

The weekend will include time to share some of our spiritual journeys in small groups and in writing. We will listen deeply and lovingly to one another, as we speak courageously and gently about our own experiences of the Truth. We will explore what we can learn from each other's stories, what it means to worship in Spirit and in Truth in the postmodern age, and how to share a lived faith as we serve all creation. We will walk in the redwoods, sing and laugh, have extended waiting worship, and eat together. We will experiment with some traditional Quaker practices and develop some tools to take home, to help us be the change we wish to see in our meetings and the world.

We will take some time to refine our understanding of the phrase "convergent Friends." Linguistically, "convergent" alludes to an affinity for both Conservative Friends and the Emergent Church. Metaphorically, convergent Friends are moving closer together towards a radical understanding of the Kingdom of God embodied in our postmodern culture. We will hear about and discuss historical convergent movements and move forward in discernment about the future of the Religious Society of Friends. Expect inclusive and Christian language.

Registration will be handled by Quaker Center. The forms are not online yet, but if you want to come, you can call or email them and get on the list already. Scholarships are available, so don’t let money be an obstacle. Childcare will also be available onsite. Meals will be vegetarian, with full vegan options. If you have any other questions, leave a comment here or send me an email at the address in my profile and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Leaders' Bios:The three facilitators of this weekend are perhaps best known as Quaker bloggers. They have led conversations with convergent Friends at various picnics and dinner parties, the FGC Gathering, Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas, and Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative). They have also written about the renewal of the Religious Society of Friends in Friends Journal, Friends Bulletin/Western Friend and Quaker Life.

Robin Mohr is a member of San Francisco MM, Pacific YM. Her blog is called What Canst Thou Say? She coined the term "convergent Friends" in November 2005. [You can click through the archives in the side bar for more about me.]

C. Wess Daniels is a member of the Evangelical Friends Church, Eastern Region. He grew up in Ohio and went to undergrad at Malone College. After finishing at Malone, he and his wife moved to Los Angeles where he completed his masters in theology. He is now pursuing a PhD at Fuller Theological Seminary on issues related to contemporary culture, missiology and Quakerism. Wess has led a variety of workshops on Convergent Friends and is currently researching renewal within Quaker meetings. He and his wife have one daughter, Lilian.

Before becoming an independent web developer, Martin Kelley worked for a number of years with Friends General Conference and Friends Journal. He has led Quaker workshops at three monthly meetings in his own Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, as well as at the FGC Gathering and New York Yearly Meeting's Powell House Retreat Center. In 2005, he received a grant from the Pickett Endowment for Quaker Leadership to develop a Web 2.0-based Quaker magazine, now known as QuakerQuaker.org. He has a passion for Quaker outreach and renewal and for looking afresh at the testimonies, language and practices we've jettisoned over the past 350 years.

[11/2 Update: The BLQC 2009 schedule is now posted, however registration for this workshop is not online yet. I'll post another update when that happens, sometime soon I'm sure.]

[1/5 Update: The flyer and registration information is now online. To register for the workshop, download, print, and mail in your registration form to Quaker Center. For more information, call the Center.

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Blogger Imperfect Serenity said...

Sound like a wonderful opportunity! Doubtful that I'll make it, but I wish you all the best.

10/30/2008 10:52 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thanks! It would be great to have you there. February can be a great time to visit California...

10/30/2008 4:08 PM  
Blogger anj said...

Holding that in the Light; I would have to really see Way open to make that trip right now.

10/30/2008 5:55 PM  
Blogger Patrick Ruth said...

Way opens, I'm coming-this sounds like it could be a deep soulful discussion/weekend of where Friends are going. And I finally have a blog up as of last week. Thanks for the encouragement. Patrick

10/30/2008 10:44 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Anj, we'll leave the Light on for you...

Patrick - I am very encouraged. After the brief announcement at Quarterly Meeting, several people came to tell me they are thinking of coming. As soon as the 2009 list is up on the BLQC site, I'll post an update.

Also for anyone who's wondering, this post (and the related announcement at CPQM) is my one contribution to Convergent October.

10/30/2008 11:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds good, I think I'll come too!

10/31/2008 11:12 PM  
Blogger Tania said...

I hope way opens for me to come... (but I am skeptical :( ) It sounds like a great opportunity.

11/01/2008 2:21 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Wess, I'm counting on you...

Tania, it would be delightful to meet you in person.

11/01/2008 4:38 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Glad to see the description posted on Quaker Center's website. ...Reading it here just makes my FMS stronger (that's "Fear of Missing Something" if you were wondering).

I obviously need to live on one coast or the other, and get my butt out of the midwest! There are just so many good things happening in California or Philadelphia or New York...

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

11/04/2008 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am PRAYING that way will open for me to attend!! xoxo

11/16/2008 7:00 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Liz, I'm sorry you won't be coming, but we are open to any suggestions you might like to send along...

Betsy - ME TOO!

11/17/2008 3:32 PM  
Blogger Laurie Chase Kruczek said...

My husband and I both want to attend. Any idea of the cost?

11/30/2008 9:44 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

The cost will be a sliding scale between $140 and $220 per person, with scholarships available through Quaker Center - you have to contact them to register and to make any special arrangements.

12/03/2008 12:41 AM  
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5/22/2009 3:54 AM  

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