What have we tasted? What are we still hungry for?

A few more details about last weekend's workshop, Reclaiming the Power of Primitive Quakerism for the 21st Century:

Saturday morning we spent talking about what plain living means in the 21st century. I have a lot more to write about that, but for now I'll just say it had a lot in common with the discussion at SF Meeting last spring and at my workshop at the FGC Gathering last summer.

I really liked the Saturday afternoon presentation by Wess and Martin about historical examples of convergence among Friends.

I especially liked Martin’s questions:
“Why do we do (x,y, or z)?”
“Why aren’t we talking to (x,y, or z)?”
as defining the convergent conversation. He gave a whole list of examples of people who have exemplified this conversation, starting with Jesus, proceeding through Samuel Bownas, the repeated renewal movements in every century in the RsoF, and getting to Lloyd Lee Wilson, Johan Maurer and Great Plains Yearly Meeting as contemporary examples.

Wess gave an in-depth presentation on a Friend who was unfamiliar to most of us, Everett Lewis Cattell, but who was a major figure among Evangelical Friends in the 1950’s-1970’s.

I was surprised that in all the things that Martin and Wess said, the ideas that people wanted to talk about were
1) being missional, in the postmodern, emerging church sense, and

2) how to name what it is that we’ve tasted and what it is that we’re still hungry for, spiritually speaking.

Maybe that shouldn’t have surprised me. They were great topics and the discussion could have gone on and on.

In fact, it was just getting deep and then we were out of time. This is a constant battle between leaving room for the Holy Spirit to emerge and respecting the needs of the people who are cooking and caring for our children. (And the needs of our children to eat at a regular time and to see their parents.)

On both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, we had built into the schedule a half hour of leeway, since the people who had signed up to help with the meal prep had to leave a half hour before everyone else. We aimed to be done at that time, but I knew we still had some time to wrap up, while the child care providers were still on duty. But it wasn’t enough. Which means nobody ends up happy. Least of all me, who felt caught in the middle between my responsibilities as a parent and my responsibilities as a facilitator. But we tried.

More coverage of the weekend can be found on QuakerQuaker.org, Flickr (quakerreclaiming2009), YouTube, and Twitter (#convergentfriends).

If you have written or uploaded something, tag it with quaker.reclaiming2009 so the rest of us can read it too.

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