Good advice to Friends everywhere

"Business done in the manner of Friends gives us a chance to grow spiritually. Business session should be a safe and constructive place to learn. We can learn when to speak courageously and when to hold our tongue. We get to practice listening and making ourselves understood. We get to learn the lesson of letting go of our own preferences and agendas. We get to take small steps outside our comfort zone. We are given the opportunity to learn to be tolerant, and how to handle frustration patiently. Business meeting can be a laboratory of sanctification."
A quotation from the new Faith and Practice of Freedom Friends Church.

I bought my copy at the FWCC meeting on Saturday night. Peggy Senger Parsons said it's the first completely new Faith and Practice of the 21st century. (If you want to be in on the latest in Quaker hipness, you should come to FWCC next time!) I'm not done reading it, but I couldn't wait to post this excerpt. So far, I like it very much. "Laboratory of sanctification!"

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Blogger Jeanne said...

I would add a caveat to all of that:

"If it's well-clerked, which includes clerking from the floor when the assigned clerk loses her way."

3/23/2009 12:49 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

I just added this Faith & Practice to the book list I've compiled in preparation for the booktable I'm coordinating in April.

Unfortunately, QuakerBooks of FGC has told me they don't have any hard copies of it.... yet.

However, Freedom Friends Church has posted their Faith & Practice online. It begins just after the introduction by Peggy Senger Parsons.


Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

3/23/2009 1:04 PM  
Blogger Peggy Senger Morrison said...

First Props to Inter-mountain YM who is also bringing theirs out this spring. They started before us, and had their final draft done last summer, and will put it into the hands of their people in June. We just sprinted to the printer. Theirs is also up on line.

as to us...
FGC ordered 50 copies this morning.
I will be selling them off my website by tonight. But the first run is almost gone.

however, the second run will have fewer typos ;)

If you want a few direct e-mail me.

3/23/2009 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back in the 1970s, I spent some time studying and practicing with a Hindu guru. I noticed early on that he was surrounded by two types of people: a large group, close to him, that was very interested in “the latest in [spiritual] hipness”, the coolest and trendiest; and a much smaller group, a bit more distant from him, that was primarily interested in the eternal and unchanging.

They were distinctly different personality types, they expressed themselves in different ways, and they were interested in different parts of our guru’s practice.

And now we have the same polarity in Quakerism (although here it seems more muted). “Laboratory of sanctification” is definitely the sort of phrase I would have expected to find among the “hipness” crowd surrounding my guru. It hints to me, gently, of progress, new discoveries, being on the innovative, forward edge of things. So also do “small steps outside our comfort zone”, “learning to be tolerant”, etc.

The folks I knew in my years in Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM) were not, for the most part, “latest in hipness” types, so unless that culture has changed in the fifteen years since I was there, I expect their new discipline might have a subtly different flavor. They started work on their discipline around 1993, while I was still living there; so it’s had half a human generation’s worth of seasoning prior to publication, and perhaps that relative slowness is in itself significant.

I’ll be interested to get the two disciplines and compare them.

3/24/2009 8:21 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

This is just an excerpt. The section on meeting for business is longer than this.

Thanks Peggy for your further clarifications as well.

Of course, every book of discipline is different. Otherwise, we'd all be content using the same one.

3/24/2009 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One slight correction. It is not the first totally new F&P of the 21st Century. Both Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand YMs brought out their first books of discipline out in 2003, both entirely new.

But I agree with you Robin that there is much of value in this Faith & Practice. And of course that FWCC is as hip as it gets! :-)

3/26/2009 1:38 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Aha, Harry. Peggy has been trying to ask this question in various places, and apparently hadn't gotten this answer before. Thanks!

3/27/2009 3:58 PM  
Blogger Peggy Senger Morrison said...

Thanks Harry.

I had that correction of timing from Friend Claire from NZ on the night of the FWCC. And of course there are many revisions that have been done recently and many more in process.

This is one of the things that I like about Quakerism. It is so "Open-source" Everyone takes the precious traditions and wisdoms and uses them and plays with them and makes them their own. It is what makes continuing revelation so much fun!

4/01/2009 5:56 PM  

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