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Convergent Friends

A movement seeking a deeper understanding of our Quaker heritage and a more authentic community life. Tag: convergent

Members: 164
Latest Activity: 3rd month 2

About Convergent Friends

Robin M. coined the phrase in early 2006 in her post "Robinopedia: Convergent Friends." She wrote: "It describes Friends who are 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. It includes, among others, Friends from the politically liberal end of the evangelical branch, the Christian end of the unprogrammed branch, and the more outgoing end of the Conservative branch."

Important Posts:

Emergent Church Movement: The Younger Evangelicals & Quaker Renewal. Martin Kelley, 9/2003.
Faith Enough to be Outrageous. Claire, Winter 2006
Convergent Friends Introduction. (PDF), Rachel Stacy, spring 2007
Unraveling the Myths about Convergent Friends. LizOpp, 3/2007.
Convergent Friends: a Long Definition. Martin Kelley, summer 2007.
Converging around Jesus: A Personal Story. David Male, summer 2007.
Convergent Friendship and Playing around with the Other Kids. C Wess Daniels, summer 2007.
What Convergence Means to Ohio Conservative. Martin Kelley, 8/07.
Convergence Among Friends: From Kitchen to the Parlor, Robin M and C Wess Daniels, 10/2007.
Convergent presentation at Woodbrooke Study Center. C Wess Daniels, 5/08
Where is the Convergent Conversation Now? Robin M, summer 2008.
How do I find other Convergent Friends? Robin M., summer 2008.
Joining the Convergent Conversation, Angelina Conti, Friends Journal, 5/2009.
What Does a New Kind of Quaker Look Like?, Scott Wagoner, Quaker Life, 1/2010.

Eight Questions on Convergent Friends: An Interview with Robin Mohr by Martin Kelley, Friends Journal, 1/2012.

Related 'Convergent' on Quakerquaker:

Photos
Videos
Gatherings

Related Elsewhere:

ConvergentFriends.org
Facebook Group
The Conservative Friend

Discussion Forum

Quaker monks\nuns...

Started by Margaret Banford. Last reply by Christopher Hatton 12th month 8, 2012. 22 Replies

Do you like the word 'quakerly'?

Started by Helen Bayes. Last reply by C. Morningbear Cullimore Mercer 10th month 26, 2011. 7 Replies

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Meetups, Events, and Resources

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Comment by Christopher Hatton on 3rd mo. 2, 2019 at 12:10pm

Dear Friends,  

I had an interesting discussion with a good Mennonite friend of mine last week, and we were talking out reaching out and setting up a mixture of worship-sharing group, in the tradition of Quakers, but with contemporary issues that would appeal to Mennonites / wider society. He like the idea of Worship-sharing because it (hopefully) offers a safe space to share, but is rooted in the mystical part of Christianity. 

He was very interested in this idea of "Convergent Friends" and wondered if I was the only one.  He is a "vicar" at the local Mennonite church, has friends / contacts in "occupy church movement" and we are both active ecumenically.  We also did our training together with Christian Peacemaker Teams, and share the need to practice liberation theology. 

Now my questions to the forum is: Conversations / actions regarding "Convergent Friends" has been mainly about the spiritual renewal of our meetings / fusing the best bits of our Quaker traditions / flavours of Quakerism.

Does anyone had experience doing this in the "wider" ecumenical setting?  Good and bad, and if you want we can discuss privately.

On a related note, Hamburg is a big port city, and we also think the idea of Christ centred expectant waiting Quakerism mixed with a little semi-programmed ecumenical worship is something we can offer. The Mennonite input, strengthens the presence of the Peace Church witness in the city and gives a little more "structure" to the 30 - 45 minute service for those not (yet) used to the expectant waiting.

My friends wife, also a Mennonite asked me recently, please come and join our ecumenical chapel team and organise some Quaker worship.. I need some!! So since the 01.02.2019 I am part of the chapel team (21 denominations coming together to offer a place to worship in the middle of Hamburgs Harbour).

If you have some thoughts, or would like to pray for us as we discern if this is something we are being called to do, please let us know.

Blessings

Christopher

Comment by T. Vail Palmer, Jr. on 4th mo. 6, 2016 at 10:45pm

I have been actively involved in "Convergent Quaker" dialogue in the Pacific Northwest.  Some folks here have been actively awaiting the publication of my book, "Friends, God, and the Bible", as a significant contribution to this dialogue.  Barclay Press is hoping to publish the full text of my first 5 chapters, as Volume 1, later this year.  Meanwhile, they may be posting significant tastes of it online.  Keep your eye on this page or the "Convergent Friends" Facebook page.

Comment by David McKay on 4th mo. 6, 2016 at 9:08pm

I have just downloaded your book Wess. Unfortunately my ereader doesn't like pdf files so much so I can only get to it later on at night when I can access it on my computer -- but it looks interesting. I'm glad there is at least one Quake reading McIntyre (though I like Hauerwas better, he has a snide town to his writing I enjoy... )

 

Comment by C. Wess Daniels on 4th mo. 6, 2016 at 8:44pm

David and Christopher, thanks for jumping in here. In 2006 when "convergent" was developing as an idea there was more affinity for the emerging church than there is now. I think back then we saw it as an example of *some* churches that were trying to remain connected to the tradition but change and make more sense culturally. I don't really hear Quakers talking about emerging churches now much at all and I don't even really know if that's still a thing. 

I do think that the key is to continue to build on that which is most alive in our tradition, and not be afraid to experiment and try new things under the label "Quaker."

Comment by Christopher Hatton on 4th mo. 6, 2016 at 7:36pm

Dear David,

thank you for reactivating the conversation. As I mentioned I am a self-labelling convergent Friend because it is the closest to where I am on my spiritual journey at the moment. This might change.. but there is something deeply appealing and inclusive that speaks to me.  A place to be passionately Christian whilst being passionately inclusive.

I am active in Ecumenism and regularly lead and support inter-denomination / inter-faith worship.  I am however in all of this a convinced Friend and this I make known. Whilst influenced by traditional expectant-waiting worship and there is a lot of overlap with"c"onservative Friends , I am not in "union" with the Faith & Practice book of discipleship of either North Carolina nor Ohio YM (conservative), although Iowa does speak to me a little more.

I hope we do not morph into a mainstream protestant church, our practiced faith, our continuous revelation, whilst everyday being radical hospitable and transforming the secular make it edgy and dynamic. Without the edginess, there is a danger of morphing into either a mainstream Protestant or a Conservative evangelical ritualised Free church.

I think there will also be pockets of convergent Friends everywhere or like me, occasionally isolated (but working on that one).

How is the truth prospering here, I do not know, my experience suggests it to easier to discern truth where a couple of Friends physically gather to expectantly wait and listen for and to God. This doesn't tend to always been somewhere between 10 - 12 on a First day morning.....

Comment by James C Schultz on 4th mo. 6, 2016 at 7:05pm

I don't think Quakers are morphing into the "emergent" church (although I must admit I'm not sure what it is though I have read about it and attended one).  I hope we Quakers can accept that each of us is on a spiritual journey that should end up in the same place without feeling threatened by the fact that the other journey doesn't look kosher to us.  I find the lack of knowledge of the Bible by most Quakers, which of course was not the case with the first several generations of Quakers, is hard to get past but the God I worship is capable of overcoming biblical illiteracy as much as literacy itself so I don't get overly excited by it.  Exasperated? Yes.  Upset? No.  Now by biblical illiteracy I don't mean just a lack of knowledge gained from studying the bible but a lack of actually reading it and meditating on it as it reaches out and touches your spirit.  There are several groups of Quakers who gather in the Holy Spirit to find fellowship and support in their respective journeys and I am sure you can find one with meetings in your area.  I post on the home page of this group often and you can find several interesting viewpoints there.

Comment by David McKay on 4th mo. 6, 2016 at 6:52pm

I came to Friends back in the yearly 1980s. I was married in our monthly meeting and became quite active for a number of years. And I found myself drifting away in large part because I'm not well suited to being an "isolated Friend" and my wife and I found ourselves worshiping with a more traditionally structured Protestant church. For a variety of reasons I contacted our meeting of membership and withdrew my membership a few years ago. But the disconnect — mostly related to geography began about a decade ago when the noise about "convergent Friends" was first starting. It seemed to me at the time to be the Quaker equivalent to the "emergent church" movement in the larger Christian community. Essentially a way of being faithful that's (hopefully) evangelicals and progressives might be able to both share in.

When I'm finding myself seeking again. And so here I find this little group called Convergent Friends, which has been seen a group discussion since 2012. And I'm asking myself what is happening with this whole Convergent Quaker movement? How does the truth prosper here? Has convergency fallen flat on its face or has it morphed into something else?

An inquiring mind wants to know.

Comment by Christopher Hatton on 8th mo. 11, 2014 at 3:57pm
Hi Wess, yes I did alas Jez is too busy ... And as it happens so am I this year. However, last week I worshiped online with "Friends of the Light" and during the discussion afterwards I met another convergent Friends who knows (of) you.

We just need a critical mass and "bingo" (not that I play for money).
I was inspired by all your ideas for a nursery of truth. Now is not the time for me, but I am interested in keeping the idea alive.
Comment by C. Wess Daniels on 10th mo. 28, 2013 at 2:16pm

Chris - I love the idea. If you can gather some folks, I'd be happy to help in any way I can. 

Have you connected with Jez Smith? He might be interested. 

Comment by Christopher Hatton on 10th mo. 26, 2013 at 3:43pm

Looking for interested fFriends (primarily on the European side of the pond?) willing to help set up and drum up support for a "mini nursery of truth" like event.

Possible meeting places could be:

A sympathetic Friends Meeting House in Europe e.g.

Moyallon or Belfast Meeting, Ulster

Woodbrooke - Birmingham, Central England,

-Swarthmoor Hall, northern England

- Svartbacken Quaker Retreat centre or Friends Meeting House in Stockholm, Sweden

- Congénies Friends Meeting House, Southern France

- Bad Pyrmont Friends Meeting House (South of Hannover) Germany

I was nspired by the following: 

http://gatheringinlight.com/2012/10/17/nursery-of-truth-a-new-conve...

Not sure about funding, support, best time of year.. but putting the idea out there and see who responds :-)

Love, peace and happiness

Christopher

A regular tattooed Rockabilly who happens to be a bad drummer and a spontaneous dancer, and member of the emerging church / re-revived primitive Christianity!

 

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