Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
“Friend, can I speak to you outside about something?”
He was amiable enough to that. Worship had concluded with the traditional shaking of hands. I’d deliberately chosen a seat next to him at a new location across the…
At a Young Adult Friend gathering last night, I listened for some time to the lengthy concerns of a Friend. I was not expecting such an aggressive and passionate display, else I might have thought twice about sharing what I did. Her energetic concerns were prompted by what I…Continue
The past few days, my Meeting has been struggling with whether or not we should revise our Mission Statement. We saw no need to worry about it until a Facebook page was constructed on behalf of the entire gathering. Much of the commentary and debate thus far, to me, has been little more than…Continue
Part of my responsibilities as clerk of Ministry and Worship are to compile an annual report. In it, my Monthly Meeting seeks to attain the Spiritual State of the Meeting. The past several years, we’ve relied upon an online survey to gather information from members and regular attenders. It…Continue
Some years ago, this document was prepared for newcomers by my Meeting's Ministry and Worship committee. I think it to be an effective statement of purpose. We ought to hold ourselves accountable to it and what it says that we are.
Are you looking for an understanding of God that is viable in today's world? We invite you to join with us in our continuing search for Divine leadership in our…Continue
Added by Kevin Camp on 1st mo. 4, 2013 at 9:50am — No Comments
Today, during Meeting for Worship, we discussed the idea of Simplicity. All who shared ministry appeared to have very different, very personal definitions of a seemingly straightforward (even simple) concept.
What may motivate us in our efforts to de-clutter our lives is the concept of Asceticism, or self-denial. This may be well and good, in theory. Yet, what we seek to remove from our own lives is rarely…
The election season now mercifully over, we can next draw some conclusions.
Obama won, in large part, due to changing demographics. Regardless of other theories dangled by the media in front of the American people, a very simple rationale is in force. Populations have shifted away from…
One of the good things about attending Worship in Washington, DC, is that I sometimes get to meet well-known Friends. Mary Beth Tinker was in attendance this past First Day. Her late sister is Bonnie Tinker, notable in her own right for being a tireless activist.
I met Bonnie for the…Continue
Added by Kevin Camp on 9th mo. 11, 2012 at 11:00am — No Comments
For a long while, I’ve been contemplating the notion of Meeting discipline and how it has evolved over time. What form does it take today? Around a century and a half ago, Friends were read out of Meeting for simply daring to marry non-Friends. Punishment had a very…Continue
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body?
This post began as an open letter to my Meeting's listserve. I usually write one a week.
A question has been on my mind recently. How do we best honor the memory of the Quaker martyrs? Many suffered persecution, time in jail, torture, and even death to worship as they wished. Even with greater societal tolerance that arrived with the passage of time, Friends were prohibited from pursuing certain educational…Continue
Added by Kevin Camp on 8th mo. 1, 2012 at 8:58pm — No Comments
This essay was written specifically for my Monthly Meeting, following First Day's Worship. The messages shared during Meeting for Worship focused on a particular period of reform, namely AIDS outreach in the early 1980's. My response to those who spoke at length about their level…Continue
Added by Kevin Camp on 7th mo. 17, 2012 at 9:30am — No Comments
My father was, for all intents and purposes, a religious skeptic. He’d been raised by the unlikeliest of parents, a true believer for a mother, and an agnostic father. The whole of his life, he’d felt pulled in two directions, but he still attended church regularly. This was, after all, small town Alabama in the 1950’s.
In keeping with rural southern colloquialisms, my two sisters and I called my father’s mother “Granny”. Granny Camp was a usually sweet and maternal woman, but she…Continue
Added by Kevin Camp on 6th mo. 21, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments
My Meeting is facing a sizable deficit in its budget. It has been previously able to rely on endowment money to take care of sizable expenses. However, as has been announced and stressed many times before, we are largely subsisting on dead peoples' contributions. We do not have the…Continue
At the end of last year, a man began arriving every First Day at our Meeting. I noticed him because he kept plain dress. As is true with many houses of worship these days, the preferred style of clothing for most of us is casual. The tall, bearded man I saw downstairs prior to First Hour…Continue
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You don't understand now what I am…
Before I write another word, I feel like a disclaimer is in order. I knew many Friends who participated in the Occupy movement, back in its heyday. While I came to eventually lose patience with the movement, even to disagree openly with its stated priorities, I still maintain a respect for those who put their full weight behind the cause. I feel that these heavily committed Friends never left Occupy behind, but that extenuating circumstances beyond anyone's control eventually dissolved the…Continue
It is often said that Friends have short fuses around politics and long fuses around people. Should something highly ideological and politically loaded be mentioned during Meeting for Worship, intense passions have at times led to tense moments. On the other hand, should a member of the Meeting…Continue
Periodically, I write open letters to my Meeting on its listserve. This particular correspondence was sparked by an article I read in a monthly Quaker periodical. In the beginning, Friends did not celebrate Christmas, believing it to be a tradition foist upon them, and one in contradiction to their beliefs. They faced fines for daring to keep their shops open on Christmas Day. Vandals sometimes broke windows and damaged Quaker-owned businesses. Friends believed that Christmas was a festival…Continue
Added by Kevin Camp on 12th mo. 3, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments
As I examine the whole of my religious past, I can say without equivocation that I observed one essential constant. Even from a very young age, I recall the active presence of women in positions of leadership and authority. Women have long been a majority in the congregations of the average Christian or…Continue
Added by Kevin Camp on 11th mo. 22, 2011 at 12:00pm — No Comments