"Attend to our fire, Friends!" I croaked in quaking tribulation. I was gathered with Friends from across the country in the Casa De Luz at Ben Lomond Quaker Center. We were gathered for a weekend of learning, worship, and reflection on the rising classification of Convergent Friends.

I traveled to this gathering with a concern that developed as I learned about Convergent Friends while living at Pendle Hill. The definition that had emerged in my mind was that the liberal form of  open worship was coming together with a more conservative theology with a desire to living more as Jesus and his disciples did: in a beloved community grounded in Jesus' teachings (a hallmark of the emergent church). At Pendle Hill I had met several Friends who felt alienated by the new term, wondering whether they would be excluded as not good enough to be included among the elite Convergents. My personal concern crystalized for me in the final worship of the weekend in the Casa De Luz. I was gazing at the fire in the stove that was warming the room. I spoke with Chris Mohr after the rise of worship about the ministry I offered at the start of this essay and realized that what I was worried about is that by using a term like "convergent" we are placing the fire of God in a box. We allow ourselves to enjoy the warmth without risking the transformative burning of the fire. The image of having what is in us and is not of God burned away by the Light is a powerful one from early Quakerism and it must be respected. I believe that our experience of God can certainly be comforting. But if it never causes us to painfully change, then what are we doing?

To me Robin Mohr's definition of Convergence, "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," should describe EVERY FRIEND. And those who are striving to seek this life need to be more than "radically inclusive" of each other, but need to continually invite EVERY FRIEND and indeed the World into this more authentic life of the Spirit. One defining feature of early Quakers was that they were radically evangelical and perhaps if Convergence is drawing together threads from all branches of Friends, we need to take a page from the EFCI playbook.

I love Quakerism because I believe that we are all called to be ministers; living and speaking the Truth that draws us and the world ever closer to God's Paradise.

Views: 99

Comment

You need to be a member of QuakerQuaker to add comments!

Join QuakerQuaker

Support Us

Did you know that QuakerQuaker is 100% reader supported? If you think this kind of outreach and conversation is important, please support it with a monthly subscription or one-time gift.


You can also make a one-time donation.

Latest Activity

Kirby Urner posted a video

My World View

Summarizing my views to date. In World Game, we look through the "eyes" of different nations, empathizing from each point of view. What does the world look l...
11 hours ago
Mike Shell posted a discussion
7th day (Sat)
Jim Wilson liked Keith Saylor's blog post A Different ministration of Life in relation to others.
6th day (Fri)
Kirby Urner posted a video

Promised Land

In the School of Tomorrow, we learn how to think globally before acting locally. Here's a link to the 'Tower of Babel' video I mention in passing: http://www...
7th month 16
Windy Cooler posted a video

Releasing Ministry Alliance Opps 1 Under the Care of final

“Under the Care of” July 10, 2019 8-9 pm Eastern time What does holding a ministry “under the care of” a meeting entail? Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting (Baltim...
7th month 15
Keith Saylor posted a blog post

A Different ministration of Life in relation to others.

I am encouraged and grateful my research into early Quakers is revealing many people within the…See More
7th month 13
Kirby Urner posted a video

Happy Birthday Bucky

July 12 is Buckminster Fuller's birthday. Here's a "Quaker rant" to celebrate.
7th month 13
Windy Cooler updated their profile
7th month 11

© 2019   Created by QuakerQuaker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service