Our Meeting is creating an outreach committee to improve our visibility.  We have a strong commitment to not proselytize, but are trying to remove the bushel basket now covering the light of our meeting. 

Anyway, we are looking for ideas for alternatives to the name "Outreach Committee" as that might not be the best fit for us. Anyone have experience with different names?

Thanks!

Rochelle in Ashland, OR

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Rochelle.  Sorry to talk so much on your question.  I am very happy your meeting is doing something about educating the public about Quakers.  Years ago I read a letter to the editor of the local paper from a person who said he was stopping  church attendance. because the three songs and a sermon did not address his spiritual needs and all the preacher wanted was money.   Here was a person who needed a non-programmed Quakers meeting.  Despite my pleas for an outreach from our meeting it was met with silence not of the Spirit but from apathy.  Please don't let your meeting talk this issue to death as often happens when no Quaker wants to stand up and be responsible.  You asked an outstanding question that needs to be repeated not just at your meeting but state wide and nationally.  If this issue is not addressed soon, it wont be a problem at all....non-programmed Quakers will cease to exist and the programmed preachers will be left to deliver their own thoughts and not the Spirt.

I am what you make me to be,

The Quaker Monk

Why do you assume those of us who've answered are programmed?


Quaker Monk said:

The original question, "What do you call your Quaker outreach effort?"  is a good one.  Programmed paid clergy have a vested interest in getting more and bigger churches to pay them for their efforts.  Non-programmed meetings have no interest in getting new members except to offer a direct path to the Spirit.  Most programmed meetings are very good at their efforts at reaching out to the community.  Conversely, I guess the non-programmed meetings believe that the Spirit and silent worship  is worth the effort.

Its a shame there are not  more responses to this question by non-programmed Quakers.  I am glad you asked the question, perhaps Quakers will consider more what they are NOT or REFUSING to do outreach.  Maybe they will stop being complacent.  If George Fox sat in the Church of England and did nothing, then we would not be having this discussion.  Its a shame that Quakers at local and national level depend on hireling preachers to answer this question for us.

I appreciate your plain speech Mr. Monk and your willingness to call me on my bullishness.

Here's a picture from said #WILPF ladies meetup, traditionally strong in the Pacific Northwest area, ever since Linus Pauling's day (Oregon native) when his wife Ava Helen (a strong player in WILPF) was helping him win the Nobel Peace Prize (his second Nobel). 

https://flic.kr/p/J6fiuA

(that's my mom on the left).

I've gone through periods of disillusionment regarding AFSC, like when they pushed hard to find a new office in Portland, and then pulled out of the Portland Peace Program as soon as they found one. I was part of the Liaison Program at the time, joining in conference calls and so on, and gave 'em an ear full.

The Portland Peace Program continued full throttle without Philadelphia's support.  I guess in their jargon we were "spun off", now mature enough to not need them as an "incubator" (commercial startups use the same language).

The Golden Rule is a small watercraft, recently rehabilitated, once piloted by a brave Quaker. 

Only a few brave Quakers, such as Albert Bigelow (its captain), Mary Dyer, Bayard Rustin and John Woolman would be sufficient to anchor the brand for many generations.  Yet we've seen many more than a few.

This list of famous Friends is quite the who's who I think, and I'm proud of this track record:
http://www.adherents.com/largecom/fam_quaker.html

True, I'm one of those who thinks social / environmental activism is a natural expression of one's receiving divine grace, enlightenment or whatever one calls it. 

Those as yet still waiting to be served, wanting others to live up to their high ideals, are, as Forrest said, more likely to get "fussed".  Quakerism is more about service than being served.

I'm looking forward to more interesting Quaker content on Youtube, including commercials (since for me advertising is the same thing as evangelizing).

Lately the theme seems to be unprogrammed Meetings for Worship and the ministry young people have for the rest of us. I'm guessing most readers here will have seen these three (in reverse chrono order):

https://youtu.be/t68hQxh9tqw (9,580 views)
https://youtu.be/PhsvqbCIaAs (165,727 views)
https://youtu.be/-XlMkK4_kTg (102,665 views)

I include view numbers for the benefit of those digging this posting up in some months or years and wanting to plot more data points.

Then there's this one about Mary Dyer, which I share with Junior Friends when I get the chance:

https://youtu.be/QaDk0wG-HWk  (warning: plain speech and alcohol)

North Carolina is the butt of jokes here in Portland, mostly bathroom humor.  I'm sure they'll sort it out somehow but I think it'd be a mistake to imagine the future of Quakerism greatly depends on Tar Heels.

Earlham is big into science (including computer science) as well as philosophy and that's what's more critical to the future of any viable religion in my book. 

Catholicism has embraced science big time, what with that state of the art Vatican telescope in Arizona and all that (I've been in meetings with a Vatican chief astronomer more than once). 

Many Protestant sects are getting marginalized as anti-science and I'm eager to not have Quakers on their sinking ship.  Like Alfred North Whitehead, I'm skeptical anything essential was added to Christianity by Protestants, unless we count the Quakers as such (I don't, necessarily, though I understand why some do).

Kirby



Mackenzie said:

Why do you assume those of us who've answered are programmed?
I don't assume that people that answered me come from programmed meetings.  So far a member of a different faith and a person who no longer attends a meeting answered.  My comments could apply to both programmed and non-programmed people.  The programmed meeting depends on hireling ministers to do outreach.  The non-programmed meetings depend on members of the meeting to educate the public about Quakers.  Both types do not take responsibility for the Quaker silent meeting tradition. 
I address more the non-programmed meetings because most programmed meetings are really Unitarian Universalists or Non-denominational Holiness meetings  but that is the decisions that their ministers make for them (they get paid to do it).  At least the programmed minister is interested in promoting their own personal slant on Quaker belief.  They don't want much silent worship, it would dilute the need for them and possibly the person might have an opening.   Most programmed members would be scared of direct contact with the Spirit and need/want to be spoonfed religion from a preacher.  I guess George Fox got beat up for nothing trying to get people to accept the notion that they could get the Spirit directly if only the preacher would be quiet.
I am what you make me,
The Quaker Monk
 
 
Quaker Monk said:

The original question, "What do you call your Quaker outreach effort?"  is a good one.  Programmed paid clergy have a vested interest in getting more and bigger churches to pay them for their efforts.  Non-programmed meetings have no interest in getting new members except to offer a direct path to the Spirit.  Most programmed meetings are very good at their efforts at reaching out to the community.  Conversely, I guess the non-programmed meetings believe that the Spirit and silent worship  is worth the effort.

Its a shame there are not  more responses to this question by non-programmed Quakers.  I am glad you asked the question, perhaps Quakers will consider more what they are NOT or REFUSING to do outreach.  Maybe they will stop being complacent.  If George Fox sat in the Church of England and did nothing, then we would not be having this discussion.  Its a shame that Quakers at local and national level depend on hireling preachers to answer this question for us.



Kirby Urner said:

I appreciate your plain speech Mr. Monk and your willingness to call me on my bullishness.

Here's a picture from said #WILPF ladies meetup, traditionally strong in the Pacific Northwest area, ever since Linus Pauling's day (Oregon native) when his wife Ava Helen (a strong player in WILPF) was helping him win the Nobel Peace Prize (his second Nobel). 

https://flic.kr/p/J6fiuA
(that's my mom on the left).

I've gone through periods of disillusionment regarding AFSC, like when they pushed hard to find a new office in Portland, and then pulled out of the Portland Peace Program as soon as they found one. I was part of the Liaison Program at the time, joining in conference calls and so on, and gave 'em an ear full.

The Portland Peace Program continued full throttle without Philadelphia's support.  I guess in their jargon we were "spun off", now mature enough to not need them as an "incubator" (commercial startups use the same language).

The Golden Rule is a small watercraft, recently rehabilitated, once piloted by a brave Quaker. 

Only a few brave Quakers, such as Albert Bigelow (its captain), Mary Dyer, Bayard Rustin and John Woolman would be sufficient to anchor the brand for many generations.  Yet we've seen many more than a few.

This list of famous Friends is quite the who's who I think, and I'm proud of this track record: http://www.adherents.com/largecom/fam_quaker.html

True, I'm one of those who thinks social / environmental activism is a natural expression of one's receiving divine grace, enlightenment or whatever one calls it. 

Those as yet still waiting to be served, wanting others to live up to their high ideals, are, as Forrest said, more likely to get "fussed".  Quakerism is more about service than being served.

I'm looking forward to more interesting Quaker content on Youtube, including commercials (since for me advertising is the same thing as evangelizing).

Lately the theme seems to be unprogrammed Meetings for Worship and the ministry young people have for the rest of us. I'm guessing most readers here will have seen these three (in reverse chrono order):

https://youtu.be/t68hQxh9tqw (9,580 views) https://youtu.be/PhsvqbCIaAs (165,727 views)
https://youtu.be/-XlMkK4_kTg (102,665 views)

I include view numbers for the benefit of those digging this posting up in some months or years and wanting to plot more data points.

Then there's this one about Mary Dyer, which I share with Junior Friends when I get the chance:

https://youtu.be/QaDk0wG-HWk  (warning: plain speech and alcohol)

North Carolina is the butt of jokes here in Portland, mostly bathroom humor.  I'm sure they'll sort it out somehow but I think it'd be a mistake to imagine the future of Quakerism greatly depends on Tar Heels.

Earlham is big into science (including computer science) as well as philosophy and that's what's more critical to the future of any viable religion in my book. 

Catholicism has embraced science big time, what with that state of the art Vatican telescope in Arizona and all that (I've been in meetings with a Vatican chief astronomer more than once). 

Many Protestant sects are getting marginalized as anti-science and I'm eager to not have Quakers on their sinking ship.  Like Alfred North Whitehead, I'm skeptical anything essential was added to Christianity by Protestants, unless we count the Quakers as such (I don't, necessarily, though I understand why some do).

Kirby

I hear nothing here that I don't already believe.  I didn't hear an apology from you.   I got ridicule and a lecture instead.  I am a convinced Quaker.   Rather than educating me, perhaps you should talk to the North Carolina Preachers, Friends Journal, and the other Quaker organizations and request more outreach to the rest of the country.   Quakers don't just live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and North Carolina although the rest of the country is of no interest to the complacent quakers like you.  

I am what you make me,

the Quaker Monk

Pain calls us to disconnect; hope to connect.

The Christ Spirit sides with hope and connection. But offers choice. Honours autonomy.

So we make the best choice we know how to make in the moment learning from our experiences and walking that difficult line between faith and self-protection. 

So I  make the best choice I know how to make in the moment learning from my experiences and walking that difficult line between faith and self-protection.

I try to be truthful. And appropriately vulnerable. I try to test insights against the insights of others. These are sometimes mutually exclusive aims.

Somewhere in all that is a recipe for "an outreach strategy". Also an ethic for spaces like this.  

What I've been doing has been to suggest you try viewing the situation from a no-fault, harm-reduction perspective. Indignation loves company -- and loves to heap blame on anyone not sharing the sentiment -- but "We really aren't doing bad, for a bunch of monkeys."

I observed and deplored, a long time ago, that my Meeting was dominated by people who stocked their minds each day with NPR, believed in "peace" in a moderate way -- but not much else -- and mostly wanted to be 'silent Unitarians.' (It wasn't that we haven't had a few live ones; but they've been dying off, along with most all the the original members. I have long-term hopes of some few new people who've wandered in since then... but I don't believe my own efforts to influence them are either helpful nor particularly welcome.

The Meeting House was built from scratch in the place we eventually got -- because certain members "wouldn't want my memorial service" in the kinds of neighborhoods where we might have afforded an older building. There is no bus service on Sundays closer than ~25 minutes away. Most of the members haven't found that a significant drawback.

So far as I could get anyone else to consider "outreach", the form of it people have been willing to consider has been leafletting the nearest college campus....

Who the Meeting attracts, which of these stay, what they do -- suits them; and that, after all is a very natural outcome. Whatever God has brought them together for, God knows. But then, I'm not the person who needs to know, am I?



Kirby Urner said:



Quaker Monk said:

I hear nothing here that I don't already believe.  I didn't hear an apology from you.   I got ridicule and a lecture instead. 

Apology?  That was not my intent. I was mainly wanting to explain my bullishness, which explanations I gather you found unconvincing?  Malesh ("oh well") as we say in Egypt. 

Are you from North Carolina perchance?  On-line bio?  My condolences if so.

Quakers are pacifists and that's not a popular stance in an extremely militaristic nation that got to where it is by exterminating a lot of peoples. 

If there's to be an apology, it'll be from Quakers saying sorry they touched those "reservation schools" with a ten foot pole, all about stripping n8vs of their n8v cultures and turning them into good little Protestant boys and girls (gag).

President Grant let Quakers get into administration level work vis-a-vis First Peoples after the Civil War, since of all the stinker Christians, Quakers smelled the least to Native noses.  But we stank nonetheless, and pretty quickly got out of the business.

These days I wholeheartedly support Native American casinos and the difference they're making, as long as the investments go towards more community-building assets such as new schools, port facilities, or whatever the natives consider in their long term best interests.

I doubt Quakers will ever be uber-popular in the USA, history being what it is.  That's something I'm proud of as well.  If we were mainstream, I'd worry more.

Kirby

PS:  no need to quote an entire post when replying, plus it's easier to read if you only quote what you're responding to and not also your own reply.  You may not care about such cosmetics.



Kirby Urner said:

I am going to let you win.  Its easy to be mean to me.  Much easier for you  than being a solution.  In fact complacent Quakers like you are part of the problem.  But you know everything and I get no peace trying to play your game of being one up.  Congratulations on your "win".  
Kirby Urner said:


Quaker Monk said:

I hear nothing here that I don't already believe.  I didn't hear an apology from you.   I got ridicule and a lecture instead. 

Apology?  That was not my intent. I was mainly wanting to explain my bullishness, which explanations I gather you found unconvincing?  Malesh ("oh well") as we say in Egypt. 

Are you from North Carolina perchance?  On-line bio?  My condolences if so.

Quakers are pacifists and that's not a popular stance in an extremely militaristic nation that got to where it is by exterminating a lot of peoples. 

If there's to be an apology, it'll be from Quakers saying sorry they touched those "reservation schools" with a ten foot pole, all about stripping n8vs of their n8v cultures and turning them into good little Protestant boys and girls (gag).

President Grant let Quakers get into administration level work vis-a-vis First Peoples after the Civil War, since of all the stinker Christians, Quakers smelled the least to Native noses.  But we stank nonetheless, and pretty quickly got out of the business.

These days I wholeheartedly support Native American casinos and the difference they're making, as long as the investments go towards more community-building assets such as new schools, port facilities, or whatever the natives consider in their long term best interests.

I doubt Quakers will ever be uber-popular in the USA, history being what it is.  That's something I'm proud of as well.  If we were mainstream, I'd worry more.

Kirby

PS:  no need to quote an entire post when replying, plus it's easier to read if you only quote what you're responding to and not also your own reply.  You may not care about such cosmetics.

See how easy it was for people to beat me up, Rochelle.  All clever remarks to put down someone for pointing out that Quakers don't do outreach.  I suppose it was easy for people to beat up George Fox too.   He spoke out against steeple houses and ministers to advocate for people to directly experience the Spirt.  Three hundred years and people still don't want to be Quakers or carry out silent meetings.  This type of behavior you to will find at your meeting and with other Quaker organizations.  These people responding to me really don't value a peace testimony or my personal opinions.  They just want to be right.   Expect not much help for these complacent Quakers.   So I will let them win  at least with me on this posting.   Best of luck to you and your outreach efforts.

I am what you made me,

The Quaker Monk



Quaker Monk said:

I am what you made me,

The Quaker Monk

Troll?  I'll stop feeding it now.

And New England Yearly Meeting doesn't exist, I suppose? Nor Baltimore Yearly Meeting?

NEYM's online outreach tends to be especially good, while BYM's camp program creates Young Friends, when pre-existing Young Friends go on about how they spent their summer.



Quaker Monk said:

See how easy it was for people to beat me up, Rochelle.  All clever remarks to put down someone for pointing out that Quakers don't do outreach. 

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