Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Well, I finished much of "Friends for 300 years". I really enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. I am now starting to read the Pacific Yearly Meeting's Faith and Practice. I also have a copy of Encounter with silence by John Punshon. So far I am enjoying the Faith and Practice so far.
I am now interested in what the different traditions of Quakers are.
I would be interested in going to a conservative Quaker meeting... just to see how it differs from the ones I have attended... which have been in the San Francisco Bay area. I think they are all from the liberal tradition and belong to the Pacific Yearly Meeting.
Next weekend, I travel to Michigan to visit my family. My father is turning 80! I asked my brother in law if he wanted to go with me to the Grand Rapids Quaker Meeting. It's not too far away. He is thinking about it. He, along with my family, attend the United Methodist church. My sister and he are trying to get a contemporary service going in their church. He told me that the church is dying (average age is 65 with few young people). I thought about the church's situation. What must that be like? Then I thought, what do they do about it? Part of me understands why churches like the Methodist are dying.... they have too many things working against them. They are not conservative - authoritarian enough for our Top-down/don't think for yourself culture. And they are not hip enough for the "new age" types (some of what my mom has shared about things she is doing in church surely is cool). What I think the problem is: one, is outreach. It's easy to be a fundamentalist, because you can boil stuff down to piffy sound bites. But being more fluid? how do you capture that in a sound bite? I think it is possible though. second is image or perception. I have not been in a Methodist in 30 years (besides a wedding or two). I went to a non-methodist service once, it reminded me of my methodist upbring... it was dry and lifeless.
As I read about and experience Quakerism, I see this wonderful gem of a community and faith/practice. I wonder... how do Quakers outreach? How could more people be introduced to Quakerism?
Hope this finds you well.