Saturday, June 9, 2007

My Own Queries, from Cherice's

Are we called to be more "Christian"? What does this mean, or what should it mean? Should that imply being less Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish or Islamic?

How many of us have any assurance of being here–or having family members still alive in this world–over the next 100 years? Are we assuming continuity? Should we be, are we, expecting instead a world crisis with massive loss of life and/or destruction of our social world?

Can we hope our world might find a new awakening to the Spirit anytime soon? If so, should we hope or expect this to take place within, or serve to swell the membership of, the Society of Friends?

How might the Society of Friends best work to promote such an awakening? Should we make such an effort in hopes that God will help make it fruitful?

If so, can we do it while "holding the tension between being both inclusive and firm in our convictions about Truth?" Do we, as a Society, have at least significant consensus as to what Truth we have to offer? Significant consensus that we do have such a Truth? An intelligible way to put it to people, and to give them good reason for joining us rather than following some other path?

If we want to tinker with forms of worship: What is worship? What forms should we practice to further and embody that state among us?

Why is there so little vocal prayers in "unprogrammed" meetings? Is this good or bad or neither?

Where do the Scriptures come into this? The scriptures of other religions? The writings of inspired individuals, historical or modern?

The Quaker way of life, like the Quaker form of worship, has changed considerably over the years, generally in the direction of becoming more individual-centered. Should we, must we, encourage a change toward a more communal, group-centered way of life? Should this be, at least in part, more rural and connected with the Earth? More urban and connected to the poor and despised among us?

What trends among us should we see as significant hints of the Spirit at work, and which of them might best be dismissed as cultural noise? Conversely, which traditions represent a spiritual legacy and which, if any, are best left behind?

1 comment:

RichardM said...

We are all still in the process of experimenting with using this internet thing to communicate. It represents something new to Quakerism and it may very well be one of the keys to revitalizing the SoF and renewing our prophetic voice.

That said I'd like to share a couple of opinions on how best to use this new medium to move us forward. I think that everyone who posts should strive to stick to one issue per post and to keep the posts short (250-500 words)

With too many issues raised per post the conversation tends to wander too much. With long posts readers tend to start to skim and miss the author's main points.

So, I personally try to keep posts and comments brief and focused.

So--with that as prelude--here's a point. What is the mission of the SoF to the world in the next 100 years? We are to be the voice of liberal inclusive Christianity that will show the world how to talk WITH not PREACH AT people of other faith traditions. We will not lapse into silly pointless relativism. We will have our own clear perspective on truth but we will show how you can do that and GENUINELY hear the real insights into truth that come from other faith traditions.