Wednesday, May 31, 2006

God's speaking...are we listening?

My favorite part of Samuel School (the retreat I was at this weekend, see the last couple entries) is always the end, where we debrief the weekend with the youth and each of them shares something that stood out to them particularly from the weekend and that they want to remember. Usually these end up being pretty significant experiences with God, or fairly deep theological/spiritual truths that they have come to understand in a more coherent way. It's so amazing to see these juniors and seniors in high school learn and grow so much in a weekend, and to be able to participate in giving them tools to be more grounded in their faith, ask better questions, and know how to seek the answers.

One of the things that is often a revelation for youth who attend is to realize that God is present and speaking to us all the time, it's just that we're not always paying attention. It's so cool to see their eyes light up and see the hope in them as they realize they don't do spiritual exercises to get God to show up, to manipulate God into speaking to them, to work as hard as they can so that God might come down to their level--but that God is already speaking to them, and all they have to do is put themselves in a space where they are attentive to perceive what's already happening.

We do all sorts of things over the weekend, from classes (hence the "school" part of Samuel School) to recreation to small groups to meals to hang-out-and-have-fun time. I love Samuel School because it's always an amazing group of youth who are serious about their faith, but so much fun at the same time. This weekend I rekindled my love for such games as Bump, Bloody Wink'em and Annihilation (all good Quaker games, of course!). I enjoyed laughing with people, listening in classes and learning new things even though I've heard those classes several times before, and being able to explain little things like why we sing songs to worship and what silence can be good for. I enjoyed reconnecting with youth and youthworkers I hadn't seen for a while, and being in a space where it was easy to move beyond the surface into discussions of what's important to us.

Tomorrow I'll write more specifically about what Samuel School looks like programmatically, because it sounds like some people were interested in that, and I think this program is one of the best things Northwest Yearly Meeting does. But tonight I must head to bed, because I start my internship tomorrow!

11 comments:

Albion said...

Dear Friend Cherice,

You say in your latest blog that you love unprogrammed meetings.

Well, if you can, check out this yearly meeting in Barnesville, Ohio, of Conservative (Christian) Friends.

It's THIS COMING WEEKEND, so not alot of time left to register and get there.

But I love your blog, I love your Christ Centered approach to Quakerism, so come on down (over?) to Ohio this coming weekend.

In the Light of Christ,

Graying Quaker (Albion Guppy)


2006 Gathering of the WIDER FELLOWSHIP OF CONSERVATIVE FRIENDS...


"Unto all them that Love His appearing..." within our mortabl bodies we each long to "konw the Power of God in Spirit and in Truth" in a deeper way. We have found that as Friends who acknowledge Christ Jesus gather, and lay all else aside to waitin the stillness, we are given a great draught from the source of Living Water.

The Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative) has scheduled a gathering of Conservative Friends and those of like-mind to be held Sixth Month, 16-18, 2006, at the Stillwater Friends Meeting House in Barnesville, Ohio.

Registration at Stillwater Meeting House 4-5:30 p.m. on 6-16, 2006.

Contact: Nancy Hawkins
5190 Kirk Road
Columbiana, OH 44408
Phone (330)457-2939

cherice said...

Albion,

Thanks for the info about the yearly meeting of Conservative Friends! I wish I could go. I'm a little far away though (in Oregon for the summer)! I have now been part of EFI, FUM and FGC communities, but I think who I empathize with most strongly theologically and experientially is the Conservative Friends. I'll have to try them out at some point. =) Is there a list somewhere of all the Conservative Friends meetings?

Albion said...

Dear Friend Cherice,

Check out this website;

http://www.quakerinfo.com/fcr.shtml

Albion said...

'A Weekend With Ohio Conservative Friends'

This past weekend I traveled to Barnesville,Ohio to 'The Wider Gathering of Conservative Friends.'

I met people that before I had only known from their writings; Terry Wallace (from the New Foundation Fellowship), Arthur Berk, Seth Hinshaw, Nancy Hawkins, and Jack and Susan Smith, to name just a few.

I had never attended a gathering of Ohio Conservative Friends before, but I had heard many times about their tenderness and their Christ Centered focus.

Everything that I had heard was true.

I met Conservative Friends there from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, California, New York, Georgia, West Virginia, and Virginia, and Britian and India, as well!

The silent waiting upon the Lord meetings were absolutely the best times of vocal worship that I had ever shared with any other Quakers anywhere in the U.S.

On seventh day evening Jack Smith (with the help of his children) gave a really well done presentation on 'The Lamb's War'.

It was awesome!

We had good weather the whole time, and sitting inside the 18th century hand built (by olden Friends) Still Water Meeting House was a treat in itself.

The doors were opened to the outside, and as Still Water is out in the country, which brought nature into our worship as well.

Everyone had communal meals together at Olney School which is also on the grounds, and not so far away from Still Water Meeting House.

This too was quite a special feeling, of sharing meals with people who share so much of the same kind of Quakerism.

Everyone was exceptionally kind to everyone else and 'Plain Language' abounded.

I've never heard so many "Thee's" and "Thou's", and "Thy", as I heard this past weekend. :-)

About 3/4 of the folks there were 'Plain Dressers', and several of the women looked as though they had just walked directly out of 'The Presence in the midst' painting. It was truly amazing.

It gave me alot of thought over the way that most of us dress, and the counter-point to that, of 'Plain Dressing'.

I enjoyed myself immensely, and felt right at home, and found the language of Plainess really quite lovely!

I'll go back in two years for sure, for the next meeting of scattered Conservative Friends, and in the mean time, I'm considering trying to start a Christ Centered meeting here in our home town of Mason City, Iowa (if it be the Lord's leading.....which I feel that it is).

I especially want to thank Terry Wallace and the New Foundation Fellowship and The George Fox Fund for their very kind offer of a scholarship to help defray my traveling costs.

This was a simply wonderful Meeting that I will carry in my soul and spirit for a very long time, and in fact, I will consider Ohio Conservative Friends (at Barnesville)to be my 'spiritual home', from this point, onward.

In the Light of Christ,

Greying Quaker/Albion Guppy

Albion said...

'A Weekend With Ohio Conservative Friends'

This past weekend I traveled to Barnesville,Ohio to 'The Wider Gathering of Conservative Friends.'

I met people that before I had only known from their writings; Terry Wallace (from the New Foundation Fellowship), Arthur Berk, Seth Hinshaw, Nancy Hawkins, and Jack and Susan Smith, to name just a few.

I had never attended a gathering of Ohio Conservative Friends before, but I had heard many times about their tenderness and their Christ Centered focus.

Everything that I had heard was true.

I met Conservative Friends there from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, California, New York, Georgia, West Virginia, and Virginia, and Britian and India, as well!

The silent waiting upon the Lord meetings were absolutely the best times of vocal worship that I had ever shared with any other Quakers anywhere in the U.S.

On seventh day evening Jack Smith (with the help of his children) gave a really well done presentation on 'The Lamb's War'.

It was awesome!

We had good weather the whole time, and sitting inside the 18th century hand built (by olden Friends) Still Water Meeting House was a treat in itself.

The doors were opened to the outside, and as Still Water is out in the country, which brought nature into our worship as well.

Everyone had communal meals together at Olney School which is also on the grounds, and not so far away from Still Water Meeting House.

This too was quite a special feeling, of sharing meals with people who share so much of the same kind of Quakerism.

Everyone was exceptionally kind to everyone else and 'Plain Language' abounded.

I've never heard so many "Thee's" and "Thou's", and "Thy", as I heard this past weekend. :-)

About 3/4 of the folks there were 'Plain Dressers', and several of the women looked as though they had just walked directly out of 'The Presence in the midst' painting. It was truly amazing.

It gave me alot of thought over the way that most of us dress, and the counter-point to that, of 'Plain Dressing'.

I enjoyed myself immensely, and felt right at home, and found the language of Plainess really quite lovely!

I'll go back in two years for sure, for the next meeting of scattered Conservative Friends, and in the mean time, I'm considering trying to start a Christ Centered meeting here in our home town of Mason City, Iowa (if it be the Lord's leading.....which I feel that it is).

I especially want to thank Terry Wallace and the New Foundation Fellowship and The George Fox Fund for their very kind offer of a scholarship to help defray my traveling costs.

This was a simply wonderful Meeting that I will carry in my soul and spirit for a very long time, and in fact, I will consider Ohio Conservative Friends (at Barnesville)to be my 'spiritual home', from this point, onward.

In the Light of Christ,

Greying Quaker/Albion Guppy

cherice said...

Albion,

Thanks for your comment and explanation of your experience! I was wondering what the point of using "thee" and "thou" is now that our usage has changed, so using "you" isn't putting someone above us in station. Do you know?

Also, I like the idea of simple dress. Do they make their own clothes? How is plain dress a testimony for these Friends now?

For myself, I try to dress plainly in my own way, of buying things used so I don't directly support unjust clothing industries. This is helpful to some degree, although I'm sure it still supports them in a way because I'm still fitting in with the way others look. But it is also more simple in that it is less expensive, so I can use my resources for other things. But what do these Friends feel is important about plain dress, especially about dressing similarly to earlier Friends?

Albion said...

Dear Friend Cherice,

I will try to explain what I understand about Plainess, both in speech and in dress.

You will need to bear in mind that although I dress simply, I'm not a Plain person, nor do I use Plain speech.

Here goes....I THINK that they feel that dressing differently sets them apart from "the world"...ditto for the use of 'Plain speech'.

I don't really know how they relate to each other about the sameness of Plain dressing.

Most of them dressed the same, but there were variations on that as well, but the variations were minor.

I came to really appreciate hearing "Thee" and "Thy" and "Thou", it was like stepping back into a simpler time, and I loved it! :-)

I'm not sure that I addressed all of your points here....I think that most of the women made their own clothes.

The men bought theirs I think.

I also think that the Plain language is a sort of 'equalizer' among them as well, but I did not ask any of these questions of them, so these are my own speculations on their Plainess.


Yours in the Light of Christ,Albion

Albion said...

Dear Friend Cherice,

Here's a few more Christ Centered Quaker websites for you to check out;

http://www.mychristiansite.com/ministries/quaker/


In Christ's Light, Albion

Argentum Corvus said...

Greetings Graying Quaker

Albion said...

'Argentum Corvus' (which means 'Silver Crow' in Latin), is a computer hacker and a stalker that has literally followed me all over the internet.

He has hacked our home computer so that we cannot get computer service through our home.

Just recently he hacked a major Friends group here on the net, soley because I associate with them.

I would encourage you to check out your PC to see if it's full of spyware and porngraphic spam, as that's what this man does for a living.

It's a sad statement to say that he's hacked the public library where I access the internet, as well as my wife's computer at work in a hospital here in Mason City, Iowa.

Both the local Police Dept. and the FBI know about this sad psychopathic man.

All of this because I once threw him off a Yahoo group that I used to operate a couple of years ago.

I again encourage you to check out your PC to see if it's been violated by this man.

Graying Quaker---Albion Guppy

If you do a Google search and type in 'Rev. Silver Crow', it will take you right to this man's profile.....but don't believe me, go read it for your self.

Albion

Anonymous said...

re: your inquiry about quaker plain dress, check out Quaker Jane's website at www.quakerjane.com-Seems to be a pretty comprehensive treatment of the subject from a plain dressing quaker woman, and I'm sure her website will answer your questions. And if it doesn't, she does take questions.