Last week marked the very first meeting of a new discussion group for Quaker women who are interested in talking theology! It was great fun, and I'm excited to see how it goes. We plan to meet every other Thursday night, so if you are in the Portland, OR area (and female--I know, that's not inclusive at all!) and want to join, let me know and I can give you the details. It's a combo of women from NWYM and from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. The goals are mainly: to create a space where Quaker women are able to build community and support one another in ministry (whether that is "released" or not), and where we can talk about theology from our unique perspectives as women in this neck of the Quaker world. We plan to do short readings so we can discuss them together. We hope to maybe do a monthly movie night of some sort.
I'm excited because, having just graduated from seminary a few months ago, I feel a definite lack of people around here with whom to talk theology. Most of my friends with whom I usually have such discussions are off doing their own graduate or ministry work around the globe. So I'm excited about this intentional and regular connection with a group of women. I'm also excited because this grew partially out of a concern (not just by women) about the kind and amount of support female ministers receive in NWYM, and a desire to be more connected to one another as well as to think about how ministry might be more accessible and feel more supported for female released ministers in the YM.
I suggested we read She Who Is by Elizabeth A. Johnson, but since several of the people in the group are students, they thought that might be a little heavy...so once my current project is finished, I'll assign that to myself. It's a really important feminist theology that I've seen cited in tons of texts but haven't had a chance to read yet.
Speaking of my current project...I'm a little behind, so I'd better stop writing blog posts and go do my "homework"!