Tuesday, September 15, 2009

new quaker women's theology group

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"!


parise said...

that sounds lovely. wouldn't it be nice if there were a women's theology group available online? just throwing the idea out there.

sarai said...

Are you meeting in Newberg? Depending on where you meet and what my work schedule pans out to be, I'd be interested if folks are willing be patient with my lack of theology background. I would love to learn more and could definitely benefit from the spiritual community.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic that immediately after writing a superb argument for inclusivity, you advertise an exclusive club! :=)

Only kidding, as I know you know. Please don't invite me.

Gr. Ralph

Robin M. said...

It sounds wonderful, although the commute would be a stretch for me. Perhaps you could at least post your groups' reading list online, so that some of us might be inspired to follow along at our own pace.

I'm feeling the conflict in my own life between wanting on some level to keep reading and discussing theology and the reality of being worn out after work and family responsibilities are met. Just another phase of life and not a permanent arrangement, I know, but this week I'm out from under the responsibilities enough to know I want more in life, but not enough to do much about it.

Enjoy the phase you're in!

Hystery said...

I am so lonesome for that kind of companionship. It is hard to find people willing to discuss theology. I keep assigning myself books and rereading my old seminary and religion study volumes. What a blessing to have a group willing to dip into the topic with you. Best wishes for your group's success!

Rebekah said...

Hey, I need to talk to you about a book that Melanie Mock and I are putting together.

I must say that after moving out of Quaker Mecca, finding support for my Quaker values has been tricky.