Brent Bill, Quaker, recorded minister and and the author of Sacred Compass, has recently hammered out 8 great, and what he calls with tongue planted in cheek, “A Modest Proposal: For the Revitalization of the Quaker Message in the United States.” I printed them all out and read through them a last week and since I’ve found myself talking a lot about. One of his key themes throughout is “what justifies our separate existence as Friends?” The question comes from a context in which many programmed meetings have drifted so far from the Quaker tradition that they are just pale versions of their Protestant counter-parts. If we’re going to just be a pale version of Methodism or Lutheranism why not just be Methodists and Lutherans? So Brent sets out to demonstrate that there are many things that still distinguish Friends and there are things that can be done to reinforce and revitalize what it is we are doing as a meeting. Some of what he suggests is really challenging, some of it a little easier to manage, and some of it is meant to be more hyperbolic and meant more to raise questions. For me, I think the posts on the bulletin, the meeting room space, and being a released minister were the most thought-provoking.
I may post further thoughts on some of this at a later point but what I wanted to do was offer an index them so they’re easier to track and access. I’ve also provided a very brief summary of what each post is about.
A Modest Proposal
- Introduction — An Introduction to the series
- Part One — 10 myths and looking at strengths
- Part Two — Vital congregation characteristics
- Part Three — What is the connection between vitality and theology?
- Part Four — What Indeed do we have to declare?
- Part Five — A post looking at worship space and how we might we arrange our meeting rooms.
- Part Six A — The Quaker pastorate
- Part Six B — Released ministers
- Part Seven — The yearly meeting
- Part Eight — A name change?