Wess Daniels is from Canton Ohio and is currently serving as a ‘released Quaker minister’ (i.e. pastor) at Camas Friends Church in Camas WA. He has a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary in the School of Intercultural Studies. His dissertation is on participatory culture and renewing faith traditions. He is an adjunct professor at George Fox Seminary and is on the board of Quaker Voluntary Service.
He met Emily Miller in college and they were married in 2001. Wess enjoys being a father of three wonderful little ones. Besides playing imaginary games with his kids, he likes to roast coffee, read books, write, ride his scooter and watch for zombies.
Wess has two main concerns that drive his intellectual curiosity:
The first concern is around the elimination of poverty. You will find plenty of articles and sermons posted on this blog that look at the church’s responsibility to work to end poverty in the world. Some of his interest stems from growing up poor, while the rest is spurred on by the dire economic realities that many of those within his own congregation and community are constantly dogged by. With this end, Wess has had the pleasure of working with the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary and will be teaching a class titled “Poverty, Empire and the Bible” at Earlham School of Religion in August 2014. His class at George Fox Seminary called “Culture and Systems Change” addresses some of the systemic issues that the church faces today and looks at ways in which those systems might be engaged and changed.
Second, he holds a concern for Quaker renewal and has been involved in promoting cross-dialogue and sharing of new ideas with “convergent Friends” around the country and in Great Britain. He co-organized and co-facilitated the Nursery of Truth, a Portland-area event meant to stir inspiration in young Quakers. He also served as a co-editor for the publication Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices a book that brought together Young Adult Friends from 17 countries and the many branches of Friends. Wess has also led many workshops and retreats on Quaker renewal in places like: Pendle Hill, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center, Quaker Heritage Day and Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative).
His publications include: Convergent Friends: The Emergence of Postmodern Quakerism (2010) in Quaker Studies, I (Hope) I see Dead People (2012) in Friends Journal and A Faithful Betrayal: The New Quakers (2010) in Quaker Life. He was a co-editor for the volume “Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices” and a contributor to “An Inner Strength: Quakers and Leadership.”
Here is a short video with Wess sharing a bit of his story about becoming a Quaker.