In ‘63 Life Magazine ran a feature article on A. Philip Randolph and Rustin about the March on Washington (8/28/63) which they organized. King and others were worried about Rustin, who was gay, being in the spotlight because he was too much of a “vulnerability.” The “Big Six” chose to make A. Philip Randolph the director of the march. Randolph in turn accepted only on the grounds that he could determine his own staff and made Rustin his deputy. John Lewis said of Rustin during this time, “This is going to be a massively complex undertaking, and there was no one more able to pull it together than Bayard Rustin.” (Time on Two Crosses, XXIX). In reading more about Rustin’s life, I am intrigued by the ways he as a Quaker maneuvered both a racist and homophobic society, while remaining very politically active.
One question I’m getting a lot is about what is my responsibility at Guilford College and what are the things I’d like to see happen. I waffle on both of these fronts. One is because at least some of my responsibilities are still unfolding and being discerned. Others are hard to describe or I’m still learning what they are. Stepping into a role that has been carefully tended to and built over more than 30 years requires more sense of call and self than I first realized. So with the help of many others, I am asking questions like: What is my work to do? What is to be laid down? What is to be shared? What do I desire to bring to the table that is not yet here?
In terms of vision there is a tension between wanting to have something invigorating to offer, “here is my grandiose vision for what comes next,” and realizing the need to just listen and be a good sponge for a year or more. It is easy for leaders to come in and have a vision for the future without having any sense of the current gifts, or a sense of the history and roots that are buried under the soil of the community. And so I am, with the help of others, feeling my way between these two overlapping circles: learning what is here to build upon and discerning what it is exactly that we’re being called to build.
My friend and colleague, Deborah Shaw, who is the director of the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program, offered this bit of wisdom to me that has helped to focus all of this even more:
“Know on whose shoulders we stand.” Continue reading Know On Whose Shoulders We Stand
Here is a bit of what we did today as a farewell to our ministry at Camas Friends Church.
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved…
Rejoice [Farewell] in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice [Farewell]. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you…
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” -Philippians 3:21–4:13 Continue reading And today, I say farewell to my beloved church
We are doing a discussion at Camas Friends Church on my book, “A Convergent Model of Renewal.” I am posting the sketchnotes and discussion questions here each week for anyone who would like to download them and use them. Feel free to share and dispense however that makes sense as usual things are shared here under the creative commons 4.0 “share and share alike” designation.
Download: Sketchnotes: Chapter 2 Sketchnotes.
Download: Chapter One Resources
What makes for a good remix? This is a question that comes up a lot when I present on themes related to my book, “A Convergent Model of Renewal: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture.” When we talk about how tradition can be revitalized and “remixed” within new cultures people ask how do we know that it is still a part of the same tradition?
Here are some basic thoughts on it.
- The original piece of art, sample, text, etc. is recognizable. The connection or reference to what the remix is drawing on is accessible those within that particular community.
There is genuinely something new about the remix. It is clear that it is original in some way. And this originality often leverages the past, while shedding new light or a new perspective on the old in a truly innovative way.
It works. Everything fits together in a new seamless production. There is a big difference between Lee Major in the “Six Million Dollar Man” and Frankenstein. The keys match, the beats line up. Whatever contradictions may have previously existed they are resolved within the new piece of art.
It is participatory: it moves people on the dance floor. Another way to say this is that it is affirmed, as well as created, through a consensus process within the community that is directly affected by the remix. The community is invested in the outcome of what is created.
It remains open to more remixes and modifications. It would be both tragic and ironic if a remix became proprietary, dogmatic and restricted under copyright. What is created through an open-ended process must seek to affirm further developments, remixes and new ways of sampling.
Even though this is basically an infomercial on paper for iPad, I like what they bring up about the importance of thinking visually. Also, I do like paper and the things this company is coming up with.