Quakerism 101: A Very Basic Introduction with Suggested Readings

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Earlier this week there was a conversation on Twitter that pointed out two realities that we are seeing a lot within Western (and often more “liberal-Liberal”) Quakerism: a) that Quakerism is viewed primarily in the secular West as non-religious; and b) that even within Quaker meetings there is so little religious education that many do not get anything to help in framing the Quaker tradition differently Quakerism in any way other than a morally-based, secular practice.

As someone said on Twitter today, they always thought of it less as a religion and more of a flavor. This is not an uncommon view among many Quakers. I have witnessed the latter problem within Programmed and Evangelical Quaker meetings as well: the lack of Religious education – as it pertains to understanding and framing the Quaker tradition (history, theology and practice) both as it was understood and how it is made manifest within Quaker meetings today, worldwide.

Therefore, I wanted to offer a short reading list with some basic background to the Quaker tradition here in hopes of helping those who are getting started out and want to know more about the history, beliefs, and practice of the Religious Society of Friends. I hope that this list can be of use in folks’ quest to make their understanding and practice of Quakerism more rich, more full, and more critical. I believe that there is a push to make us lose our robust religious language in favor of a very safe religious language that will not challenge the imperial powers, that will not challenge the ego of self, that will not lay us open before Love or call truth to power. We have much to learn from and grow into. I hope what is offered can help give you but a taste.

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Outline for a Candlelight Christmas Eve Worship Service

Immanuel Print from Emily L. Daniels

 Immanuel, God With Us.

I enjoy putting together meditative worship services. A couple years back I posted this resource for using with a Christmas eve Candlelight Service. I have been working to make an updated one and since it’s just about complete I wanted to post it here for those of you who might be helped by something like this.

This is being shared under the creative commons license “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International” so please feel free to use it, remix it, and make it work for you.

Resource: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

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Every Christmas Eve we have a very nice, contemplative candlelight service. This gathering goes for about 45-60 minutes, includes scripture reading, poetry, prayers and music. Oh and plenty of candles. The second one also has three readers. You are free to download the resources here and use them however you wish.

The first service was conducted by three readers and three musicians. I enjoyed the quiet evening of singing together and considering the power and Spirit of Christ’s birth. I think others enjoyed it as well.

First Service: Here is the outline.

Second Service: Here is that outline.

In writing the service I pulled together a number of resources:

A Resource Guide For the Start of the New Quarter

The fall quarter is now underway for all us Fuller students and so as is customary I thought I’d write up some things relating to school over the course of the next couple posts. First, I wanted to simply highlight some of my articles relating to seminary. Some of these are geared towards offering resources, links, ideas, etc. for seminary students, while others are more reflective.

Dress Down Friday June 22 | The Green Edition

Here’s another edition of dress-down Friday. This week I wanted to focus on green issues, and let me forewarn you: this is somewhat intense. I’ve decided to focus more of my attention on these issues, and try and help do what I can to educate and make aware the seriousness of caring for the creation.

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Convergent Friends An Introduction by Rachel Stacy

Rachel Stacy, a young Quaker woman and soon to be graduate from Earlham School of Religion, with a double major in religion and chemistry, recently finished her final school project for a class in contemporary religious movements. She decided to do the final research project on convergent Friends and has produced a great introduction.
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Allelon: Video Interview with Ryan Bolger on Emerging and Missional Churches

There is great half-hour video of my PhD advisor, Ryan Bolger, where he discusses what emerging churches and missional churches are. During the interview he discusses with Alan Roxburgh of Allelon, and author of the Sky is Falling, some of the major points of similarities, differences, and some possible connecting points of these two movements. Continue reading Allelon: Video Interview with Ryan Bolger on Emerging and Missional Churches