Blog Entries Convergent Friends Quaker Six Months Quaker Preacher

New Monastics and Convergent Friends Retreat Outline

Martin Kelley and I will be leading a weekend retreat at Pendle Hill in just a couple weeks (May 14-16) and I’m starting to get really excited about it! Martin and I have been collaborating a lot together over the past few months in preparation for this weekend and I wanted to share a little more of what we have planned for those of you who are interested in coming (or still on the fence). During the weekend we will be encouraging conversations around building communities, convergent Friends and how this looks in our local meetings. I wanted to give the description of the weekend, some of the queries we’ll be touching on, and the outline for the weekend. And of course, I want to invite all of you interested parties to join us!

Here’s our description: Friends have long sought to model tight-knit, intensive faith communities. Lately, however, much of Quaker life has devolved into bland institutionalism, endless committees, and hour-a-week worship. Learn how to slow down and come back together as a community rooted in the kind of holy obedience Thomas Kelly wrote about. Join Convergent Friends to explore afresh Christian and Quaker models and new experiments like the “New Monastic” movement. Discover ways to re-root ourselves and our communities in living faith.

Practices Quaker Six Months Quaker Preacher

The Resurrection and Quaker Communion

Awhile back a reader commented on a post I wrote on Open Worship:

A new Friend shared with me that she had started reading about the other branches of Quakerism. She concluded with these words. Going to a Quaker Meeting with no unprogrammed worship would be like a Episcopalian going to a Eucharistic without bread and wine. I was so amazed that being a new Friend that she had already conclude that unprogrammed worship is the normative of Quakerism.

I’ve written various thoughts on Quakers and open or silent worship, and even some thoughts on how we see silent worship as our communion. This is because this topic really interests me as one who used to be a Catholic. One of the things I’ve written was published in Quaker Life in 2007 titled “Sacramental Living, Redemptive Practices and Convergent Friends,” where I write about how Friends have tended to focus not on limiting sacraments to seven (Catholics) or two (most other Protestants) but see all of life as potentially sacramental, and therefore we seek to engage in what I called redemptive practices. ((following the work of Ryan Bolger)) And while this is all well and good, the comment above gets at a deeper point about communion in the Quaker church. The other week (during Holy Week) a very simple explanation of why we see silence as so important emerged.

Practices Six Months Quaker Preacher

Digital Detox: Why Not?

Adbusters is encouraging a digital detox this week and I think it’s a fantastic idea. So why not give it a shot? I’m going to be at a pastor’s retreat with our yearly meeting, and am then flying out to Indiana to participate in the release the book project I was a part of Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices. I’ll be leaving my laptop behind and putting up away messages on my phone and email. I may enjoy a few facebook updates now and then as the excitement of holding our new book in my hands will be too hard not to share, but otherwise the time away will be beautiful.

So take some time, slow down, read a book (can I recommend one? How about Wendell Berry’s “Life is a Miracle.” Can I recommend two? Barbara Kingsolover’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” which I am about to begin reading as well).

Here’s a few interesting thoughts from adbusters on the idea behind a digital detox:

The End of Childhood: Children who spend more time inside than in the wilderness experience poorer health in adulthood. We must let them roam free.

Virtual Morality: Are we free to do absolutely anything (torture, murder, rape, etc.), or will we conclude that morality does indeed have a place in virtual life?

Quit Facebook: The decision to destroy my carefully built-up virtual image came as a result of wanting to enhance my profile. (I don’t personally plan to do this yet, though I have extremely scaled back my twitter usage).

The Era of Simulation: Consequences of a digital revolution.

Blog Entries Green

Community Supported Agriculture in Southwest Washington

As we try to find ways to eat more locally grown, organic produce, it’s always nice to know what are our available (and reasonable) options. Community supported agriculture is one of the ways we can support local farmers through purchasing a “share” from the farmer for the growing season.

Last year, through the Camas Farmer’s Market (yeah!) Emily and I made friends with Liz Nelson, the organic farmer behind “Heavenly Bounty” CSA (along with her mother) in the battleground area. We got lovely free range eggs and a bag of wonderful veggies every week through the fall (and then apples, and pumpkins, etc). Her prices for a share are reasonable, and she’s super nice, so I thought I would show our support by sending her info out in case anyone near us is interested in getting a share from her garden as well. When I first heard about CSA’s it sounded like a great idea but I had no idea how to find one or get connected to them, so here’s a little help.

Anyways, she delivers the produce weekly to the farmer’s market in Camas, and her prices are set up for about 22 weeks ($550 for a full share and $300 for a half). These are also great to share between families.

I am attaching a link to her brochure which gives all the info you need here ( and here is a link to her website.

If you are not local to us in Southwest Washington, you can use the website Local Harvest to find a CSA near you.

Six Months Quaker Preacher

The 6 Rules for Allies

This was sent to me by a friend today and I have to share it. Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones gives 6 rules for allies (cross race/gender/sexuality/nationality/religion etc) in her keynote speech given 2/19/10 at a luncheon sponsored by Abriendo Brecha Vll Conference and The Seventeenth Annual Emerging Scholarship In Women’s and Gender Studies Conference UT Austin (originally posted here). What she says is incredible, very provocative, and very challenging, it is also something that I need to hear and keep hearing. These rules apply for multiple situations and will surely take much work to get a hold of.

Blog Entries Convergent Friends DIY Quaker

A New “Convergent” Mapping Project hits the Web

Martin Kelley isn’t the only one really excited about the new project from Micah Bales and Jon Watts. While there are other quaker maps out there this is by far the coolest (IMO) because it is fully DIY, looks great, and is simple to use. As Martin writes over at his blog Quaker Ranter:

Two people working a series of long days inputting information and embedding it on WordPress have created the coolest Meeting directory going. There’s no six-figure grants from Quaker foundations, no certified programmers, no series of organizing consultations. No Salesforce account, Drupal installations, Vertical Response signups. No high paid consultants yakking in whatever consultant-speak is trendy this year.

While neither Micah nor Jon have named this a “convergent project” per se, it’s the thought that counts. Martin writes:

Quotations Six Months Quaker Preacher The Biblical The Theological

The Cross of Repentance: Thoughts on Forgiveness and Confession

For the Third Month of the 2010 Friends’ Calendar this quote sits above the dates:

The life of the cross is a life of the cross of repentance…Most of those who inform us today that they “do not believe in sin” are really saying that they cannot believe in forgiveness. If we cannot accept God’s forgiveness as a continuing fact in the creation and in our own lives, then we must either live in a constant state of guilt, or deny our shortcomings and fall back on making excuses.

-John McCandless 1974

This struck me in a couple of ways:

First, any number of us struggle with the past, we struggle to move forward because of something that has happened to us, or been done to us. Some of these things are first rate atrocities not to be treated lightly or forgotten, while others move down the scale to a basic offense that we hang onto for any number of reasons. None of us (I don’t think?) want to live in a “constant state of guilt” nor do we wish to live in blindness, denying our shortcomings, yet it’s really difficult to see (or know) what those things are in our past that we have not yet been able to be reconciled to. Some of these things may be our own sins, some of them (many of them?), are the sins of others heaped onto us. It seems that part of this process includes becoming away of those things that we hang onto, and considering why we hang onto them? Part of the process may involve coming to terms with those things that hang onto us, and what it would look like for us to find liberation from those things. What I like about this quote is that it raises the question, do we believe that forgiveness is possible and even desirable?

Quotations Six Months Quaker Preacher

Berrigan on Prayer

This quote caught my attention today:

And then there is the question of prayer, which consists for the most part in inisiting that God do for us what we are unwilling to do for one another. Resolve: Let’s do for one another what we would have God do for all. This is known as God-like activity.

-Daniel Berrigan, SJ

I love this quote because it is a challenge to become the answer to our prayers, rather than allow our prayers to take the place for ourselves taking responsibility and action. Not that we can always take action on every prayer, yet there are many prayers we utter that we never intend to act upon. For instance, this is a good thing to have in mind as we say the Lord’s Prayer, and in fact, this idea is inscribed into the prayer itself: “Forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.” When we pray for daily bread, we are confessing our responsibility to act as givers of daily bread as well, rather than hoarders or takers of bread. Let us resolve to follow Berrigan’s suggestion for God-like activity.

Sermons Six Months Quaker Preacher The Biblical

Becoming Thomas (John 20:19-29)

This is the text from my sermon this week. It was delivered within the context of joint worship at Camas Friends Church who invited Friends from Multnomah Meeting and Bridge City Meeting to join us in worship (we will be visiting their meeting house May 23rd).

Isaac and Mary Penington_
Some of the earliest Quakers to join the movement were Isaac and Mary Penington. They were the most “highly placed individuals to join the Quaker movement during its first and most revolutionary decade” (Gwyn 265). Isaac was born in 1616 and Mary in 1625, both came from families of high position in society. Isaac’s father, also Isaac Penington, was a business man and heavily involved in politics during the English civil war of the 17th century. Mr. Penington was involved in an independent church (which at that time meant he was a part of one of the dissenting religious movements) and “a friend of John Milton.”

Isaac went to Cambridge for school and while we don’t know much about his academic credentials, William Penn wrote that he was “the most educated of the first generation Friends.” Of course, this is always something nice to say about your father-in-law. It turns out William Penn married a certain Gulielma Maria Posthuma Springett, Isaac’s adopted daughter. Before becoming a Friend, Isaac was a voracious author, writing about his various spiritual journies as a seeker of an authentic and real faith.

Sermons Six Months Quaker Preacher

Easter: The First Day of New Creation (John 20:1-18)

This is my Easter sermon.


For me it was at a church I recently begun attending with my family back when I was back in Ohio when I was a kid. Our was a big, patchwork family. There are six kids on my mom’s side of my family. My step dad, who I have talked just a little about in the past, had a gentle inner soul, but his exterior was enough to make many folks pause and turn away. His hair went down to the middle of his back, and between his dark sunglasses and full red beard you could see much of his face (One image that came to mind was ZZ top). His cut off T-shirt, and combat boots were a Sunday morning staple. My mom was not much more “traditional,” and you can see that it has rubbed off. I always was kind of proud of that fact that she rarely wore shoes to Sunday morning worship.

Well, if my memory serves me correctly, the first Sunday we arrived at a small church in Alliance Ohio (I think it was 1994 – I was 14) all 8 of us. I don’t remember anything about that Easter service except for one thing. Before we ever left the rear doors to the parking lot of that meeting house that day, three different families had invited my very large, very unchurchy looking family over to dinner in the next week.