We will explore early Friends’ experiences creating the Society of Friends and how their experience of leading and holy obedience is relevant to our time. We will contemplate and discuss early Friends’ experience of the transforming Spirit in their lives, and reflect on our journeys in the Spirit.
We will explore the relevance of the transformation of early Friends in creating what we know as the Society of Friends today. We will determine how applicable it is to us individually and to our Monthly Meeting today. Our objective is to understand the leadings process of early Friends and to explore how to make it alive in our lives and Meetings today.
The topics to be covered include: understanding the prophetic nature of early Quakerism and early Friends’ emphasis on an Inner Teacher, investigating what Quakers mean by concerns and leadings, discussing early Friends experience of taming their will and intellect, tempered by the Light, recognizing the transformative nature of the Light and the role of Friends Meetings in supporting earlyFriends’ spiritual growth, exploring the power of the Spirit that activated Friends testimony, and making a link between the inner growth of the Spirit and the external witnessing of Friends, and comprehending what is meant by turning one’s life over to the Spirit: from “my will” to “thy will”, and leading what Thomas Kelly calls a “God-intoxicated” life.
The daily agenda will include worship (9-9:30), lecture/reading early Quaker writings (9:30-10:15), writing (10:15-10:45), break (10:45-11:00), and discussion (11:00-11:45).
During the Gathering, we will be reading from: George Fox’s Early Prophetic Openings pamphlet; specific writings from Isaac Penington’s Complete Works, Volume 1; tracts and introduction from Hugh Barbour and Arthur O. Roberts Early Quaker Writing, 1650-1700; Rex Ambler’s Truth of the Heart; Writings of early Friends (before 1700) from Friends Library, 1847 edition; Douglass Steere’s Where Words Come From pamphlet; Thomas Kelly’s Testament of Devotion; Douglas Gwyn’s Seekers Found.
Participants are encouraged to bring a journal to write in.
About the leader :
I am the founder of a program for community college students that is being replicated nationwide and teach faculty, administrators, and students through an experiential education model. Additionally, I have led workshops at Quaker Center and Pacific Yearly Meeting, was a keynote speaker at the Friends Association for Higher Education in 2010, and led discussions at Cambridge Meeting when I was a graduate student. I was also on a panel on prophetic ministry at the Gathering in 2009.