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#61 of 87 Old 06-20-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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Huh. The Quakers I know do share some beliefs, namely the Divine Spark/Inner Light and the idea that everyone, man, woman, and child has it. I know that the BeliefNet thing is mind-boggling; My husband was skeptical too (and for the record, not everyone comes out to have some Quaker leanings on the test...) but honestly the more we read the more it seemed to fit him. As he said, "If I didn't know they'd been around for so long, I'd swear they'd pulled this stuff right out of my head." Everyone looks at things from a different perspective, though. It sounds like you've found your own path, and that's a good thing.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#62 of 87 Old 06-22-2007, 08:45 AM
 
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I guess we look at things from opposite sides of the same coin. I find it interesting that people leave faith traditions that are so rich in the sacraments and liturgical practices. The short answer, why did I leave... well, the tongue in cheek answer is that I became a Christian. But that's a smart-*** answer and not what you want. The truth is that in my mid20s I started reading the Bible of my own volition, no group study or anything like that, and I felt like I had been smacked upside the head, spiritually speaking -- it was absolutely clear to me that I needed to follow Christ's demands and that meant participating in the sacrament of communion. I started a longish search that took me to an evangelical Baptist church (bad fit for me), singing in a Methodist choir (those poor Methodists!), attending Mennonite services, completing RCIA classes (but deciding not to join--sure learned a lot, though!) and finally, to the Anglican church. My next door neighbor was fresh out of seminary at that time and he and I spent many long evening talking about matters of faith. He didn't try to convince me to see things his way, but honestly and simply told me what he believed, what church history says, and how he incorporated it into this daily living. I started attending Anglican services at a small church and joined a year later.

The other thing that led me away from RSF is the lack of doctriine. As much as I love a culture of peace and tolerance, I think that for me, it's important to worship with people who believe the same thing. The same creed. And when there is NO creed, beliefs can be all over the place. Some people love that, and that's great! But I need a more unified belief system, where it is clear that we have the same common ground and the same ideas regarding salvation, human goodness, and mission. I never found that in RSF. I found people committed to a lifestyle but no doctrine, and to me, the belief is as important as the lifestyle.

What you said about your ds thinking it's cool to be Quaker, well, that's another problem imo. I DO think that when you say to someone, "I'm a Quaker" you are going to hear "Wow, how cool!" When in truth, I don't think that a lot of people know much about RSF, just a few things (pacifism, living with a purpose). I don't know, it's just problematic to me that people think it's cool to be something; like wearing a label almost. I sometimes feel like people are lured into RSF because of the label, and I don't think it's a wise way to choose a belief system. The whole BeliefNet thing, that just blows my mind! Almost everyone I know comes up with some degree of Quaker leanings according to that test, yet few really know what it means to be a Friend. I would LOVE to know what trigger questions prompt the "Quaker" labeling!

My mother especially struggled with my choice--she is firmly a believer in the inner light and thinks sacraments and church trappings are distracting from God's whisper. But for me, it's only when I was led into a church rich with traditions and yes, sacraments, that I felt I was fully coming into an understanding of God and was able to follow Christ. (Many Quakers don't acknowledge Christ as Savior for mankind, a notion which I outright reject).

Anyway, that's my story.

I don't want to suggest that my leadings are right for everyone but I can say that my path had a lot of stops on it, but I know it's the right way for me.

Thank you for answering my 'query'. I respect your view but you are correct in that we have completely opposite perspectives.
I am not clear on your problem with my 19 year old son saying a group of people from a Religious group are cool. He has grown up with Quakers and has known elderly, adults ,teenagers and children who are Friends. He has had a good experience with them. He thinks it is 'cool' that he is listened to and is treated with honor and acceptance for his thoughts and his insights are taken seriously. He is not bringing any other religion down...he just thinks it is cool that people take him seriously and he is allowed room to express himself and his beliefs. He has been in other places of worship where he has been talked at and told what the truth is. That did not work so well with him.

Also i would like to respectfully disagree with your assertion about lack of doctrine among Friends. I have found that there is a really storng belief system and religious doctrine that holds Friends together. I would like to use the acronym 'SPICE' ( Simplicity. Peace, Integrity, Coomunity, and Equality). I agree that I like to worship and fellowship with people who are a lot like me. I find Friends to be so much more like me than I believe I would find in another mainstream Christian church. The one thing that holds people together in many churches is that ' Jesus is their personal savior."( Savior from what? if it is 'eternal damnation I have a BIG problem with that). I just believe that RSF holds people together from a set of unique principals and beliefs how people want to live their life.

I am not intending in starting a debate. I appreciate your honesty in telling me your point of view. I just wanted to share my feelings on the 'doctrine' of the RSF. Peace
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#63 of 87 Old 06-22-2007, 10:18 AM
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like you, i find myself having more in common with Friends than any mainstream group, and i like the independent unprogrammed aspect which is why i don't find myself among UUs (they're great too, but not for me).

i think it's appropriate to find something "cool" as long as it's not used as social currancy. i think that's what the pp was talking about. some people do things because it brings them social currancy (eg, it's 'cool') and other people do things because it's what is right for them, and that's what's "cool" about them (not social currancy!). i think it's 'not cool' to do things for social currancy--that is inauthentic. but, do be inspired by something, such that you think or feel that it's 'cool' in response, is definately 'cool.'

it's a pretty cool day here, only 78 degrees. very nice. no humidity!
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#64 of 87 Old 06-22-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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am not intending in starting a debate. I appreciate your honesty in telling me your point of view. I just wanted to share my feelings on the 'doctrine' of the RSF. Peace

No offense taken! Of course I expect that we would have different views on this issue, as it led you one place and me another.

CS Lewis describes Christianity as a long hall with many doors; and we gather in the common area with our own rooms down the hall, our different churches and ways of worship. I have always liked that analogy and think there are many doors that are worth opening and investigating, and that when you find the room that says "Welcome, stay," that is a marvelous thing. We don't all have to stay in the same room to enjoy the commons.
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#65 of 87 Old 06-24-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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Purposeful Mother:Thank you for sharing CS Lewis writing on Christianity. That is such a wonderful sentiment.
Zoebird: I can see now how saying ' Quakers are cool' could be misconstrued. Oh, no! I would never be able to join a religion because it is the 'in thing'...that is defeating the purpose of the Quaker testimony of integrity. My son means that he thinks the PEOPLE are cool because of their behavior and the way they treat others including himself. Thanks for explaining that to me...i did not realize it could be taken in that context.
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#66 of 87 Old 08-28-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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You all have been quiet of late -- hope everyone is doing well -- it's a busy time of year but hopefully in a positive way.

JS
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#67 of 87 Old 08-28-2007, 11:15 AM
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i've been quite busy--and it doesn't look like they're going to settle down anytime soon. we'll see though!
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#68 of 87 Old 10-07-2007, 09:51 AM
 
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Reviving this thread to say that I'm going to my first Quaker meeting this morning and I'm nervous. I've waited long enough, having spent over a year... whoa! now that I think about it... 2 years!!! ...thinking about doing this. I've moved from an area with very few Friends to a place that seems to have a more active community. They have "First Day School" at the one I'm attending, which appeals to me since I assume that means there are people with children! Yay!
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#69 of 87 Old 10-07-2007, 09:52 PM
 
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Reviving this thread to say that I'm going to my first Quaker meeting this morning and I'm nervous. I've waited long enough, having spent over a year... whoa! now that I think about it... 2 years!!! ...thinking about doing this. I've moved from an area with very few Friends to a place that seems to have a more active community. They have "First Day School" at the one I'm attending, which appeals to me since I assume that means there are people with children! Yay!
How did the meeting go? DS has been the only child attending our meeting most weeks, I do wish there were a few more families with younger children who would attend regularly, it would be nice.
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#70 of 87 Old 10-07-2007, 10:09 PM
 
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It was awesome. It felt like coming home.

There were many people there, all ages. Tons of kids!!!

I was moved to speak.

I loved it.

I'm in it for the long haul! Taking one of the kids and dh next week.
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#71 of 87 Old 10-08-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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daekini, i'm glad you had a positive experience. i'd be interested to hear what led you to Friends, if you want to share.

myself, i attend a small silent (unprogrammed) meeting in PA. almost-4yo dd enjoys going. there are some weeks 3 other children ( tho none her age). i enjoy seeing my dd in the company of other adults. it is a relief to know i do not have to be her only guide.

peace be with you all.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#72 of 87 Old 10-09-2007, 09:17 AM
 
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What led me to Friends? It was a long journey...

I grew up with an agnostic father, but my mother came from a very conservative family that belonged to a religious sect known as "the Truth". Their structure isn't dissimilar to Quakers, and although they say they come from an unbroken line since Christ, they are actually an offshoot of Quakers that is totally committed to living the Bible exactly as written... pretty much. Women aren't supposed to cut their hair or wear makeup, none of them are supposed to be exposed to things of "the world" i.e., movies, radio, etc. although nearly all of them have computers with internet

That was my exposure to religion and I "professed" my faith when I was about 14. Meetings are held in people's homes and everyone who has professed says a prayer and gives testimony each Sunday. They call one another "Friends".

As an adult I've tried to fit into mainstream churches, primarily Methodist. I just don't feel comfortable in that environment. I feel like I change who I am to fit in.

I've spent the past couple of years learning, in bits and pieces, about Quakers. I've felt moved to attend several times, but never had the opportunity until now. I'm so happy I found it! Finally, I feel that there is a place for ME, the me I really am. I don't think God wants me to change who I am, I think He (She? It?) made me the way I am and that He (She? It?) loves diversity.

Anyway...... that's how I got to where I am! Thank you for asking. It's nice to write it down.
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#73 of 87 Old 08-10-2008, 11:22 PM
 
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Bumping! I'm hoping to get more activity on here! :
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#74 of 87 Old 08-11-2008, 12:27 AM
 
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Bumping! I'm hoping to get more activity on here! :
Hello!

I went to my first Quaker funeral last week. One of the long-time members died at the age of 83 and we went to both the visitation and memorial service. It was different from other funerals (mainline Protestant or Roman Catholic) I have attended, and, for lack of a better word, I enjoyed it. I love that each person could speak if they were so moved. There was laughter and tears and it was wonderful to get to know this man whose memory had been failing the past 2 years that we have attended, so we never got to see the totality of him.

Last week was also our Yearly Meeting, though due to work obligations we couldn't attend except for the Meeting for Worship on Sunday. It was a strange meeting for me because of the many people there I didn't know and they addressed some themes from the week that I obviously didn't have access to since I hadn't been at other sessions. Unfortunately it left me with a bit of a "doom and gloom" feeling re: the environment. I know a lot of Quakers (as well as MDC mamas) have strong environmental leanings but the tone of this was "we are ruining the earth and every living thing on it, when are we going to stop driving cars, when are we going to stop living as we do?" I guess I have a much more positive view - yes, we need to make changes but human beings are smart and resiliant and will find a way to do the right thing at the right time. Why not think we can invent technology that will allow us to live in a modern society that will have a positive impact on the environment? I know some Quakers are drawn to simplicity, but that wasn't the tone I was getting from the messsages from the meeting. It is hard to describe, but it did make me feel somewhat disconnected from those giving the messages at that meeting, for better or worse.

On a more positive note, it was also the first meeting that DS agreed to go to First Day School without either DH or I. He did know the teacher (she was from our Monthly Meeting) but still it was a big step! :
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#75 of 87 Old 08-15-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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subbing to learn more
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#76 of 87 Old 09-29-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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i'm new-ish to mdc, but knew there must be some Ffriends among the many lovely mamas therein.

glad to "meet" you!

ariana, mama to beautiful redheaded girls (oct 07) and (nov 10)

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#77 of 87 Old 09-29-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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hey! i've been contemplating attending the local meeting but not sure how it will work with my kids. yesterday i thought, "i should just call and ask!" but today this thread was on the first page and i found at least a partial answer here. i think my three-year-old would be happy to go to the kids' room. my 18-month-old, no. he wouldn't. but i'm afraid he's too busy and chatty to sit in the meeting with me for an hour. how do you work things out with a toddler?
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#78 of 87 Old 09-29-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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different meetings may have worked out different solutions among themselves. in providence meeting (average attendance of 80 or so), there is first-day school for the children, but there is also a "nursery" for those children who are too small to even participate in the fds. the meeting i go to is saylesville -- average attendance of 12 -- much much smaller than providence, so there is no first-day school at all. we end up attending the last 20 minutes or so of meeting, then joining in the fellowship/coffee hour afterward.

ariana, mama to beautiful redheaded girls (oct 07) and (nov 10)

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#79 of 87 Old 11-04-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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Figured there would be other Quakers here..
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#80 of 87 Old 11-04-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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Figured there would be other Quakers here..
Hello!
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#81 of 87 Old 06-21-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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Can I bump a thread from five years ago? Oh look, I just did. 

 

Any more of us on here? I'd love to connect. 

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#82 of 87 Old 09-07-2013, 09:35 AM
 
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Hi there Pepperedmoth and other Friends,

I am here and would love to discuss Quakerly issues.  I have been going to meeting for 7 years and a member for 2.  I would love to learn more about historical Quakers and read some of their works.  Maybe we could have a reading circle?  Just a thought.  Nice to meet everyone.


Wife to Joe and Mama to Rosie, 6/28/06, Jack, 10/25/08 and JoJo 3/18/10.
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#83 of 87 Old 09-07-2013, 12:16 PM
 
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I'm also interested in chatting!

 

I've not been active in our community in the last few years, but I've had a renewed interest of late.  We have a medium-sized (large for the region, but small compared to the meeting I went to in PA), fairly active, but fluid, and progressive meeting here. 

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#84 of 87 Old 11-07-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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What do you do when there is no meetinghouse near you? How do you attend, and how could you ever eventually make the committment to be a Friend? 

 

I live in an area where there are no Quakers, yet have felt passionately that I would love to attend a meeting and find out for real if it's for us. For now, I read what I can about being a Friend, and I try to do what I can with what I've got here. But short of driving a 5 hr round trip every 2nd sunday, I can't actually BE a quaker. I can't move, although I've been tempted a number of times to beg my partner to move us to where I can attend meetings. 

 

*sigh* I don't think there's a real answer here, just kind of venting. Since my oldest was a young baby I have wanted to be able to really practice my beliefs, but I can't. So...do I just be a solo wannabe Friend? Forever? lol


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#85 of 87 Old 11-07-2013, 09:47 PM
 
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EvansMomma, at one point I lived in a small town that was not very diverse religiously. Somehow - I really don't remember how - we connected with a small group of people who identified as Quakers. There were maybe 8 of us on a good day, including my husband and myself. We would meet at someone's house each week and have soup afterwards. Maybe you could do something like that, trying to find some similar minded people on meet up or craigslist or if you have a Unitarian universalist church nearby maybe there are some Friends there.

Good luck!
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#86 of 87 Old 11-08-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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Another thing is to connect on-line and on the Yearly Meeting level. Which YM are you in? (I'm in New England). Whichever it is, I'm sure they have an annual sessions that meets at least for a few days. For lots of isolated (and not-so-isolated!) friends, that's a HUGE point of connection to the wider Quaker world. 

 

Check out sites like quakerquaker.org. That'll get you tapped into the Quaker blogosphere and there are some forums there, too. 

 

You could think about going to a big annual gathering like FGC, too. 

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#87 of 87 Old 11-08-2013, 12:05 PM
 
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Another thing is to connect on-line and on the Yearly Meeting level. Which YM are you in? (I'm in New England). Whichever it is, I'm sure they have an annual sessions that meets at least for a few days. For lots of isolated (and not-so-isolated!) friends, that's a HUGE point of connection to the wider Quaker world. 

 

Check out sites like quakerquaker.org. That'll get you tapped into the Quaker blogosphere and there are some forums there, too. 

 

You could think about going to a big annual gathering like FGC, too. 

 

Thanks! I'll check out that site. I will try to make it to the Canadian Yearly Meeting. The closest meetinghouse that I can locate on any of the websites I've checked out are in Southern Ontario so I'm at LEAST 2-3 hrs away from them (one way). I will keep persevering... :)


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