March 10 — how could I forget? How dare I fail to remember.
Four years and four months ago, John Stephens and I began a blog site called freethecaptivesnow.org , as both a personal vigil and a community service, compiling and posting nightly updates of reports — or mostly the lack of reports — about the fate of four… peaceworkers kidnapped in Iraq. They had been taken in Baghdad, and one of them, Tom Fox, was a Quaker and a friend of both John and me.
There’s this older gay man, I’ll call him Algernon. He’s not a Friend but has recently been attending Quaker meeting in an eastern state. Early last year he and his longtime partner parted, and Algernon wanted to find some new companionship. So he went onto the net. Soon he was in touch with a man we’ll call Moncrieff, who said he was a UN peacekeeper stationed near Baghdad. This appealed to Algernon. While he was once in the military, he’s since developed a strong concern for peace issues; I think that’s what helped draw him toward Friends.
So. The registration info for the 2010 Young adult Friends (YAF) Conference in Wichita is now online. As a preliminary, there’s a two-page statements of “expectations” and rules. The complete text is below. But some particular items deserve special attention, and I wonder what others think of them.
I won’t be shy about my reactions. Some sections are no big problem, e.g.:
The American Friends Service Committee will soon be picking its new General Secretary. On its website, the date for submitting resumes is late in March. Presumably it will be a few months after that before a final selection is announced. My guess would be they’d want to make it in time for summer, so the new person could make a grand tour of yearly meetings and the FGC Gathering, to be introduced to Friends at large.
Awhile back I wrote about hearing a teenage Friend talk about being asked by “Christian” peers about what Quakers believe and how it differs from other Christian and “born again” groups — and how she didn’t know how to answer.
So here it comes again: on another list, a complaint about expensive Quaker schools. Are they really “Quaker”? Don’t they sow division in meetings? Don’t they perpetuate all kinds of bad class stuff??
For the record, I never worked at one of the fancy Quaker schools; but I was briefly on the “faculty” of the fledgling (and now gone) Friends World College some 45 years ago, where I earned room, board and all the luxury a couple hundred bucks a month could buy.