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.
I’m increasingly troubled by the repetition of anti-institutional slogans in what is sometimes called “emergent” Quaker circles and conversations. Much of this, in my reading, consists of about one per cent of insight, that’s being puffed up like a bit of rubber into a big-looking balloon of empty hot air.
Friends, permit me to announce formation of a new project for our Religious Society, namely The Committee for New Quaker Cliches, or CNQC. The need for this body hit me like a thunderbolt while attending a large yearly meeting awhile back. There I was, sitting and trying to pay attention, but feeling ever more uneasy, and not sure why.
I’m writing this post as a form of procrastination.
What’s being put off here is resuming the labor of writing down an explanation of Quakerism for a teenaged Quaker – let’s call her Lucretia. She feels strongly identified with the liberal wing of the Religious Society of Friends (RSOF), but has been having trouble answering questions about it from her peers.