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.:
There was an amazing post yesterday on the pitfalls of “mysticism” and pop occultism, by the always enlightening human rights attorney Scott Horton. It’s on his always worthwhile “No Comment” blog at the Harpers magazine site.
It makes points that ought to give many Quaker aficionados of that “mystic” path pause, an occasion to take off their fog-tinted spectacles and see the phenomenon more plainly in the light of history and social context.
Continue reading Mysticism, Schmysticism; Quakers, Pay Attention!
One could almost set one’s clock by it. Mention Quakers and class, and one will shortly be eldered, either by N. Jeanne Burns, or in my case, by her partner, Liz Oppenheimer.
This time it was Liz, who commented thus:
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.
Published: Mon Feb 22, 2010
Marines’ training at Fort Bragg to raise decibel levels around town
The noise level around Fort Bragg may increase when the Marines conduct their annual spring artillery training on Fort Bragg from March 1 to April 2.
A Friend wrote privately about the previous report about US & UK funding agencies withholding donations to schools in Kenya because of rampant corruption. Kenyan Quakers operate many schools, and for the sake of clarity, the articles I quoted did not directly allege that Quaker schools had been stealing US and UK funds.
Seems to me it’s time for an open update for American and other Friends on the struggle against theft and corruption in Quaker institutions and programs in Kenya. This question has been growing on me in recent months, but I figured maybe there had been one and I missed it. But it was brought back to mind by some recent news reports.
Did anybody else see these BBC stories?