[NOTE: John McWhorter is an often provocative columnist for the New York Times. He’s a frequent dissenter from the evolving “woke-DEI consensus,” but also an advocate for his version of Black advancement (e.g., pressing for teaching reading to all students via Phonics, a crusade I completely agree with), and has called for ending the quasi-religious character of the “anti-racism” movement (which I also generally support, though a crude and less than well-informed anti-religiousness seriously mars McWhorter’s case there). Continue reading 1966-Explaining The Year of “Black Power”→
From 2007 to 2018, five U. S. Yearly Meetings split apart —one disappeared completely, after 320 years. This was the broadest, most disruptive wave of separations since 1827.
Five years later, several much larger denominations have likewise split asunder; more may soon do so.
Three Friends independently chronicled all these Quaker upheavals. Their collaboration became a unique and searching three-volume account, “The Separation Generation”:
The Authors on Taking Stock, Looking Ahead:
Jade Rockwell: A bit of background: Jade was involved in the separation in Northwest YM in Oregon. Now she’s in Indiana, where two more splits happened, and working at the meeting which was the main target for those who forced the split. The fourth division happened next door in Ohio, to Wilmington YM. Jade is at ESR now, looking toward full-time pastoral work. From what she’s seen, written about, and lived through, how does she think that wave of splits has affected the field of ministry you’re hoping to enter?
Chuck Fager wants to talk about clerking, and its discontents. These separations were complex; but clerking was a common key factor. The reporting showed there was some excellent clerking; but in Chuck’s view it also revealed recurring clerk misconduct. Similar misconduct occurred in earlier splits back to 1827. These experiences raise the question of whether “normal” Quaker Process is equipped even to name or curb such damaging official malpractice and wrongdoing. This reporting project convinced Chuck that it’s time for Friends to begin reexamining and strengthening Quaker process, to better protect Friends and meetings in times of stress and difficulty.
Steve Angell: Steve notes that all five of these splits involved LGBTQ issues. But was that all there was to them? No. In his view, other issues and forces were also important. And from his standpoint as a Quaker historian, Steve has been pondering whether the Separation Generation has permanently changed U. S. Quakerism.
March 7, 2023 – in person at Earlham School of Religion & on ZOOM, 6-8 PM EST.
Vol. 1: Indiana Trainwreck (Indiana & Western YMs)
Vol. 2: Murder at Quaker Lake (North Carolina YM)
Vol. 3: Shattered by the Light (Northwest & Wilmington YMs)
On March 7, 2023 all three authors will reflect on their reporting on this time of tribulation, consider its far-reaching implications, and answer questions. You can join the conversation, in person at ESR or on Zoom, at no charge. March 7, 2023 6-8 PM – EST