Reaching Out

Early Friends felt an irresistable imperative to share their own powerful lived experience of a close present-day relationship with God with the world.  Ministers traveled up and down England and abroad sharing their vision and practices.  Although Friends stopped growing at an exponential rate after the Act of Toleration in 1688, Friends continued in many instances to hold public religious meetings for non-Friends and write tracts for non-Friends well into the 19th century.  (Evangelical Friends, of course, continue to do so today.) 

Many of us feel deeply blessed by our own experience of God's presence in our own lives and that of our meetings. 

·      Does sharing about this with others mean that we believe we have the only right way to experience God?

·      Do we feel we are the only ones who deserve this experience?

·      Do we still have a message for the world?

·      Jesus called on us to put our lights on a lampstand rather than under a bushel - is the situation different today?

·      Are there millions of people around the world who might long to hear and experience what we have found to be deeply important and true?

·      What are we afraid of? 

Firbank Fell's Challenge to 21st Century Quakerism   This is a 2002 Friends Journal article that I wrote on the 350th anniversary of George Fox's sermon to a thousand seekers that many consider the unofficial beginning of the Quaker movement.  The essay focuses on Friends' need to overcome fears of outreach to those outside our spiritual community, of spiritual authority, and of shared disclosure and accountability within our local meeting communities.

Men & Women with a Message of Power   1912 quote from William Braithwaite & Henry Hodgson.

On Travel Under Religious Concern (or "Traveling Ministry"):

Travel Under Religious Concern  describes the Quaker understanding of what it means to be called to carry out religious ministry away from home & the specific practices that Friends have evolved to support this work.   

Engaging with a Monthly Meeting about Ministry is an Friends Journal article by Debbie Humphries on her request for a traveling minute from her meeting and their response. 

Report to FGC Traveling Ministries Program on the 2002 Alaska Friends Conference by Cathy Walling.  This is a report on healing & forgiveness that occurred unexpectedly as a result of a traveling minister's visit to a Friends gathering.
blog comments powered by Disqus


 Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe by Email:

Quote that speaks to me

Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies

| Comments
They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.  
Death cannot kill what never dies.  
Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their friendship.
If absence be not death, neither is theirs.  
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.  
For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent.
In this Divine Glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
 - William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude, 1702.

Note: This passage was quoted by J.K.Rowling as the epigraph of her novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Braithwaite on Outreach

| Comments

Men & Women with a Message of Power

It is as a "religion of life" that Quakerism will be presented in the future and is being presented now.

Its distinguishing note will be its resolve to bring all this human life of ours under the transforming power of spiritual life.  It will stand out against all divisions and compartments that separate the sacred from the secular, the sanctuary from the outward world of nature, the sacrament from the days' common work, the clergy from the laity. 

It will tell of a Christian experience that makes all life sacred and all days holy, all nature a sanctuary, all work a sacrament, and gives to every man and woman in the body fit place and service.  Its concern will be to multiply men and women who will have a message of power because they are themselves the children of light.  It will claim the whole of man's life, and the whole of life, individual, social, national international, for the dominion of the will of God.

William C. Braithwaite and Henry T. Hodgkin, The Message and Mission of Quakerism (Philadelphia, Winston, 1912), 25-26.

Recent Entries

Bangladesh Blockade
My wife, Phyllis Taylor, and I feel very fortunate to have been a small part of the freedom struggle that resulted in the independence of Bangladesh. I am very sorry to say that, during the war of independence, our own beloved country, the United States of America, was secretly sending military supplies to Pakistan which were used to kill and oppress citizens of what was then called East Pakistan. …
Biblical Roots of Quaker Worship
When our hearts are knit together in powerfully gathered waiting worship do we not enter into living water and drink deeply from it? What deeper spiritual refreshment could be available to us than this drawing on the living water that Christ offers us every time we gather with Friends to wait expectantly upon this gift? …
Charles Marshall Epistle
Who in your assemblies sometimes feel a testimony for the Lord to spring to your hearts, keep your watch in the light, that so none stay behind, nor run before. But let all that open their mouths in the assemblies of the Lord's people do it as the oracle of God in the arising of the eternal power. For nothing can beget to God but what comes from the word of life that lives & abides forever; and nothing can refresh, strengthen or comfort that which is begotten by the word of life but what springs from the same. …