Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I've gained a sense of being overwhelmed with resources as I continue to discover more and more online Quaker resources. In surfing through Martin's QuakerRanter website (www.nonviolence.org/martink), I ran into a site with a few online faith and practice resources (http://worship.quaker.org/qfp/), including a complete online version of my yearly meeting's (NCYM(C)'s) faith and practice which I have been meaning to read! I plan to get a paper copy soon, but I am still excited to find such an online resources!

Dear me, there is so much to read! Books! Online essays! Blogs! Faith and Practices! Things to write, to organize! I believe I am at a turning point in my spirituality and involvement with Quakerism - I was involved before, but now I've found that my intensity just jumped off the charts.

I often read of ambitious young Friends like myself eventually losing steam and energy and fading away - I do not want this to happen to me. I don't plan to go that way.


Blogger Liz Opp said...

Ever since Martin over at Quaker Ranter started talking about young adult Friends fading away, I've been considering my own journey among Friends.

Why didn't I fade away myself, having come across Friends at college; moved; returned to Friends 8 years later when I was 30; and am still here, at 42...?

One thing that helped me, I have to believe, is that I asked a Friend to elder me, which to me meant to be an intentional presence in my life. (I had not known the history of the word 'elder' among Friends, so the woman I approached was verrrrry cautious in accepting!)

That single connection became the thread to link me to a Quakerism that was not necessarily present in our monthly meeting. She and I met monthly for lunch over the next four years. She waited for me to ask her questions, like "I feel like I'm ready to delve into a little Quaker history, but I hate reading history. What Quaker book would you recommend I read?" [she recommended Britain Yearly Meeting's Faith & Practice]; or "How do you reconcile having capital-M money (as in wealth) with the idea of simplicity?" She also gave me lots of space and encouragement to find my own answers, but she was quick to share from her own experience among Friends, too.

In a nutshell, she made it all okay, she saw me, she heard me out, and she allowed me to grow in my own way and in my own time. She let her life preach to me, to use a phrase.

But as you mention elsewhere in your blog, sustaining these sorts of relationships requires a "double-sided effort." I needed to share of myself with her; and she needed to share of herself with me. There was a grace and a sweetness that filled our monthly lunches... and there still is, when we see each other about 2-3 times a year.

Liz, The Good Raised Up

11/5/05 5:55 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/5/05 5:55 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Sorry, Friends: the deleted comment (above) was a repeat of my original comment. Not sure why that happened.  —Liz

11/5/05 8:51 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Mmmm. I think your experience is the kind that more young Friends (or Friends in general) need - a spiritual companion, a Friendship.

However, in your particular experience you asked someone for this Friendship. That is something I haven't considered before. (I haven't really considered how such a Friendship should begin at all.)

11/5/05 11:22 PM  

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