Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Spare Not Tongue, Nor Pen Nor Blog" by Tony Lowe

I have resisted the whole blog for a good while. About a week ago it seemed to me someone was being overly critical of blogs and bloggers and I found myself defending it as really being no more than electronic interactive journal keeping, a time honored tradition among Friends. So would George Fox blog? You bet your leather britches and your shaggy, shaggy locks he would, especially while in prison if they didn’t confiscate his laptop.

And thats why I felt some compulsion to do it as well (along with a little pressure, I mean friendly persuasion from some folks who will remain nameless (are you blogging YET?) Because unlike some Friends in a conversation I stumbled into this week, there is a part of me that does want to be a 1600's Friend. Or maybe not so much to be one as to feel connected to those first Quakers in a very real and meaningful way - to be able to see myself and my life as one small story woven into the fabric of the narrative they began, in some way being a part of helping it to continue to unfold. Maybe that=s why I love Quaker history; the stories of those early Friends make it come alive and excite my own desires to be faithful to those traditions.

But, being faithful to those traditional values does not mean being bound to the same forms and expressions. For most of us plain speech and plain dress no longer seem to be an effective witness to our testimony for equality. So we open ourselves to new revelation about how we can incarnate this truth in a relevant and meaningful way in our world, or we are led to a new awareness of places and situations where the light of our testimony for equality needs to shine into the darkness of prejudice or discrimination. But being faithful does mean we=re not going to recognize as new revelation a message that says just forget the whole equality thing, it=s not that important anymore.

It occurs to me that what I am talking about here really is convergence, taking those ideals and values and ethics that have defined our faith and made us a peculiar people throughout our history and searching for new, fresh life giving, hope-filled ways of bringing their witness to bear on the world in which we now live.

And blogs seem like a good way to explore together what that looks like. So blog on Friends, dear old George is with you in spirit.


Jeanne said...

Maybe a good place to start would be to shine that light onto ourselves. Quakers are startlingly homogeneous, and I know for certain that it's not about our form of worship.

Diane said...

In a heterogeneous group one can feel unconfirmed. Words spoken in confirmation aren’t always as comforting as having others who are like us, so we avoid talking about our differences and focus on our sameness. Discerning how to fit irregular pieces into a finely crafted whole doesn’t seem to be something we’re good at.

mark said...

there won't be any convergence, nor will people of other walks of life join the SOF, unless we start singing praise to God. We need a couple of hymns in every Meeting for Worship.

Singing will not interfer with the silent worship, nor does it need to be programmed ahead of time. Many people love to sing and it does the soul well to do so. Let this be part of our services and people will find our worship less peculiar.

Tony said...

That's one of the things I love about convergent Friends, that we discover that despite our differing traditions and worship styles, we are homogeneous

Tony said...

I have often felt like one of those "irregular pieces" and sometimes it's hard, but we need those other points of view to help us discern the difference between where most of us want to stand and where God may be calling us to stand