Monthly Archives: December 2005

The Emerging Librarian

Man, it seems ìonce a librarian, always a librarianî. The other day I heard a man explaining how it was ìbloody brilliantî what Joseph in the OT went through. We could easily see as his time in prison and such as a time of ëbondageí, when really it was a time of training and equipping for when he would be second in command over an enormous political power: he learned to move in, work in, communicate with government channels. I used to work at a library – at the time, I thought it was simply because I love libraries (and because itís the first/only place that offered me a job with my non-descript/useless degree), but now I wonder if it was something more.

Iím not working in a library now: my only contact with them is to put books/movies/books-on-tape on hold, and to frequent storytimes when itís not too close to nap- or lunch-times. But I do stay connected with the library world online through weblogs. You know whatís really interesting? Much of what I hear talked about on Quaker/Emerging/Christian blogs is the same stuff thatís on library blogs:

  • Where are the patrons?
  • Why is funding being cut?
  • What should be done with less funding?
  • Where are the young adults?
  • Why are libraries seemingly irrelevant to society nowadays?

Sound familiar?

Just as the internet is entering ìWeb 2.0” (or at least a few mouthy bloggers are pushing that on folks – pointing out the shift to more social-networking type of sites), libraries are entering Library 2.0, and many donít know how to make heads or heels out of it. But a few cutting edge folks are working at being in tune with the needs of their community as well as providing gentle examples for librarians so these changes donít push them over the edge (or at least too far over the edge). Hereís some highlights from a great and relevant interview with Michael Casey, who coined the phrase Library 2.0, posted on ALA TechSource.

[One librarian says:]
If I sound frustrated, I guess I’m a bit of a Veruca Salt about what I want to do in my daily work. As much as I love learning about Library and Web 2.0 and finding ways to make technology work for patrons and colleagues, I’m not sure that many (most) libraries are ready to take even the baby steps suggested by Michael. I’m sure you’ll let me know if I’m mistaken (and I hope that I am).

Hmmm: how many times have I heard folks say, ìI feel like I need to be ministering more, and I hear about this emerging conversation, but itís so overwhelming that I have no clue where to start. It seems so far away from my church: how can we participate?î

Michael Casey:
Well, I agree when John says ìif weíre arguing over semantics, weíve been derailed.” I hope we can see L2 as a path toward change, toward improvement of services. If we try to overdefine it, weíll never get out of the gate. In some ways, yes, I do think we are our own worst enemies. We get stuck in ruts, providing the same services to the same groups of people, without looking beyond our world to the masses that do yet not use our services. I often speak of reaching for that “Long Tail,” the concept of trying to drive toward the large numbers that don’t even think of the library as a resource to be used. If we cannot break out of that mold, that way of thinking, then we will never progress.

How many folks try to define whatís going on? And how many of us get stuck there – instead of doing, weíre blabbering. Instead of ministering to all, we focus on ministering inside of our walls. Instead of following the Spirit, weíre trying to control. Hmmm . . .

Interviewer:
I know L2 will not just be about books or libraries as boxes of books, but about a wide range of services and access points, dependent on the community of users the library supports.

You mean the library/church is there for the people, not the other way around? 🙂

Michael Casey:
What was a bit disquieting about the OCLC study were the negative associations that younger people make with library staffóthis is an area where, I hope, our efforts to reach out to teens and younger adults will really pay off. Embracing the change needed to go after this group should pay dividends.

Speaks for itself.

Michael Casey:
I hate to sound like a broken record but Iím going to suggest taking this question to your community. Talk to your users, look at your community, go out to those people who do not use your library, and ask them why theyíre not using such a great and free resource. Are there barriers to bringing those people into the library? If so, how can they be torn down?

Look at your servicesóare you allocating valuable resources in inefficient ways? Library 2.0 is more than integrating new technologies into your libraryóalthough that is a wonderful part of L2. Itís about taking the time to examine all youíre doing and finding out what we can do to welcome an entirely new group of users into our wonderful libraries.

Itís true: libraries do tend to focus on bringing people into them – not very missional. But thatís somewhat the nature: itís not easy to haul around books and such. BUT they ARE missional in different ways: reaching out online to resources available on the web, having reference chat programs so that you can IM a question to a reference librarian from home, working in communities to provide special reading programs. And the bookmobile: good Lord, I donít think you get much more missional than that!

Iím really looking forward to seeing how this shapes libraries and how we might borrow/steal from them: after all, theyíre all about lending, arenít they?

Could I get a Venti Sugar-Free Vanilla Decaf Americano with that “Tale of Two Cities”?

How cool is this? Some high school libraries are taking after Borders and other book retailers by serving up the java to create a “studing/coffee house” atmosphere. They recognize that students enjoy going to their local coffee shop, that it’s a great place to study and engage other folks. I think I stepped foot in my high school library once a year, usually because my teachers made me. And I *like* libraries: so what does that say when a bibilophile won’t come near one?

The crux of the article is to warn against allowing students to have such easy access to caffeine, but it’s not as if Starbucks isn’t on every corner of the street in Anytown, U.S.A. I understand their worries, but look at the positives: students might actually use the library to study – to ask for help rather than go to shady resources – to learn how to become lifelong, self-motivated learners.

I’ve had some quality encounters with Christ in coffeeshops – taking my journal, a good book, watching other folks converse and engage with each other, looking out the window at the traffic, smelling the coffee and fresh baked scones, watching kids play with the heavily-drooled on toys, seeing friends come and go . . . . What’s so appealing about it? When I lived in Boise, I would often spend my Sunday mornings at a coffee shop of my own choosing depending on my mood (Starbucks if I was lazy, Flying M if I was feeling artsy-fartsy) – why did I feel like I engaged Christ more really, more authentically there than at my church?

With a library, the users usually need to go to the library to get full access to the wealth of materials and aid: true, there’s online reference people and online holds and the bookmobile, but generally folks have to go to the library. I’ve been hearing about how the church should be missional – should go out to people rather than have them come to the building/ministry. Are there cases, though, that it’d be best to have people come to the church, something need that can best be met or resources that are best used by coming to the church?

Libraries feel the effect of resources readily available on the internet: their patronage numbers are declining. But libraries are doing some really radical ways to set themselves apart from doing a google search, ways that brand their sort of assistance, to assist each person individually in assessing their personal needs. Does the church do this? Can they? What would that look like?

HT

Does this wire go with my backpack?

Today’s teen are the first “totally wired generation” according to this article. Marketing in authentic ways is hard, particularly when teens know the internet playground better than most advertisers. What ways can the church connect with teens in this web of the wide world? Should the church try, or would it simply be forced, like in high school when our moms would pretend to be able to play hacky sack with us (just oh-so-painful to watch)?

One thing to keep in mind:

“Instead of pushing content at teens, sites should find ways to let teens have some say in the material,” Williamson says. “Giving teens a sense of ownership is a powerful draw.”

Have you reached out to teens online?

If only it were Father’s Day . . .

because I don’t know what to do with this, but I can bet you my Dad would. Skip the tie: think of how many comic strips you could rub off with five pounds of silly putty! And, if your father happens to be a former chemical engineer, I’m sure there’s a world of possibilities I couldn’t begin to describe (partly because I don’t know what they would be since I have not an ounce of an engineering mindset in me, and partly because they might not all be legally kosher). 🙂

What would you do with five pounds of silly putty?

HT

Yes, I am a Pacifist, and it’s my birthday, too

Figuring out youíre a pacifist is a defining moment. Figuring it out when youíre eleven is an odd thing. Figuring it out on your birthday when youíre eleven because Ted Bundyís being killed that day is a very odd thing. And defending your pacifist beliefs on your twelfth birthday to your class of adolescent peers and condescending teacher stinks, but is a definitely a defining moment.

As a kid growing up in a Friends church I heard about the importance of the peace testimony. It had special significance growing up in Idaho: a very ìlive free or dieî state with an air force base less than an hour away from my home. I *love* my Idaho: some of the most real, friendly, giving people live there – but sometimes they want to give you their beliefs whether you asked for them or not.

On my birthday in sixth grade convicted serial killer Ted Bundy was being electrocuted. I remember students buzzing with ìmy mom and dad sayî information regarding the sensational event; but for me it was, ìmy aunt says . . .î because my aunt made sure to talk with my brother and I about things like this. She said it was wrong: humans were not meant to take anotherís life, no matter what the wrong person did. Aunt Faye liked U2, watched MTV, and ate tofu: I figured she was hip enough to know what she was talking about.

For me in sixth grade, it was an odd thought: on my birthday, someone was dying – someone was being killed by another person. He wouldnít have any more birthdays – his life was over. I also thought in the semantics of a kid: shouldnít the man who pushed the buzzer to kill Ted be killed, too, since he killed someone? But who would kill him? Would we all end up dead if people kept getting killed for killing others? In my public grade school I talked freely with my friends about this: we came to our own conclusions, and then ran to the monkey bars to do cherry bombs and zebra drops.

The next year I was still processing it, except I was in a private Christian school where I moved from my public school classification of “not-Mormon” to “not-a-community-church-attender” – I don’t think Quakers are ever on the “inside”. Great place to talk about things outside of the ësocial normí, right? Wrong-O. One year after Ted Bundyís death my geography teacher brought it up. I was feeling a little bit ballsy, living off the birthday high. Normally I wouldnít rock the boat, especially in a school that didnít feel ìsafeî to me – I knew I was different than the majority of kids there, but didnít know why exactly. But that day, I was dressed up, I was going to get cake and presents, and I decided to speak up:

ìI think it was wrong to kill him.î

My geography teacher had abnormally buggy eyes, and all of a sudden, the enormity of their bulgingness was directed at me.

ìWhat?î

ìI said, I think it was wrong. God is the only person who can give and take life. Humans shouldnít take life.î

All the students, including the delinquents who were sent to my school because public schools couldnít handle them so they spent their days carving on desks, looked at me. A showdown was about to happen.

ìSay that again.î

ìCapitol punishment is wrong.î

Awkward silence. Then . . .

ìHow can you say that?!!î

My past experiences of teachers had been of a loving and bi-partisan nature: they might tell you their opinion about holiday crafts – if they should involve letting the students use power tools or not – but never of a political/personal opinion nature. But not in my private Christian school.

ìSo youíre saying that this man who killed countless people out of cold blood shouldnít have died?î

ìNo.î

What should we have done with him?î

ìUh . . . keep him in prison?î

My face started to flush; my birthday high turned into a fight-or-flight response.

ìWhat about the Old Testament commandments regarding an eye for an eye? Iím sure the rest of you students remember that.î

Nodding heads. Lemmings.

ìWho told you this anyway?î

ìMy aunt. She said that humans donít have the right to take lives.î

ìOh, and I bet she doesnít think we should have guns either.î

He then used the majority of the class to continue to grill me, pointing out ìflawsî and getting affirmation from the rest of the oh-so-knowledgeable seventh graders.

I didnít feel like I had the answers, which was really frustrating to feel so attacked and awkward. I knew I couldnít sway him. But I refused to be swayed: for one time in my life, my German stubbornness did something good. What my teacher didnít know is that he affirmed my belief in pacifism all that much more: if folks who disagreed with pacifism were so mean and hostile and judging of others, especially those so much younger than them, then why would I want to believe what he believed – to follow his path to become like him?

As I hear about the government spying on peace protestors, I am reminded of my first defining moment as a pacifist: Iíve never fit in, especially with those in power, and thatís fine – I donít really like what youíre all about, anyway. You can try to bully me around like a teacher bullying a seventh grader, but that looks pretty pathetic, doesnít it? If I can make a stand when Iím an ignorant kid, Iím not about to back down with more life experience under my belt. Anyway, Iíve got to go live my life which today includes playing on the monkey bars with my son – weíre gonna rock at doing cherry bombs.

Christian Peacemaker Team: Still No Word

Still no word has been heard regarding the status of the kidnapped members of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq. Last Sunday, Matt Chandler spoke in the NFC Young Adult Sunday School class ñ which turned into the ìYoung at Heartî Adult class since folks of all ages flocked to hear his experiences working in Iraq with these very folks who have been abducted. I did not attend: didnít find out about it until it was almost over. But I spoke with a few folks who were present: they said it was affirming to hear of Mattís peaceful determination to continue to follow this call God has placed on his heart, despite the backlash of folks (particularly folks who label themselves as Christians) who say that the team members were reckless and were asking to be kidnapped by working in Iraq.

Matt talked about how the group that has claimed responsibility for the kidnaping doesnít fall into the typical description of hostage-takers in Iraq. They didnít cover their faces or the faces of the team members. They did not display flags or other symbols of allegiance in the background of their communications. They only communicate with Al Jazeera, the national news corporation. I believe they first said that the hostages were spies; then they said they would not release the hostages until all the detainees were released – however, the hostagesí work *was* to free detainees. It doesnít add up, at least in accordance to past kidnapings by other groups.

Matt talked about his work freeing detainees. When an incident happened (car bomb, etc.), soldiers sweep the streets, and any people within a certain radius – whether they are involved or simply passing by – are imprisoned. The prison system is so overloaded and messed up that folks get lost in the jumble of paperwork and crowded conditions. Loved ones would come to Matt, and he would help them negotiate the government channels simply to find where the detainee was held, and then they began the long and cumbersome process of beginning to free them. Matt had a friend who was one of these passer-bys, and he was imprisoned for over a year. A YEAR!! Can you imagine a year of your life gone, simply because you needed to go to the store, some guy blew up a car, and a nineteen year old freaked out soldier sent you to a detention center?

When a person knows that they want to work in a field that will take them overseas, perhaps in business, they train and prepare: they learn the languages, customs – immerse themselves in the culture. Theyíre working with pen and paper – not guns. Somehow I doubt the government is training, preparing, sensitizing these soldiers on proper cultural etiquette and interaction ñ but they are giving them weapons. See anything wrong with that picture?

It makes my heart ache: I so long for things to be righted. I feel useless – futile: itís so large, and Iím so small. But I can pray. I can pray for God to sensitize my heart and the hearts of others to the injustice going on. I can pray that God will awaken the call Heís placed on certain individuals hearts to get involved in the immediate situation. I can pray that God helps me and others on the ìoutsideî to equip and strengthen those in the midst, living out his love and peace in mayhem and chaos. Oh God: may it be so!

Here’s an interview of Matt on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Listening

Today’s teaching at our worship gathering was on listening:

Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good–a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it. – John 10:1-5 (MSG)

Our pastor actually spent time watching sheep this week. He went out to a congregation member’s farm and videotaped trying to interact with the sheep: while the sheep would come right up to the owner – even follow him around for food -, they ran in terror if the pastor tried to approach them. He talked about discerning the voice of God versus the voice of strangers/the world – how we don’t always know how to distinguish them. But when we do, we should act like sheep: cling to the shepherd, flee enemies, etc. Some folks get frustrated because they don’t know what the voice of the Lord sounds like, but he commented that “while sheep know the voice of the shepherd, even lambs have to learn it.”

After service I promptly went to pick my son up from the nursery: it’s one of the few places I know that is actually busier than he is. He threw himself into my arms, and as we were walking out to the car, an older gentleman asked me if my son knew my voice. I said, “Yes, but I don’t know if he really cares.”

See, one of my son’s favorite activities is to destroy the cds lined up on my cd holder. I’m a former librarian and have always been anal by nature: every thing should be in its place so it’s easier to find. CDs should be alphabetized for easy access: it’s simply logical. However, my son thinks it’s quite grand to take all the cds off of the shelf and bang them together. Time after time he heads to the corner to engage in what he considers “play” and I consider “destruction.” When I shout for him to “knock it off!”, he does – literally (an unfortunate choice of words). 😉 He smiles as me and scurries to knock cds as quickly as he can to the floor.

I read a parenting article discussing possible theories for “why does he *do* that?!!?” One person voiced the idea that children do things to get a reaction: they’re “bored” and want some stimulation – what can we do to get the adults jumping? So now instead of getting all excited, I calmly tell Judah to “cease and desist” with the cds, removing him to a different area.

He hears my voice, he knows it . . . but he’s looking for something more. He’s looking for a reaction: the reaction *he* wants. How many times to I hear the voice of God, know the voice, but act differently because I’m looking for a reaction? I ask for God to forgive my sins, to help me in a certain situation, to give me guidence – but if He doesn’t jump when I say jump, I assume He’s not talking or doesn’t mean it or just go about my merry little way to destroy the cds.

So, the tricky thing is to listen and actually *hear* God, despite the filters of the world and my personal preferences. How do I authentically hear God and respect His voice?

The Higher, the Fewer

Greetings~

The above statement came from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Worf’s son and Troi’s mom were enjoying a holodeck program with rather odd characters: two of them fought all the time, and another simply said random, meaningless phrases such as “the higher, the fewer.” Troi’s mom commented, “Well, that’s a conversation stopper if I ever heard one.” Worf’s son promptly took off, said it to the arguing pair, and it worked: their bickering ceased.

I’ve often used this to end emails, sign off on letters – because what’s there to say after that? However, with this website, I hope not to stop, but to *begin*:

  • talking about things that *really* matter in life – spirituality, everyday nitty gritty stuff
  • highlighting articles, books, websites, resources: be a librarian for my specialties and interests
  • posting articles and writings I’m working on: short stories, theological babblings, devotional materials
  • offering my experiences, help, thoughts in any way possible: be it around missional/incarnational living, attracting young adults to your worship gathering, writing in your everyday existence, creating space to encounter and follow the Spirit’s direction
  • connecting people and resources together: why do stuff alone when we can do it together?

So please, look at – critique – add to – comment on – contribute to – scour – enjoy my website. I look forward to connecting with you!

Why the Picture #3? Presence in the Midst

First of all, thanks so much to those of you who responded with your Quaker/other denominational mashup with the emerging conversation. Thereís still more of you out there with good stuff: címon – fess up. 😉

When I first started this site, seemingly a long time ago but in reality less than six months, I started a series on the meaning of the pictures posted in my masthead. Itís a tricky thing, putting them there: many bloggers love to change their mastheads frequently, but Iím so attached to these photos that I canít bring myself to lay them down yet. At any rate, things picked up in life, and I forgot to explain in importance of the later pictures. As part of my ìWhy Iím Quakergingî thoughts, I figured itíd be good to give my background as a Friend [the picture is a pretty famous, at least in the Quaker realm, called “Presence in the Midst” – it details the idea that Christ is in the midst of all of us, not just pastors or priests or white anglo-saxton protestant males].

My folks were raised down South – in the church, but more as a social club event: potlucks and rallies and lots of guilt heaped on if you didnít attend Sunday in your Sunday best. My parents never really connected with their church, didnít see a lot of relevance in their lives. They were stationed in Germany shortly after they were married, but not before living for a brief while at the Air Force base in Mountain Home, ID: see my dad wanted to get as far away from the South as possible – he asked for a station in Alaska, but Idahoís as close as he got. They fell in love with the landscape – the wide open areas and the close accessibility of quality backpacking. When their time in Germany was complete, my dad enrolled at the University of Idaho and got his chemical engineering degree. Soon they wafted west and ended up in Tacoma – land of eternal rain and gloom (at least, according to my mom). I was born, was not an easy child, and Dad traveled *a lot*. Mom prayed to God out of that desperate place: ìIf you get me out of here and into the sunshine, Iíll start going to church.î About three months later, we were in Boise, ID.

Iím not exactly sure how we ended up at Boise Friends – I think someone invited Mom to a Bible study who invited Mom to church? At any rate, she was the main instigator, dressing me up and dragging Dad. But somehow they found their home: Mom immediately got involved in childrenís church, and Dad found his first spiritual mentor in Harold Antrim. I loved attending Boise Friends as a kid: we had a seemingly large group of kids to run around with, and anyone seemed to parent any child tearing about. Potlucks and going out for Sunday lunches abounded; I wasnít so fond of the plethora of programs I ìgotî to be in (when your piano teacher is the Music Pastor, itís a tricky road you walk down). But I was *known*: I knew almost everyone there, and they knew me, and there was love.

Attending church, and a Quaker church, in Boise is an interesting thing. The town is primarily made up of Mormons (I heard a statistic stating that there are more Mormon children in Boise that Salt Lake). Because I wasnít part of the ëclubí, I felt a lot like an outsider, especially in school cliques. My Mormon friends would talk about church some, but because much of their religion is secretive, church was more of a ìhush hushî thing. I think I picked some of that up for myself: Quakerism isnít necessarily a predominant religion – most folks thought we were Amish, and I didnít feel like explaining that we werenít. But it was in Boise that I first heard about the splits in the Quaker church as we were stopped by a gay rights parade downtown and I saw a ìFriends support Gay Rightsî sign – that was a fun talk with Mom. 🙂

At the tender age of twelve my parents made an executive decision to a) start a new church which had no youth group and 2) pull me from public junior high where I had risen in the ranks and had a chance of hanging out with the ìcoolî kids to put me in a brand new private school with a bunch of ìprivate school dorks.î Note: I was twelve and a girl – what was coming up? THIRTEEN. There was much pain and suffering and wailing in the land that year. But as I watched them endure the punishment I doled out, I started to gain a sense that there was something important in this for them – something they found valuable enough to endure an adolescent rage. I still attended some youth group events at Boise Friends – Bible quizzing (brand new that year!), camps, retreats, etc. Youth group was a place to run around with friends I didnít see, stay up late, eat bad food, and complain when the youth pastor tried to work any God or Bible stuff in there.

In high school my dad got a new job not so much in the chemical engineering field: he became the superintendent of our yearly meeting (head of our denominational district). This time, I was ready and eager to move, but the rest of my family – not so much. I already knew a few folks from my times at youth
events (Youth Yearly Meeting, an annual ìbusiness meetingî for youth while the adults had their real annual business meeting) and was immediately adopted into the fold. We left Boise on Wednesday, arrived in Newberg Friday, went to church on Sunday, and I was hanging out at Hannah Macyís house that afternoon. Iíve joked that my parents havenít seen me since.

Coming to Newberg Friendís youth group was like coming home for the first time. The youth were *fun*: they were funny and entertaining and welcoming and thoughtful. And they actually liked hearing about God-stuff: it wasnít an obligatory annoying speech awkwardly thrown in by the youth pastor as a means of stamping the event with a church feel. Now, we had our fair share of activities, and we didnít always make a ìGod momentî out of each one, but I had the chance to hang out with youth and youth leaders who had a real relationship with Christ – it was a safe place to question and experience. Camps and youth events really defined my time in high school and early college: thatís where I encountered God – in open worship times at camp, in praise times at Yearly Meeting, in one-on-one time with my camp counselors – being with folks who were in a really real relationship with Christ.

I didnít know I had anything special at church until I attended another church with a friend in high school. She went to a four square church, and man: I was exhausted by the end of the service. There was no time for silence, or even to pray for ourselves: the pastors did the *whole* thing, AND music played during the prayer time! Church shouldnít be that tiring.

During college I didnít attend church anymore: I became too focused on the events and not enough on why I was participating/organizing the events. I burned out. Being a young adult is an awkward thing when youíre not dating/married/have a kid: the church adults didnít know me because I spent all my time with the youth, and we didnít have a lot in common. I moved back to Boise and worked at a library for two years. I tried to reconnect with Boise Friends, especially since the new pastors were friends of mine, but the church had just gone through a very traumatic time, and it felt like I was going to my parentsí church – not my own. And it felt kind of selfish: for me, church was about personal salvation, sin management, and being part of a service that I ìlikedî – not really equipping me to be part of the ìreal worldî I found myself in. So I stopped going. Being in Boise was my wilderness time: God pulled me out of the hustle and bustle I expected with church, took me out to a very alone place, and said, ìNow I get you to myself.î Good – hard, but good.

I moved back to Newberg after that: I was dating my soon-to-be husband, and I needed some healing-up time (I know God loves me and is the most gentle person, but sometimeís the intensity of His touch requires some community healing). I started attending Newberg Friends again with my folks, this time as a real adult. We sat in the balcony and snuck out as the sermon came to a conclusion. I had a bit of a hard time with the ìslicknessî of the service: the more raw, introverted worship style of Boise Friends seemed more honest and real to me. Itís just different styles for different folks. A sense of disconnect still remained.

A friend was invited to be part of a small group called Companions In Christ: it was a spiritual formational group with a variety of participants – all ages and walks of life. There I found my adult church home: it was a place I could be me and be accepted and not be thought of as ìso and soís kidî or ìso and soís youth leaderî. I could question, I could explore, I could offer help and pray for others. I made connections with adults who valued me for who I was, adults who I greatly respected as I heard their struggles to walk an intentional life of living and loving Christ.

I feel like Iíve come a long way since then: Iíve gotten married, changed jobs, had a baby, quit my job, bought a house. Iíve become a member of a board on our yearly meeting which has opened connections to encountering folks on a whole new level. I try to write and have found an unexpectedly welcome community online. Iíve recognized my God-placed ache of ìthis isnít *it*î with some of my current church experience, seeking out what Godís called me to.

Why am I a Quaker? For many folks itís the peace and social activism testimony. For some, itís because theyíve been born into it. For others, itís because of their love of open worship. For me: itís home. Iíve met amazing people with an open testimony of Godís love and activity in their lives. Through their times with Christ, theyíve become compassionate to His compassions: peace, social justice, community action, the priesthood of all believers, the ministry of all, praying in all circumstances. They respect me and believe I have something to offer both the congregation and the world at large. They urge me to get out of my comfort zones, to follow Christ through all circumstances. We see the light of Christ in each other and in others and share it all round – we want to worship our God together: and thatís why Iím a Quaker.

Call Out: Thoughts on Quakerging

Recently I had an email query:

I’m
increasingly curious about the connection (if any) between Quakers and
emerging church. I have had some thoughts about this for some time, but I
wonder what your perspective (and religious background and geographical
background) is.

I thought I’d throw it out to everyone so as to get a more well-rounded perspective, because for some strange reason, I have a sense that my experience isn’t exactly like everyone else’s. 🙂 I know folks have got some great thoughts on whether Querging (Quaking and Emerging) really works, and if so, where that’s happening. If I was really good and had time, I’d dig through all of your wonderful blogs and pull out your posts. But realistically, I have to wake up my child in two minutes to drag to Bible study, then to the store, then home, yowl at him and the cat to STAY OUT OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE, throw some food down his throat, chuck him into his crib, and then work on the pile of Christmas Projects I took upon myself because somehow I thought my days were boring and spent eating bon bons and watching soaps.

SO, just to let you, oh query-er know, I am thinking about your question. I’m calling upon the collective knowledge of bloggers and commenters to provide their best stuff (new or old on):

  • Emerging Church
  • Quakerism
  • If/How the emerging conversation fits within other denominations
  • Specifically, if Querging is possible/happening
  • If you don’t blog, you should start. 🙂 But if you don’t want to start, leave a comment. If you do blog, you can either post links to your best posts here, or compile those links into a post and leave that post here.