Plain in the city

A plain Quaker folk singer with a Juris Doctorate in his back pocket, salt in his blood, and a set of currach oars in the closet, Ulleann Pipes under his arm, guitar on his back, Anglo Irish baggage, wandering through New York City ... in constant amaze. Statement of Faithfulness. As a member of the Quaker Bloggers Ad Hoc Committee I affirm that I will be faithful to the Book of Discipline of my Meeting 15th Street Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Society Itself

Quakerism: a view from the back benches
Copyright 1966 The Back Benches

The Society Itself

Theoretical consideration might be given to the complete abandonment of the Society. As a curious relic of the past, it might be assigned to the care and attention of various Quaker curators who are available to serve the memory of Quakers past. A few buildings might be maintained by a Quaker trust fund as examples of historic Quaker architecture. We must ask ourselves: would a direct inside-challenge calling for the dissolution of the Society as no longer needed - or as no longer carrying a particular torch well enough - assist Quakers to think through what it’s all about?

The test of use, a Quaker test of utility, is needed, and the Society itself, in addition to its various forms and expressions, must be viewed from the same perspective.

Some suggest that a “Continuing Committee for Reform in Quakerism” is needed as a gadfly to stimulate discussion stir things up, etc. As a focal point, it might be helpful. But such a committee might too easily become just another institution. Certainly it is true that form should follow function in Quakerism as everywhere else, and we should not hesitate to abandon forms which have no function today. Each Meeting might consider, in a hot discussion session, how this might be done.

(to be continued)


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