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.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Eldership rather than Leadership

In a Quaker Meeting there is no place for leadership. Leadership owns the outcome. Eldership is not self interested, is not motivated by ego, is not concerned with the outcome, the outcome is in God's hands. An elder is only interested in the process, which is meant to insure God's hand in the outcome. Leadership seeks to limit the conversation, seeks to insure the "right" outcome. Leadership is the church Fox and the seekers left.
Leadership is always nervous about new and uncontrolled media. The ministers and priests did not want the people to read in Fox's day, as it gave them the ability to interpret the Bible for themselves. In the same way, there is a great fear of Quaker discussion on the Internet today. Those who seek to lead are afraid that uncontrolled speech erodes the power which should not exist in a Quaker Meeting in the first place. The Internet is no more dangerous than the old pamphlets like "View from the Back Benches..." The only ones afraid of that pamphlet were those who did not want Quakers to examine their community too deeply.

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