In response to my questions back in August, a dear friend of mine wrote me an email sharing that she was about to speak to her yearly meeting about what it meant for her to be Quaker today. She referenced a part of New England Yearly Meeting’s new Faith and Practice (it’s in the process of being revised): http://www.neym.org/fandp/staticpages/index.php?page=A_Peculiar_People
The piece is beautiful and describes Quakerism as an intimate three part dance:
Centered through stillness,
In Spirit gathered
Do we dare reflect the Light?
Friends: A people called to listen, gathered to seek, sent forth to serve.
[Friends World Committee for Consultation Triennial theme, 2000]
Read the piece, it’s interesting and it has in it all the part of my Quaker speech that I’ve developed to talk about Quakerism to people of other faiths (these six-below, I use to talk about Quakerism to people who are knowledgeable of theology and their own faith). Well, the NEYM article has much more than the parts I tend to focus on and is more beautiful and poetic than my elevator speech… but I tend to talk about the following:
- That which is of God in every person
- Spiritual, not physical sacraments
- Realized eschatology
- Continuing Revelation
- Kingdom of Heaven here on earth
- Let your life speak
When you talk about Quakerism, what is your elevator speech? What do you choose to talk about in a 5 minute version? In a 30 minute version? Can Quakerism be distilled to a simple sentence?