Monday, January 3, 2011

Spiritual Nurture Workshops

this is the rough outline for a series of stand alone spiritual nurture workshops I have been putting together with Perry City's Ministry and Council. These are what I am planning on doing with Friends from Perry City and Ithaca Meeting, and any other Friends who want to come to Perry City Meeting House next. We haven't done them yet so I can't say how it will go.

If Friends have suggestions for blog posts that would be good for use to read that would be great. Also if any of the author's of the blog posts I've already chosen don't want us to read their posts for whatever reason please let me know.

Conversations Spirit: Workshops on Spiritual Nurture of the Monthly Meeting

These classes are designed to be a conversation about Quakerism by Quakers. This is about how we make plans for changing ourselves and then do it. It isn’t about learning theology or about different kinds of Quakerism, although we might talk about both of these things along the way. This is about discerning what we are doing well and where we could be doing better as a Monthly meeting, a community, and a fellowship. This is not about bemoaning the state we’re in or the things we’d like to see happen but aren’t, (although we might do a very little bit of that every now and then being human and all). This is where we figure out how to make them happen together.

All of the readings for these classes are part of a conversation. These readings are not answers, or how-to guides; in some cases they aren’t even polished works. Instead they are snapshots of conversations Friends are having all over the world. They are other voices adding to the conversations we will be having in the Firstday-school room at Perry City Meeting House. They are stand-ins for the hundreds of Friends who would be sitting with us around the table if they could. The questions we are asking are question being asked by every branch of modern Quakerism and there is no universally ‘right’ way to solve any of these problems.

The only thing to do is to come together and ask “how is God working among us right now?”

That is what this class strives to be.

Meeting For Worship: Deepening the Space

A problem faced by many Monthly Meetings it the quality of worship. Many liberal unprogramed Monthly Meetings report that their Meetings for Worship are quiet, uncomfortable or stagnant.

What makes a vital Meeting for Worship?

How do we center a Meeting?

How do we nurture a space where Spirit led vocal ministry can occur?


Fellowship Among Friends: How do We Pray Alone, How Do We Pray Together?

A Meeting should be a Spiritual fellowship of Fiends. Yet a common problem faced by most Meetings is that a member could attend for years without knowing the spiritual stories and experiences of the Friend sitting next to them.

How do we facilitate nurturing conversations about our spiritual lives?

How do we deepen our spiritual lives together?

How do we talk about our differences in a loving way?


Fellowship Among Friends: A Community More then One Hour A Week

Another common obstacle faced by unprogramed Meetings when it comes to fellowship is that many Friends only gather and interact with each other once at week at Meeting and then often in silence.

How do we get to know all the Friends in our Meeting?

How do we nurture a community of Friends that interacts more then once a week?

How do we communicate to other not so active Friends the necessity of them participating fully in the life of the Meeting?


Meeting For Worship With A Concern For Business: Deepening the Space

The Quaker process of doing business can be both a joy and a gift, yet too often in Monthly Meetings is characterized as being slow, boring and a space that fosters conflict.

How can we nurture a space where decisions are made in a spirit led way?

How can we nurture a space that feels nurturing to Friends?

How can we foster a space where business in done on a way that makes it clear that Friends trust, hear, and respect other Fiends?


Greeting The Stranger: Newcomers and Hospitality

As unprogramed Meetings age and shrink a question they face with more and more urgency is how to get, welcome, and keep new members.

How do we make our Meeting welcoming to all kinds of Friends?

How do we reach out to the wider world?

How do we reach out to spiritual seekers in a way that is both nurturing and truthful?


The Many Parts of the Church: Naming of Gifts and the Work of Friends

Naming of gifts has been used practically by Friends to better understand who has the skills to do what within a community. Yet many Monthly Meetings fear that people will be hurt if everyone is not treated exactly the same.

How do we acknowledge that every Friend is given unique gifts without privileging one gift over another?

How can we raise up and name the gifts within our Meeting?

Howe can we discern and name what our community is called to do?


How High Is Our Hedge? : Our Quaker Community and Our Secular Communities

Quakerism is a faith that calls us to live in a different way then our other secular communities. Yet we are still called to live and work within the world.

How do we live in the secular world as Friends and support each other in doing so?

How do we teach the secular world about what we as Friends hold dear and the changes we need to make?

How do we live in fellowship as Friends in our day-to-day lives not just in the Meetinghouse?


That Still Quiet Voice: Nurturing Vocal Ministry

Spirit led vocal ministry and the heart and soul of our religious community. It is the way we understand the continually unfolding will of the Divine. It is one of the most important reasons we come together and worship on Firstdays. Yet many unprogramed Monthly Meetings are reporting becoming more and more quiet, or struggling with inappropriate messages.

How do we remove blocks to vocal ministry in our Meeting?

How do we teach Friends about how to discern an appropriate message?

How do we nurture those with gifts of vocal ministry?


Some Quakers Have Pastors: Understanding and Nurturing Community Between Monthly Meetings and Wider Quaker Community

The Quaker community on a global scale is wide and varied. There are many, many ways for Friends to worship in the Spirit. Friends believe many, many different things. Yet we are all called to do the same work, and exist in the same world, sometimes in the same Yearly Meeting. Many liberal unprogramed Meetings report that their Friends have very little contact with Friends from other kinds of meeting or Friends on a Yearly Meeting level. This often fosters, disunity, distrust, and misunderstanding.

How can we nurture fellowship with the other Meeting around us?

How can we nurture fellowship with our Yearly Meeting?

How can we nurture fellowship with other branches of Quakerism?


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some Thoughts on Lesson Planning for Quakerism 101

Blessing all,

Last fall I started teaching adult religious education at Perry City Monthly Meeting and opened it up to Ithaca Monthly Meeting as well.

A need that had been voiced by Perry City for a Introduction to Quakerism class that would be good for newcomers but would also hold the attention of longtime Friends. Faced with not an easy task I hit the internet and researched FGC's introduction to Quakerism lesson plans as well as others.

The issue I kept running across was the the lesson plans either looked a Quakerism historically or topically: a week or month spent of on each of the Testimonies and so on. Not that I think either way is bad. I am a historian by trade after all, but Friends have a tendency to portray Quakerism as something that happened "back then." We spend a lot of time glorying in the old days of the underground railroad. When it comes right down to it I'm not convinced this is the most important part of Quakerism we can be imparting to new folks. I'm not sold on the Testimonies as being the first things we want to teach new attenders either. After all Testimonies are outward signs of an inward transformation so that transformation should be where we start. So I determined early on that the over arching theme for the class was going to be "what do Quaker's believe and why?"

Considering the theme what I ended up doing was very simple. We read Silence and Witness by Michael Birkel, and Essays on a Quaker Vision of Gospel Order by Lloyd Lee Wilson together. We met for an hour every Firstday morning and read one chapter every week. We started with Michael's book and then after a short break went on to Lloyd Lee's. I felt that Michael's book gave a nice solid foundation on the nuts and bolts of Quakerism while Lloyd Lee offered a more in-depth look at some of the concepts that have been most important to Quaker thought.

Most classes were simply group discussion about the reading which turned out to be very rich for all of us. Friends at Perry City were particularly inspired and challenged by Lloyd Lee's chapter on Meetings for worship with a concern for business. The only times I really had to facilitate and move the class along was during our reading of Essays on a Quaker Vision of Gospel Order where Friends often got upset, bogged down, and confused by the Christian language. However that language is the same I use so the conversation's we had gave us an opportunity to build understanding and community. On average that class had about eight Friends in attendance although who those eight Friends were varied from week to week.

Writing Quaker Lesson Plans

With Blessings,

I have been largely absent from this blog as I struggle to understand what God wants from me in regards to the Young Friends In Residence Program. Over the last year and a half of being part of the program I have encountered many struggles and blessings.

One of the blessings as been the several religious education classes I have taught. The most recent of these classes has been on Quakerism and Mysticism. Because lesson plans about Quaker issues or theology are hard to come by and because I have been mostly writing my own I thought I would share the schedule and reading assignments and whatnot for this most resent class.

Friends from Perry City Monthly Meeting and Ithaca Monthly Meeting in New York Yearly Meeting just finished taking this class. Everything went fine and we had many wonderful and Spirit led conversations. We met for an hour on Sunday mornings and discussed the week's reading. Sometimes we read the readings out loud together. I tried to keep the conversations from becoming too intellectual because the class has a tendency to intellectualize everything and miss the spiritual message being given.

The required reading for this class was Testament of Devotion by Thomas Kelly and Love Poems From God edited by Daniel Ladinsky

And the Greatest of These is Love:

Thomas Kelly and understanding a mystical experience of God

(Sundays At Perry City Meeting House)

As you read through the passages for each week consider these question:

What does this tell me about the nature of God?

What does this tell me about our relationship with God?

How does these images of God relate to Quakerism as I understand it?

How does it relate to my own understand of /relationship with God?

Week 1:

Getting to know each other.

What is Mysticism?

Quakerism: a pre-enlightenment faith

Modern mysticism: irrational love in a rational world

Week 2:

A Testament of Devotion (TD) pg 3-11

Love Poems From God (LP) pg 31-34, pg 60-63

Drawn Out of the Text:

“In this humanistic age we suppose man is the initiator and God is the responder. But the Living Christ within us is the initiator and we are the responders.” Thomas R. Kelly

“I like when the music happens like this: something in His eye grabs hold of tambourine in me,” Rumi

Week 3:

TD: pg 12-22

LP: pg 180-186

Drawn Out of the Text:

“Here the autonomy of the inner life becomes complete and we are joyfully prayed through by a Seeking Life that flows through us into the world of men” Thomas Kelly

“Divine light entered my heart from His love that did never truly wane.” St. Catherine of Siena

Week 4:

TD: pg 25-34

LP: pg 240-244

Drawn Out of the Text:

“There is a degree of holy and complete obedience and of joyful self-renunciation and of sensitive listening that is breathtaking.” Thomas Kelly

“You should act more responsibly, God, with all that gorgeousness you posses.” Mira

Week 5:

TD: pg 35-47

LP: pg 304-307, 109-113

Drawn Out of the Text:

“The heart is stretched through suffering and enlarged.” Thomas Kelly

“A thorn as entered your foot. That is why you weep at times at night.” St. Catherine of Siena

Week 6:

The Not Real Mid-Term:

Mysticism is an extremely emotional and sometimes abstract relationship between a person or community and God. Understanding or experiencing a mystical relationship with God is completely different from trying to express that relationship to others.

This week try expressing your experiences or understanding of mysticism. You can:

Write a journal entry of your day-to-day relationship with God

Write a mystical poem(s)

Express that experience through art


Or dance

What ever you are led to do!

Week 7:

TD: pg 51-55

LP: pg 68-72, 96-97

Drawn Out of the Text:

“In The Fellowship cultural and educational and national and racial differences are leveled” Thomas Kelly

“A good gauge of spiritual health is to write down three things you most want. If they in any way differ, you are in trouble.” Rumi

Week 8:

TD: pg 56-61

LP: pg 11-12, 40-43

Drawn Out of the Text:

“Can we make all our relations to our fellows relations which pass through Him?” Thomas Kelly

“and we gazed into every heart on this earth and I noticed lingered a bit longer before any face that was weeping.” St. Francis of Assisi

Week 9:

TD: pg 65-75

LP: pg, 302-307

Drawn Out of the Text:

“Between the relinquished past and the untrodden future stands this holy Now, whose bulk has swelled to cosmic size for within the Now is the dwelling place of God Himself.” Thomas Kelly

“I said to God, “what are you?” and He replied “I am what is loved”.” St. John of the Cross

Week 10:

TD: pg 76-85

LP: 114-120

Drawn Out of the Text:

“There is more to the experience of God than that of being plucked out of the world. The fuller experience, I am sure, is of a Love which send us out into the world.” Thomas Kelly

“It is a lie-any talk of God that does not comfort you.” Meister Eckhart

Week 11:

TD: pg 89-95

LP: pg 271 – 276

Drawn Out of the Text:

“But too many of us have heeded the Voice only at times. Only at times he we submitted to His holy guidance.” Thomas Kelly

“No one can near God unless He as prepared a bed for you.” St. Teresa of Avila

Week 12:

TD: pg 96-100

LP: pg 353, 249, 39, 77, 195-197

Drawn Out of the Text:

“It is not we alone who are at work in the world, frantically finishing a work to offered to God.” Thomas Kelly

“How does God keep from fainting looking at Himself all day?” Rumi

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Strength to Go Into the Wilderness

“I have been asked many times
to take leaps I did not feel ready to do.
But when I’ve done that I’ve been held
And I have been an agent for God
In ways I never could have been
If I didn’t trust and take that leap.”
- Jean-Marie P. Barch 1998.

Who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to God “My refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust.” For God will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilences; God will cover you with pinions and under God’s wings you will find refuge. – Psalm 91:1-4.

About two years ago I attended FGC’s FLGBTQCC Mid-Winter Gathering. While there we were asked to consider several queries every day in our small group worship sharing. One of these queries was something along the lines of, “How do we tell the difference between acts of love and acts of fear?” In my worship sharing I felt moved to speak about this query and then again during worship. As the Spirit usually does I started out focusing on the query and then was led to speak to deeper questions. When considering the difference between acts of love and acts of fear I am led to believe that Friends generally have a hard time distinguishing between the two. Maybe not on a personal level, but as a group we tend to see praise as coming from a place of love and criticize more need for change as coming from a place of fear. In my own experience among Friends I have not found this to be the case. Instead, I have often found that we want to hear praise and only praise about our meetings and the Religious Society of Friends because we are afraid of what might happen if we begin to take criticism seriously and move to change the way things are. Often I have found praise alone comes from a place of fear of change, a fear that we will make things worse or break things beyond repair. Whereas often I have found those who offer criticism and ask for change are doing so out of love, love for their faith and a need that that faith should live up to what they know it is capable of being.

I have been moved to think that there is another image and another question behind this concept of acts of love and acts of fear. I am then called to the image of the wilderness as expressed many times in the Bible and the concept of Blessed Community. I believe that if we are truly a Blessed Community under God, guided by the Spirit, then we should have enough trust and love for each other that will allow us to know what cannot break what was not meant to be broken. I believe that when we act with love and faith in God and in each other we can never make things worse, only better. If some things break, or change, we must have faith that this is what God has meant to happen and all things will be made right and whole in the end. We as a community must not be afraid to go out into the wilderness. We must trust in one another, in ourselves that we might wander, and suffer, and it might be hard and our faith might be tested but in the end we will come out a community, whole and faithful. This ability to go out into the wilderness is not just an act of faith in one another but an act of faith in God. We must believe that God loves us enough that we can go into the dark, into the wilderness, to do things that we are afraid of doing, and God will bring us home. I believe that we are never truly lost, and that God will always bring us home, but we as a religious community must also believe this.

I gave this message in Meeting for Worship on Sunday. After Meeting I attended a Bible study session. The Friend who was leading the session told us the story of how she came to choose the passage we were going to read. She said she had written everything out after being told she was going to lead Bible study at the conference, but then one Firstday she had been sitting in Meeting and had gotten a leading for us to read Genesis 16 in Bible study. She said she had no idea why the Spirit was leading her to this passage but she trusted in the Spirit and changed her plans for the Bible study. Genesis 16 is the story of Hagar, who is a slave to Sarai, and conceives a child by Abram. She then looks with contempt on her mistress who cannot conceive, so Sarai deals harshly with her and Hagar runs away into the wilderness. There she sees an Angel of the Lord who tells her she will have a son and what to name him. Hagar then realizes she is talking to the Lord and names him El-roi or literally “God who sees.” She is the only Old Testament figure that I know of to directly name God.

Today as a Young Friend in Residence intern I think a lot about having faith. Hagar had faith, when she had no reason to, she trusted God when she was in the worst situation a person could be in and God found her important enough to come down and talk to face to face. I think about having the faith to make changes to go out into the wilderness even when it feels like we don’t know where God is leading us. I think about the faith it takes to come home again. To say “yes this is what God wants for us.” If YFIR has taught me nothing it is as friends it isn’t good enough to have faith in just yourself and your relationship with God. You need to have faith in each other and their relationship with God even if it looks nothing like your own. You have to say, “trust that you are Spirit led too, even if you use completely different language from me.” YFIR has taught me to say, “lets take a change and build something that’s never been there before.” Its also taught me to step back and acknowledge that sometimes you can’t invent the wheel twice and there are Friends out there who have done some of this work before.

Friends we need to have faith: faith in God, faith in ourselves, faith in each other. The faith to go our into the wilderness and meet God face to face and the faith to come home

Better Is One Day

Over the years my daily spiritual practice has been a combination of silent prayer and reading. Sometimes the amount I committed to daily would be different, and over time the reads would change. This combination though has always stayed the same.

This year however seems to have heralded a great deal of change of in my life. Different kind of job, different kind of social community, different part of the country. God has also called me to do things I have never done before and in some cases don’t consider myself particularly skilled at. My daily spiritual practice has also changed. Over the last couple months I have been listening to Christian rock as a spiritual practice. I listen to songs for about a hour or so and see where they lead me spiritually.

I have found it surpriseling fruitful. I have always had a strong connection with music and although I do not sing or play any kind of instrument, I find worship through music extremely moving. Often the Christian rock songs that I listen to are joyful, ecstatic expressions of praise. They help remind me that God is good, even when I feel frustrated and burned out. They are fun to listen to and often move me to a deeper understanding of how God is moving in my life. Some of the songs lyrics I disagree with on a theological level but they express such a strong belief in a Church that is bigger then our individual congregation and denomination it reminds me that the Kingdom is not made simply of theological like-minded individuals.

Most of all I think I am learning how diverse the community of young rock musicians who praise God through their music really is. Increasingly I am believing that it isn’t simply that we are all heading in the same direction but that we are in fact all on the same road heading in the same direction.

Christian Rock Songs I Particularly Like:
Undefeated by Audio Adrenaline
Only Grace by Matthew West
If We Are The Body by Casting Crowns
The Center by Matthew West
Better Is One Day by Kutless
We Could Be Brilliant by All Star United
Take You Back by Jeremy Camp
Stand Up by Fireflight
Next Thing You Know by Matthew West
Pray for Me by Plumb
The End by Matthew West
Everything Glorious by David Crowder Band
Praise You In the Storm by Casting Crowns
Kingdom Comes by Sara Groves
Point of Difference by Hillsong United
You Never Let Go by Matt Redman
Beautiful Stranger by Rebecca St. James

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bring On the Wonder:

I can’t see the stars anymore living here/let’s go to the hills where the outlines are clear/. . .bring on the wonder, we got it all wrong/we pushed you down in our souls for far too long -Susan Enan

The question of FUM’s hiring policy is something that has weighed on my heart for years. Yesterday I had a chance to read a Minute regarding one monthly Meetings reaction to that hiring policy. I found it deeply troubling.

For so many years I have watched Friends struggle with this policy. I have watched it tare apart more liberal duel-affiliated Yearly Meetings. I have watched it pit Friends against each other: programmed Friends verse, unprogramed Friends, more liberal Friends against more theologically conservative Friends, Friends in the Spirit of Christ against non-Christian Friends, queer Friends against straight Friends. Every time this happens it breaks my heart. It has also put me in a very painful position because I am a more theologically conservative Friend in the Spirit of Christ. It hurts because although I was raised liberal unprogramed I have happily attended programmed and semi-programmed Meetings and found great spiritual power there, also because I am queer. So often when this topic is brought up it is like I am being forced to choose. I understand and sympathize with the anger of liberal Friends but when they throw accusations or wonder how anyone would want to associate with ‘them’ meaning FUM or more conservative Friends it hurts me deeply.

For these reasons I have never advocated setting ourselves, as more liberal Friends, apart from FUM, however I have always advocated taking the hiring policy very seriously and not just sweeping it under the rug. As I have prayed, written, spoken and read about this topic, I have found that I have become more and more uncomfortable with Minutes that come out against the hiring policy. I have come to believe that no matter how carefully worded or how long they have been prayed about they always come out of a place of anger, a place where ‘we’ set ourselves apart from ‘them.’ However I have been unclear in my own heart about what would be a better option. After reading this latest Minute I prayed again on this subject, and finally received a small amount clarity.

So lets not Minute our rejection of and opposition to the FUM hiring policy. Lets instead Minute our love and acceptance of the GLBTQ community. Let us Minute our willingness to help queer couples form marriage bonds. Let’s start discussing - seriously discussing – sexual morality and ethics, and what makes a healthy, loving, respectful relationship according to the values of Friends.

Lets stop asking what is the social justice way to approach this and start asking what is the Godly way to approach this. Let us build something new, instead of simply pushing away what we don’t like.

Let’s stop saying “I reject what you believe and think that it is wrong” and instead say, “this is what I believe and this is why I believe it.”

It’s going to be hard, but I think we all will be better for it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Role of Reclaiming in the Coming of the Blessed Community and Why Quakers Should Do It: Some Thoughts.

As I have been reading into New Monasticism I have been particularly struck by the idea of reclaiming. To reclaim something means that it belonged to someone else who either marked it as unwanted or gave it away. My first exposure to reclaiming was probably the fact that I grew up wearing almost exclusively hand-me-down clothes. While other people, especially young people, would never think of wearing something that wasn’t new I have never thought twice about wearing second-hand
clothes. Even when I have been able to afford new clothes I prefer to wear second hand.

Another experience I have had with reclaiming is with the reclaiming of words, particularly with the word “queer”. Even a generation a good the word queer was a hurtful, hateful word, much as ‘faggot’ still is. Slowly though ‘queer’ has come to be a positive word both politically and academically. While studying in college I studied a lot of queer theory, academic theory that is based on the idea of finding new ways of seeing things, seeing patterns and understanding certain social realities in ways we have not thought of before. Queer theory is about reclaiming, creating, and opening up new space. The word queer is much the same way. I myself feel most comfortable with affixing myself with the label ‘queer’ more then other labels because it is reclaimed to mean something that creates new space and new understanding.

I have never thought about reclaiming space though, or goods per say. However New Monasticism advocates doing just that, and I like that idea. To me reclaiming space, and resources, and ways of living we have been taught to think of as useless or not as good is in line with the teachings of Christ more so then many other forms of political and social activism. Because when we reclaim we do not merely point out where someone is wrong but create an alternative way of seeing, understanding, and acting in the world. We also build communities that way, rather then blindly striking out against the Powers That Be out of anger and hate. It's a harder road but one I do believe Christ taught us to follow. I think Christ taught us to be careful of ways of resisting power structures that are hurtful and hateful and do not build communities. I like the idea of not taking ourselves out of the world and creating our own Utopia off in the forest somewhere, but instead being right there. I like the idea of being right in the middle of things, yet also living a life in God’s image, a life that creates a space for something new. The first mark out of the 12 Marks of New Monasticism talk about reclaiming places of Empire. For me Empire in this context is not referring to a political or social historical reality per-say. Instead it means our fall from Gospel Order, all the things, and systems and oppression in the world that keep us blinded to the Blessed Community. Reclaiming places and in general resources means taking something that the Empire has decided is bad, or just not worth the time and making it into part of the Blessed Community. That can be reusing abandoned houses or building, second hand clothes or furniture, spaces that are considered contaminated, and taking in people who have been cast out. I like reclaiming because it is refusing to play by the rules of Empire. My mother will tell you that I dislike following rules I see as pointless or useless. It’s true I don’t, if a rule is good and helpful and there for a reason I’m totally about following it to the letter, if it’s useless and hurtful though I say why bother? So we rock the boat, we are Quakers and more importantly Christians that’s what we do. I think reclaiming is particularly important for Quakers, especially Liberal Friends because as Liberal Friends we have grown very used to throwing things away. We have gotten rid of beliefs, Church structures, theology and traditions. Yet as Christians and as Friends what we should be doing is reclaiming. Not just in our own religious community, but also out in the world. Reclaiming is a part of God’s politics; it’s a form of protest that creates, and builds something new. We talk a lot in the Liberal Quaker community about acting out of love, and then rely, rant and petition against people like conservatives, Fundamentalist Christians and Republicans. A lot of times I agree, some of what these people do is very wrong and goes against all of the things I believe in as well as how I understand the Church. On the other hand we don’t really try to reclaim anything, and that kind of protest doesn’t build, it doesn’t form communities, it doesn’t make anything new. Brian McLaren calls himself Fundamentalist in A Generous Orthodox, in the Quaker community I am considered very conservative and I would even call myself evangelical. Neither Brian nor I mean these terms in the way they are usually used, but then that’s the point of reclaiming.

I love the idea of reclaiming. I love the idea of taking words, rituals, spaces, things and saying to Empire ‘we aren’t going to play by your rules. You’ve meant these things to be useless, and hurtful, but you don’t have that kind of power over us. We are going to use these things and build a new community with them.’ I think that is what God’s politics is all about, and therefore that is what Quaker politics should be about as well.