Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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

Music

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



11 comments:

Rachel K said...

That's LESSON plans.

Anna said...

Thank you Rachel for pointing out the spelling error. I have several disabilities that make it hard for me to tell the difference between words that sound very similar to me.

hopefully you also enjoyed the post as well.

Anonymous said...

Am just getting caught up on some of the Quaker blogs I let go of reading during the Christmas break. This is a wonderful post, and I am excited to see the pairing between Rumi and Thomas Kelly. I will be sharing this with several people in my own meeting. Blessings to you on the journey!

--Mia

Anna said...

Thank you Mai. Feel free to use this with your Meeting or change it anyway you want.

Peter said...

A Friend shared your blog with me and I wanted to respond to your seeking spirit. "A Testament of Devotion" brought me to Quakerism in 1966 at the age of 22. Two years ago I developed a program based on Kelly's message and how it affected my life, which I share with meetings in NYYM and PYM as a traveling Friend. Thank you for your inspiration and I encourage you to write about your journey with Thomas Kelly!

Peter

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