Friends General Conference

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Intro to Quakerism Mini Course Starts Thursday January 23 2020

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Have you ever wondered: What sort of a religion is this in which I find myself involved? What is its history? What does it stand for? How is it practiced and what are its principal theological tenets? Come find out! All interested adults and teens are invited to attend Durham Meeting’s annual “Quakerism 101” mini course beginning on Thursday evening, January 23rd. Bob Passmore and John Hunter will be your guides. This 4-session mini course is aimed at introducing basic Quaker history, testimonies, and practices both to those new to Quakerism, and for more experienced Friends who may want a refresher. We will meet from 7:00 until 9:15 for four consecutive Thursday evenings at the historic meetinghouse. Child care will be provided if needed.

The first topic is: “The Quaker Explosion: The experience of early Friends and the Light Within.” This session will deal with the origins of Quakerism in its historical context, its underlying theology, and the principal leaders of the founding generation.

The second week’s topic is: “Quaker History - Proud and Painful.” It will be a dash through (principally American) Quaker history touching on the Quietist period, the developing theological and social differences among Friends leading to the Great Separation (and subsequent splits), and the various personalities involved – all of which lead up to discovering why and where Durham Meeting sits on the Quaker family tree.

The third session is: “Quaker Practice – How and Why.” We will cover the basis for our worship and ministry and relate these to how we accomplish our business. We will take a look at other common Quaker practices and take a short look at where some Quaker jargon comes from after which we will look at traditional Quaker organizational structure including Durham Meeting’s organization and committee structure. Finally, we will look at how membership in the Durham Meeting is accomplished and what it means to various Friends.

The fourth session is titled: “Living our Light: Quaker Witness - A Powerful Legacy, A Challenging Present.” We will review the underlying theology and the spiritual growth assumptions behind the Quaker tradition of service and bearing witness in the world as well as the corporate discernment process involved. We will examine the “traditional” Quaker Testimonies. We will trace some of the common threads of Quaker witness as we look at some well known Friends who took public stands and we will end with a discussion of how modern Friends have sought to carry forward this part of the Quaker legacy. Interested Friends are invited to read some material in advance which may be downloaded from the Meeting’s website at: