World Quaker Day 2018 by Colin Saxton

Thank you for inviting me.  You are all part of my home/family/mother — responsible for who I am. Hear that as “thanks” rather than “blame.” Lots of Quakers round the world…may wish you would have done a better job…but I am a far better person than would have been without you.

As noted, today is World Quaker Day—and I thought I would focus on “What in the World are Friends Doing?” Depending on how one asks the question— it can evoke different responses. May get a little of both from me today, especially now that I am no longer working for a Quaker organization—I’ve have a new found freedom to be critical! 🙂

In all honesty, a much easier question to focus on would be “What aren’t we doing?”…because we do a lot for being such a small group: SLIDE 2  (Slides to be added ASAP)

*Education, outreach, communion, service, political lobbying, etc

*Local church like SF—one of 1000s around world contextualizing faith—                              proclaim/demonstrate Good News of Living Christ who speaks to our condition

*Important work—life changing…

*Laboratory where Christ is known, love one another, nurtured in ministry

*My own experience…prepared to help someone like me?

*Come back to this one in a few minutes

Lots of other smaller projects making a huge difference in their context…too many to tell about.  I will highlight a few…ones I know well.

SLIDES

  • In the 30 days of violence following the general election in 2007 more than 1,220 people were killed, 3,500 injured and 350,000 displaced, as well as hundreds of rapes and the destruction of over 100,000 properties.

 

 

Church/meeting

  • Great laboratory…place we contextualize gospel
  • Most important work happens here—front-line of work…if not authentic here…rest won’t matter
  • We don’t proseletyze…really? Early Quakers did
    • Valiant 70…great spread
    • Growth in Africa/S. America…”successful mission movement”…holistic
    • Why? SIZE?…believed had a transforming message…an exciting life/work wanted others to know, experience for selves, join into
    • Most important…part of what God doing through the Living Christ—reconciling all of creation to God’s self—reformation/restoration of the Cosmos…something no political party can achieve
  • Not “proselutos”…change religious affiliation
    • No—message of Jesus—Metanoia—life overhaul—turn from sin/self to God and goodness
  • Quakers—this convincement—not believe in testimonies/doctrine/forms…
    • LIFE & POWER!
    • Lamb’s War—overcome self, community, even into society
    • Why dared to call others…God and Gospel Order

Fear for us…growing divisions, myopia

  • Young people—meeting “has no practical impact on our lives…”
  • Lose possibility to join in renewal and participate in shape and direction
  • Fear we lose this—series of religious events, philosophy…Life and a Power…

I have emphasized Global Connection—I think it is key for us…

  • In the US we are so individualistic—“spend so much time talking about ME, so little time about we”
  • What is our identity? What are we inviting people into? Laugh about…but may be our undoing
  • Celebrate diversity…but we need to also find that unity that transcends (not eradicates) our diversity
  • I believe experience of living Christ
  • George Fox quote in turbulent time—“Mind that which is eternal which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord and lets you see that you are written in one another’s hearts… “

This message was delivered by Colin Saxton at Spokane Friends Church on October 7, 2018.

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