17 June 2010

A religious SOCIETY of friends

Friends, my cause in writing today is brief.  It is to ask you to respond to a few queries that have come to mind in the past few days as I read blogs by others.  Some know that I am doing research on Quakers and community and reading journals of early Friends and the communities they established as they pushed out into the wilderness that was early America, including the area I now call my home in the Shenandoah Valley.  This is not easy going, because early Friends did not have to think about living in community, it was simply who and what they were and how they functioned.  So, keeping that in mind, please consider responding to a few simple queries:

What was the meaning of forming the "Religious Society" of Friends?

What is the meaning of belonging to a Religious Society of Friends for us today?

Is there a difference between living in community and being a part of a religious society of Friends?

Is there a difference between being a Quaker and being a part of the Religious Society of Friends, for you personally?

What is the significance of community to you in your experience of being a Friend?  How much does it shape your experience of being a Friend?

Please respond to these queries in light of being a convinced or birthright Friend, or an attender or seeker, if you feel so moved, and from the perspective of the "branch" of Friends you are a part of if that feels part of your experience as well.
You may respond to me here on my blog, or privately at linda.j.wilk@gmail.com, whichever feels more right to you.

You will be helping me to address my own inner questions, and you will be helping me to direct the queries I am asking myself as I seek both back and history and forward in our future direction for who we are as a faith community.

Thank you for your assistance, Friends.