Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Blogging

I met for dinner with a group of Quaker bloggers. If I were not typing this on my phone instead of a proper computer, I would provide links. During the meal I suggested to Liz Op that we should try holding a meeting for worship with attention to blogging. We can gather with laptops & wifi. We settle into
silence and worship. Out of that silence we blog the messages that emerge (if any).

The Friends around the the table thought I was joking. Me joke? Maybe it is a silly idea, but I am all about creative ways of worship. Even so, I do like the traditional practice of an hour of silence with people rising to give messages.

One thing that makes Quakers (at least in the traditonal sense) so radical has been that we don't have clergy. Anyone can minister in a way that doesn't happen in most other Christian traditions. Even progressive LGBT-affirming churches only allow a select group of people to give a message, other than a joy or concern during a time set aside for that kind of thing. To give a serious, important message, you need to be vetted and approved.

George Fox, one of the early architects of early Quakerism, got into loads of trouble for calling the clergy out and telling folks there was another way. I agree with Fox. I know some great ministers, but I think one of the biggest problems with the church structure comes from having clergy instead of creating a structure in which each person, if she or he chooses, can grow up into a mature place of giving ministry.


At 9:01 AM , Blogger Liz in the Mist said...

I personally like the the idea, and would be in for it :)

Hope you continue to have a great FGC--really bummed I couldn't make it this year!

At 11:13 AM , Blogger Christine Bakke said...

I could use a meeting for worship with attention to blogging, if only to get me to actually blog!

I do like the Quaker thing of not having a minister, as well as how the meetings are laid out (having been to a whole two of them). I still don't understand why folks who have left churches that didn't work for so many reasons just make another church that looks pretty much just like all other churches. Time to try something new, folks.

But don't get me started. :) Perhaps I could blog about that!

At 2:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Christine... you would think it made sense wouldn't you? It took me a while to find a church that was different enough from the previous one, so I didn't get too many triggers back to the bad memories. It's just hard to unravel some of the history I guess.

Ps.... go and blog... you know you want to!

At 8:53 AM , Blogger paul said...

Why not?

Blogging is just another medium for communication, another way of giving what you get or giving what you got. The apostle Paul was just a pre-tech blogger.

On your second point, i.e., "...creating a structure..." of freedom, me thinks. Hierarchy is, and has pretty much always been, about control. Not that all ministers are controllers, but the church "structure" practically dictates silence of the lambs.

Most Christians use the bible in some way or other to inform their faith. My own read is that there is something for everyone in the bible. Want to justify genocide? It's in there. Into dieting? It's in there too. There is a verse in the bible that says "...the word of God... is a discerner of the thoughts and intents...." What that says to me is, what people choose to follow from the bible reveals who they are, not the other way around.

There are certainly passages in the bible that speak to hierarchy, so those who wish can make a scriptural argument for such a structure. On the other hand, there are scriptures that indicate that "all" (this is presumably addressed to believers) who "speak" should speak as "the oracles of God." If a person believes that all Christians have the "Holy Spirit," and it is the "Spirit who teaches [us] all things that pertain unto godliness...," how can such a person believe that only a few are allowed to instruct the majority about God? I spy unbelief. The church is often a stage play, the bible a script subject to the interpretation of the actors. Key word here "actors." If a leader truly believes God is in you, would there be an attitude of authority or deference. sorry, you hit my button.

cute pic christine, I see mischief in your eyes and smile

At 8:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is an online meeting for worship at quakerworship.org and numerous other promising-looking links at http://www.google.com/search?q=online+meeting+for+worship&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS276US276

At 9:44 AM , Blogger Anna said...

I also really like this idea. I pray before, after and during the time I write most of my blog posts anyway. If I am ever at a gathering of Friends with more than one blogger I will seriously suggest it.

Peace and Joy,


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