Monday, July 17, 2006

"Convergent Friends" - Timothy's Post

There is some discussion all over the place of a post on One Quaker Take. I haven't seen, though, any attempt to respond to a question which I myself have been trying to figure out how to ask, so I'll just quote him.

I think it would be helpful if those who are working with this phrase would flesh it out in terms other than what sound to some of us like very tired Christian language. It would be helpful, to me, to hear how their vision, their leadings, comport with the writings of Fox, Penington and such--and with their Quaker theology of Revelation.


Martin Kelley said...

Hi Pam,
Part of my understanding of convergence is that it involves looking at the roots of our tradition and understanding how that relates to our faith understanding now. Have you opened up Fox, Penington, etc., lately?, it's all very Christian language.

I don't think one needs to necessarily identify as Christian to be convergent but one needs to be comfortable with the language.

I think all of us bring a common sense that there's something in the old Quaker attic that's worth pulling out again. For Convergent Liberal Friends, that something might be a renewed familiarity with our Christian roots, while Convergent Evangelical Friends will find some other Quaker thread to lift up (maybe the Inner Light, maybe a renewed appreciation for unprogrammed worship).

Not everyone needs to be convergent. A healthy religious body will have a certain measure of diversity. Some of us are looking into the "Quaker attic" and saying "look, there's something there" while others are looking at modern spiritual trends and saying "look there's something here too."

Diversity is okay. We don't need to force some false sense of unity.

earthfreak said...


Thanks for your comment, but what I'm wondering isn't so much (anymore/right now) whether I'm allowed to not be convergent, but what's so exciting about it for those of you who are. (or even if you're not - what's exciting to you spiritually right now?)

Speaking in terms of looking in the attic, I would love it if people would come back and say "there's this old trunk up there and its got brass hinges and is filled with the most beautiful, lush velvet clothing, and beautiful jewelry, and...." - maybe even bring it down and show me, right now I feel like all I hear is "it's so cool, it's so cool!" - and I havepeeked in the attic, and not found much there, so just telling me to look isn't helpful.

Certainly you dont' have an obligation to share what you're so excited about (rather than that you're excited, and especially, that it's so much better than the rest of the house, where I live) but that's what I'm asking for.

Does that make any sense to you?