March 22, 2005

Ageism and youth ministry

Friends, I would encourage you to put aside the time to visit the original post and its many responses about youth ministry among Friends over at Quaker Ranter.

I would also make this suggestion: that we consider reading the material in the frame of mind-and-heart as one listens to vocal ministry during meeting for worship among a beloved community. There is much material here. There is much pain here. There is much energy here. There is much to be witnessed, and there is much to be shared.

The electronic form of blogging, like email, is new to us as Friends. Our way to labor with one another is sometimes uncertain as we communicate deep, complex spiritual and theological ideas, leadings, and concerns.

Therefore as we read, read slowly. Breathe often. Consider posting a comment only after we have slowed down enough to respond thoughtfully and prayerfully. Breathe again.

While reviewing the ever-growing number of comments to the original post, I have had to be willing to look at and read about the elephants in the room as well as the ghosts and skeletons in the closet. I have had to consider that that which doesn't seem to exist in my own room or closet doesn't mean it doesn't actually exist in someone else's.

If the Spirit moves you, be part of the group of Friends that are holding these concerns and carrying them in their hearts. Let us also openly acknowledge what is for many of us—many but not all—the fear of tension or of conflict or of differences of perspective. Let us lean into it nonetheless, rather than ignore it, and let us together watch for the Light emerging and listen for the Whisper and the Shout of the Spirit.


Brandice said...

Thank you for this. I personally struggle with not stopping to *breathe* enough, and you put things in the perfect light. :)

Thank you also for your kind comment/welcome in my blog! I didn't expect such a quick and welcoming response. :)

Robin Mohr said...

Dear Liz,

May I quote you on this? I mean copy pretty much the whole thing you wrote about how to read a blog and quote it, with full attribution, of course, in email to a few Friends to whom I am recommending the Quaker Ranter site? If this is not okay with you, I really won't, but this was so beautifully written, I'd like to include it.

Robin Mohr

Liz Opp said...

Brandice and Robin, thanks for stopping by. The encouragement I offer to readers is based on encouragement that is passed onto readers of a certain listserve to which I subscribe.

There appears to be blog etiquette when it comes to using the words of another's post or comment. Since I'm new to blogging, I've simply picked up on how others share their thoughts with each other. I also have the belief that what I share publicly is in fact "free ministry." Robin, mention my name or blog if you wish, but don't oblige yourself to. Quote me verbatim if you wish, but don't oblige yourself to. Thanks for your sensitivity in asking, though.

I'm glad my suggestion for approaching Quaker Ranter is appreciated. One of the things I am enjoying about this circle of Quaker bloggers is a shared desire to pursue what is in good order, and helping one another be faithful to the leadings of the Spirit.

I pray I am being a faithful servant each time I post.