January 7, 2011

Workshop with Margery Post Abbott

To Be Broken and Tender. Sitting with Hard Questions.

Talk and Workshop with Quaker author Margery Post Abbott. Supported by Ken and Katharine Jacobsen.
February 4 & 5, 2011
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The location of this workshop is still being finalized. Registration fee will be a sliding scale. Copies of Marge's book To Be Broken and Tender, will be available for purchase.


Minneapols Friends Meeting
4001 York Ave South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

SLIDING FEE SCALE: If 15 participants attend, that is an average of $38/person to cover minimal expenses. Some will likely pay less; others will likely pay more.
$0 Low income; inability to pay
$20 Suggested for people on fixed income
$38 Standard registration
$40-100 To support future workshops like this

ONLINE REGISTRATION is now available!
While this workshop is primarily for Friends in the plains and upper midwest of the U.S.--Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, e.g.--others are welcome to attend.

More details forthcoming, or send me an email at lizopp AT gmail DOT com if you wish to receive registration information directly.

Friday evening, February 4: To Be Broken and Tender
7:00-9:00 pm.
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Details TBA
Good will donations to be taken at the door.

In a talk on her new book To Be Broken and Tender, Marge Abbott will share about the strong leading she experienced to speak about the way the Spirit has been at work in her life. Her understanding of Quakerism is shaped by her efforts, as a very pragmatic, inarticulate person, to find language for a mystical opening. She found words in the writings of early Friends and found that because of her friendships with evangelical Quaker women, that she had to wrestle with the Christianity that they found so dear. Her book offers a perspective on being a Friend which grows out of long efforts to articulate who we are in a way that is true to the universal nature of Love while respecting our Christian heritage.

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Saturday, February 5:
One-day Workshop, To Be Broken and Tender
9:00 am-5:00 pm; bring your own lunch.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sliding fee TBA.

Sitting With Hard Questions.
Is the Cross obsolete dogma, harmful unwanted baggage or a living symbol of paradox at the intersection of heaven and earth? Marge Abbott and Ken Jacobsen.

Marge writes:
...I hope to make clear that I don’t use history as an entity in itself, but engaging with early Friends offers language for experience (mine and theirs), it helps me enter into the dynamics of their experience and bring it to life, and because of its biblical nature, it has helped hugely in breaking down my blocks to interacting with evangelical Friends. At this point I call myself a very unorthodox Christian if someone pushes me on this, but am not into such labels.

Preliminary Schedule for the day

8:30 Registration and settling in

9:00 Opening Worship

SESSION I. 9:15-10:45 Hard Words.
    “Taking Up the Cross” is a phrase important to early Friends. What were they trying to get at? How might we hear these words with the inner ear if our own baggage gets in the way? From these early Friends we find the thread in Christianity which seems closest to the Buddhist way of compassion and self-emptying.

SESSION II – 11:00 – 12:30 Acting from a Place of Unconditional Love.
    Marge’s spiritual ancestors have been opening her to the prospect of a way of letting love take first place, trusting that we will each be given the strength to walk into whatever situation that arises as a consequence.

12:30-1:15 LUNCH (Brown bag; bring your own lunch)

1:15 – 1:30 WORSHIP

SESSION III – 1:30-3:00 Walking With Others Who are Suffering or in Pain
    What a gift it is to be with people who can stand with us and listen to harsh things or to the depths of pain without flinching. And without trying to fix everything. This becomes even more impressive when they are willing to take action which addresses the root causes of what is wrong.

SESSION IV – 3:15–4:00 Freedom, Power, Mystery: The Cross of Joy.
    One paradox of being a Friend is what Bill Taber named the Cross of Joy. This involves many dimensions: knowing the joy and liberation which come with taking up the Cross; experiencing the Cross as the Power of God. We will engage with how we experience the Motion of Love in our lives and in our communities.

CLOSING 4:00-closing Sharing on “Where is the life and energy among us?”
    Offering our hopes as we return to our meetings.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Tales (p. 171)
Joy - is the unconditional wish to live
- Aliveness more than happiness: joy is less vulnerable than happiness
- Means not with-holding ourselves because life doesn't meet our preferences
- Is lack of attachment to a particular outcome: the less attached we are to life, the more alive we become
- A willingness to accept the whole, to show up and meet whatever is there
- It is the lover drunk with the opportunity to love despite the possibility of loss
- knowing that playing is more important than winning or losing


Ashley W said...

Yay! I'm so glad you are doing this.

Iris said...

Sounds like a rich time coming up. My home meeting on Lopez Island (WA) has just embarked on a study of Marge's book, too. With leadership from our Spiritual Life Committee, we're discussing the content and doing worship-sharing during adult education over the next few months.

Last Sunday we discussed the first four chapters and shared around these queries (I don't have the wording exactly right, but they were along these lines):
What in the reading resonated with your experience?
What did you find difficult to accept?
What does your reading mean for you within our Quaker community?

Many people who attended expressed that the book is deepening their understanding of Quakerism as well as stimulating exploration of their own beliefs.

How good to know Friends in the Midwest are reading and studying the same book; how fortunate to have Marge, Ken, and Katharine there with you.