March 24, 2011

Quaker bloggers move to the head of the class

In the past few weeks, two Quaker bloggers have been appointed to serve a couple of international Quaker institutions.

First was Barry Crossno, who is the incoming General Secretary of Friends General Conference, an organization that provides programming and services to Friends across the U.S. and Canada, and regardless of branch affiliation (though most folks in the U.S. forget about Canada and misinterpret FGC's reach). Martin Kelley has a nice write-up about Barry's earlier place in the Quaker blogosphere.

There's also Robin Mohr, recently appointed as the next Executive Secretary of the Section of the Americas for Friends World Committee on Consultation. I consider Robin to be a personal friend of mine: we've talked by phone on a number of occasions and had a chance to meet up in person a couple of times, both at three FGC Gatherings and at one or two Convergent Friends events.

(Now is as good a time as any to throw in a mention that these two Friends also have personal essays in the print collection of Quaker blog posts, Writing Cheerfully on the Web.)

So what are the possible implications of having two Friends, previously or currently active in blogging--not to mention Twitter--at the servant-leadership helm of groups such as FGC and FWCC Section of the Americas?

For me, it gives me hope that regardless of branch affiliation, form of worship, language of theology, or system of belief, Barry and Robin will invite all of us to a deeper place of mutual respect for one another's authenticity of faith.

They'll likely affirm our previous and current participation in our own Quaker worship communities, be they Friends churches or fledgling unprogrammed worship groups--and then they'll ask us to consider the Inward Teacher more fully, side by side with messages that are from Scripture and with experiences that come from the perfectly imperfect realm of human experience.

I hope Robin and Barry will continue to let us peek into their lives a bit, too, letting us know what they are struggling with; inviting perspectives from beyond their own institutional circles in order to be true to the Loving Principle that draws all of us into the family that is the Religious Society of Friends.

God is good. All the time.



RantWoman said...

Friend speaks my mind.

Robin M. said...

All the time, God is good.

I hope you're right in your assessment of the implications. We're going to do our best. It will not be perfect, but it will have to be enough.

Thank you for your friendship, your advice, your encouragement. I hope to see you again soon.

Cyfaill said...

All the time, God is good.

All the time, God is good.

What a profound thought. May I personally blog about that?

Liz Opp said...

Cyfaiil -

The phrase/call-and-response "God is good, all the time/All the time, God is good" is one that Robin exposed me to, and I believe it comes from Kenyan Friends.

If it has Life for you, I encourage you to let it continue to speak to you and through you, including through your blog writing.

Robin and RantWoman -

Thanks as always for stopping by and commenting. Over time, we'll see more fruits of the Quaker blogosphere, Convergent conversations, and servant-leadership in Quaker institutions.

In the meantime, let us continue to try what Love will do!


Martin Kelley said...

Hey Liz, for the record, "God is Good (All the Time)" doesn't come from Kenyan Quakers. Just take a walk down to your nearest Black church (or ride a city bus for an hour) and you should hear it plenty.

Of course, it's great no matter one's color, denomination or continent :)

Liz Opp said...

Martin -

Thanks for the correction/expansion. Obviously I don't get out much, and when I do, I've still got lots of stretching to do to make my own life more diverse--with regards to color, denomination, AND continent!