I just can’t seem to make the time for writing out a real, coherent blog post. But sometimes it’s my perfectionism that paralyzes, so I’m making myself write something of what I’ve been thinking about. I pity you readers…but remember, I started this blog for ME, as a writing discipline. <end selfish rant>
I wrote a little bit already about the reaction to my top ten lists. This has done nothing but continue. I’ve had several very substantive conversations, and there’s one thing that really stands out to me as important: people who are around Quakers, even people who like what Friends stand for and want to be a part, do not feel as if they ever can break in or be a part of our circles. This came out in my list here and here and here and here. I had several long-time Friends respond/challenge my list by saying that they don’t see us walking around saying we wish everyone was Quaker. I now think that is utterly beside the point. Regardless of our intent, we have to deal with the reality that many who work and worship with us like what we stand for and don’t feel like they are included in it. They feel excluded, second class citizens, a sense of provincialism…the words I’ve heard go on and on.
What will we do about it?
If this is the reality of how we are perceived, how can we incorporate new people into us? What does it say about evangelism? How can we demonstrate in word and deed a willingness to include, listen, welcome? How will we “go into all the world, making disciples of all nations?” I think this might be shaping into a part of my call to our Yearly Meeting.