Quaker History: Who Do We Come From? — Stephanie Charlot.
We will briefly review the founding and growth of The Society of Friends as well as the splits and decline. In addition to leadership, some attention will be paid to “rank and file” Friends and how they lived out their values amongst one another.
In preparation, Friends might enjoy this humorous (yet generally accurate) skit illustrating how the various branches of Quakerism came into being from Fox to the current day. https://vimeo.com/5824352 (Jan. 26, noon)
Feb. 2 at noon — The Inward Light: George Fox’s Understanding and Implications for Today’s Quakers — Allison Ellsworth.
I will briefly summarize George Fox’s philosophy on the Inward Light and discuss ways that Quakers apply and think about this today. I will share personal experiences in my own life and invite others to do the same as they desire.
Queries: What does the phrase “Inward Light” mean to you? Why is learning about the “Inward Light” significant for Quaker thought and practice? How can we cultivate the “Inward Light” so that it is seen “outwardly” in ourselves, our community, and the larger world?
Optional reading: Friends for 350 Years by Howard H. Brinton, Chapters II and III, pgs 19-72. (Feb. 2, noon)
Feb. 23 at noon — Worship: Discipline, Surrender, Grace — Sharon Frame, Pat Grauer, Carolyn Lejuste.
Just as a gardener prepares soil for planting, it is just as important for us seeking spiritual growth to prepare our souls for worship. Queries like the following might guide us in reflection: What is worship? What differentiates meeting for worship from individual devotions? How do we enter the flow of seeking for and accepting from Spirit? What is spiritual Listening in worship? How do we know how to respond when we feel called to offer a message?
Our meeting for worship offers us unique opportunities for spiritual growth, both as individuals and as a community. Please join us as we discover together the meaning, practices, preparation and listening-in-the-silence skills that can deepen our experience as a meeting and provide a strong foundation for our work to enhance our world. (Feb. 23, noon)
March 1 at noon — Meeting for Business — Terry Grant.
William Taber suggests: “One could argue that the business meeting is at least as important as the meeting for worship, for it is the actual demonstration . . . of a fellowship guided by Spirit. God’s work among us becomes more real and faith is both tested and strengthened in the business meeting.”
What is our spiritual responsibility in the meeting for business? What kind of experience do you hope for? What does it mean to seek a Godly outcome? How do we create a climate of safety?
Suggested reading: Faith and Practice, revised 2017, pages 17-24. (Also available at https://www.pym.org/faith-and-practice/faith-reflected-practice-daily-life/discernment-clearness-and-decision-making/) (March 1, noon)
March 22 at noon — The Testimonies — Susan Waltz and Jack Smith.
The testimonies (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality and Stewardship) provide contemporary Friends important grounding in their individual lives and their engagement in their Monthly Meeting community and the broader Quaker community. But, the testimonies were not “given” (by George Fox or any founding Friend) when Quakerism was established; they have evolved over time. In this session, we will explore the SPICES from a historical perspective and think together about their alignment and also the tensions that can arise between them. (March 22, noon)
April 5 at noon — Taking Quakerism into the Wider World — A panel of Red Cedar Friends.
Many Red Cedar Friends participate in Quaker organizations beyond our own meeting, including Green Pastures Quarterly Meeting, Lake Erie Yearly Meeting, Action of Lansing, Friends Committee for National Legislation, American Friends Service Committee, and School of the Spirit, to name a few. Come hear about their experiences. (April 5, noon)
April 19 at 9 a.m. — The Meeting Community — Gretchen Morse, Jamie Archer and Yvonne LeFave.
This presentation will include the following topics, and more: How do we welcome newcomers? Should I become a recorded member? What is the process for becoming a recorded member? What is the “Life Wishes” file? (April 19, 9 a.m.)
May 3 at noon — This I Believe: A workshop on writing our personal credos — April Allison.
What is your personal story of belief? How do your spiritual beliefs play out in your life? Has being a Quaker impacted your beliefs, or did you come to Friends because Quakerism resonated with what you already believed?
This is just a sampling of questions that you might want to explore as we come together in the final session of Quakerism 101 at Red Cedar.
In this workshop, you will be invited to write (or draw, dance, or sing) a short expression of your own beliefs, how you came to hold them, and how they play out in your life. After we have had time to reflect and write (no more than 500 words, at most), we will come back together to share our reflections with one another, as we are led. All are invited, whether you are brand new to the meeting or a seasoned old-timer. (May 3, noon)