HOW TO BE AN INCLUSIVE QUAKER
Saturday, Jul 11, 2020, 3:30 p.m. & Tuesday, Jul 14, 2020, 11:30 a.m. (via Zoom).
This set of ‘Reading & Discussion’ is based on Valerie Brown’s Friends Journal essay, “How to Be an Inclusive Quaker”. Discussion will focus on one the excerpt “Intention Accompanies Effect”. Friends are encouraged to read the entire article in advance.
Valerie Brown writes:
“There are times in meeting for worship (and elsewhere) when I feel downright rageful: triggered by someone’s good intentions that either fall flat on me, leave me scratching my head in curiosity, or shaking in the heat of my own anger. As a mindfulness practitioner, I’ve learned to handle strong emotions. I know to breathe, calm my body and mind, self-regulate, notice what is happening within me, feel the fire of the rage, and offer compassion to myself. When I am at my best I can offer compassion to someone else.
Not only do we need to learn skills to care for ourselves and our emotions in the moment, but we also need to understand that those good intentions, even when Spirit-led, are not a license to ignore their unintended impact on others. Even as we gather for meeting for worship and offer Spirit-led vocal ministry, this too is within a broader societal context of structures, systems, and institutions that further oppression and racialization.
A reframe for Quakers would be to take a deeper exploration of our good intentions. How do our intentions affect others, either intentionally or unintentionally? How might we look deeper at our intentions and align them with our actions? When might our intentions not align with our values? What do we do individually and as a corporate body when this happens? How might our good intentions further support our own implicit bias?
These unwritten creeds form a subtext that may be understood by some Quakers and unknown to others. Without awareness and critical inquiry into these unwritten Quaker codes of behavior, we risk isolating and distancing whole groups of people: newcomers, marginalized people, Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, and more. As Quakerism in the United States seeks to address increasingly dwindling numbers of Friends, reframing these unwritten codes is crucial to creating an atmosphere that truly welcomes and is inclusive for all.?”
Source: Brown, Valerie (2020, March 1). How to Be an Inclusive Quaker, Friends Journal. Friends Publishing Corporation: Philadelphia, PA. Retrieved from: https://www.friendsjournal.org/how-to-be-an-inclusive-quaker
Zoom connection information for this event is as follows: Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/92398341668 (Meeting ID: 994 4553 2926).
Please see the Meeting’s Reading and Discussion page for more information about the context, practice, and goals of ‘Reading and Discussion’.
Please see the Meeting’s Changes page for a comprehensive list of changes to worship, events, and Zoom connection information.