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InOBU BS: The Quakers (114* d) RE: BS: The Quakers 20 Jan 11

PS... now down at work, on this silver brisk morning, I see Al, that thee has posted at the same time I have... we are on a common track.

I struggled against the schism in our faith between the Orthodoxy and the Hicksite tradition in which I grew up... which caused great pain for over one hundred years. Funny enough, it is the new age friends, to a great degree now at the root of the present schism which thee and I both descibe ... ging to where one hears God the loudest...

I say schism rather than new meetings, in that, in truth, I cannot see the objectification and polarisation of others as Quakerism... so it is not a simple hiving, which happens when meetings become too large, but rather, a split to return to that core of our faith. I find the abandonment of process reaches up into our yearly Meeting as well... and ... well, let me give thee an example.

As thee might know, recently British Yearly Meeting was informed by the British government that they must appoint trustees. The reaction gave great hope to some Friends in New York labouring with the issues of property.

In the US the government insisted on Trustees to deal with the split of huge amount of property to be split. For decades, we did not need to spell out that these trustees had no power, other than to rubber stamp the decisions of our gathered meetings speaking in unity.

Then, as the schools in New York began to petition to become independant of our ownership and eldership, Trustees began a grab at real power, arguing (quite litterally) that the state held them responcible, and as such gave them power to decide against the expressed guidence of a gathered meeting for worship with a concern for business.

I suggest at the next quarterly Meeting - as we revised the book of disaplyn (now called the Quaker hand book - easier to spell but loosing an important point I am afraid... =)    ) That we should adopt the language of British Yearly Meeting on trustees, that they have no power to lead, only to be led by the Meeting and convey that unity to the Government.

This minute was passed, then slightly changed in transcription at some point, then abandoned entirely, in practive while still in the handbook. Trustees began an internal threshing to decide on their own what their powers are, and have done things like apointing their own property committee which now has direct authority over the property committees which are appointed through Quaker process.

While all this is happening, there have been issues of missapropriation of funds brought to me, on Ministry and Council - which, I can only describe as being covered up. Those who brought the concerns over this were then black listed from service in our Meetings.

Now, yes, I can stay silent and wait for things to grow towards God... but, after being litterally put on trial by other members of Pastoral Care in my home meeting (an entire Meeting of PC dedicated to me... where everytime I replied to quierries put to me, I was interupted a few words in... laughed at, and sighed at by a Friend who when I asked her to please let me reply from a place of worship, was told she could not control her reactions as she was an "actress"...) so there comes a point where one cannot stay in process with others, and so in silence promote the untruth that all is well.

Part of the problem is that there is a small handful of us who grew up in this meeting, at a time when, though there were grave concerns, the begining of the Vietnam war, and the healing of the great schism... we labored together lovingly. Issues of property did not pull us from the Quaker way of living in the world but not being of the world...

Today, there are worldly and violent trends in our Meeting, for example censorship, which I cannot see as the faith in which I grew up. I am not alone in this, and it looks like we might return to house meetings. I don't know, the idea of schism really does not sit well with me, so I bide on a witness of absence, which I find very painful.

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