Monday, October 24, 2011

Parker Palmer is a Visionary, says Utne Reader

Every year, Utne Reader creates a list of 25 visionaries that are changing the world for the good.  This year Parker Palmer made the list.

Here's an excerpt from the profile:

“I often talk about life on the Möbius strip,” says the 72-year-old public intellectual Parker J. Palmer. “That wonderful form that you can trace with your finger and find that what looks like the inside surface keeps merging seamlessly into the outside surface, and vice versa. So that the inner and outer are not two different things, but they’re constantly co-creating each other. That’s become a metaphor for me about the way life works.”

When I first read Palmer's discussion of the mobius strip metaphor in A Hidden Wholeness, it resonated with me deeply.  To me, this is what striving for integrity is about.  The inner life influences and informs and changes the outer life and vice versa.

Read the full article here:
Utne Reader's Profile on Parker Palmer

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thinking about Testimony

During the course of this week, I found myself being asked on two separate occasions how I came to the Quakers.  First, at spiritual formation group with Donna and Janet, and then a couple of days later, one of my husband's friends who was unfamiliar with Quakerism asked me why I started worshiping with the Quakers.

I grew up in an evangelical church that placed a strong emphasis on a dramatic conversion experience, the moment that one became "saved."  Recounting the who, what, where, when, and why of this conversion was called a testimony.  And, occasionally, members of the church would be called to give "their testimony."  For some conversions may indeed  happen like this, but the more that I think about it, the more I think that spiritual transformation, for me has been a gradual, steady thing, perhaps with the occasional dramatic burst of insight.  But, I am also curious--as a new Quaker-- about the tradition of testimony and the use of the word testimony.

I think there is value in telling our individual spiritual stories, but to use the word testimony only in relation to a conversion experience is detrimentally limiting.  And, as we start this blog as a group, I wanting to share and read our spiritual stories. 

This week, (in a separate post) I will share my story of how I found the Quakers--which some of you already know, but I also realize that I haven't had the opportunity to hear other members' stories. 

So, for those of you that would like, (and if you want an idea for what to write about on this blog), how about this? 

How did you come to find your spiritual home with the Quakers?

A New Way to Spiritual Journal

Tomorrow I will be showing my Quaker worship group how to blog on this very site.  As a group, we've been talking about spiritual journals as a way to keep track of our experience of God, of the Light, of the Divine.  Many in our group already keep personal spritual journals, and many wish to start a spiritual journal practice.  The more we talked about it, though, the more we thought that a communal format of a blog would be another rich facet to explore.  It is my hope that we build community on these pages that all members and attenders of our worship group can read and post and comment on.  It is also my hope that this blog furthers spiritual growth for those who read it, and for those who write here.

Here you will find the members of Broadmead Quakers, in Nortwest Ohio writing about their lives and their spiritual journeys. Welcome to the Broadmead Quakers Blog.