Quaker Open Book is a collection of book groups facilitated through Facebook, designed as a way to support reading as a personal spiritual practice and to build connections between Friends who otherwise might never meet.
For each book group, I post a query every two days, and participating Friends are also encouraged to ask one another questions about the readings. We read veeery slowwwly, about a chapter every two weeks. When we’ve finished the book, we take six weeks off and then start over again with new (and often returning) participants.
Lloyd Lee Wilson’s Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order is one of the most extraordinary texts on Quakerism that I’ve ever discovered. Wilson defines gospel order as “the order established by God that exists in every part of creation, transcending the chaos that seems so often prevalent. It is the right relationship of every part of creation, however small, to every other part and to the Creator. Gospel order is the harmony and order which God established at the moment of creation, and which enables the individual aspects of creation to achieve that quality of being which God intended from the start, about which God could say that ‘it was very good.’” In this collection of essays, Wilson covers worship, Scripture, covenant community, spiritual gifts, ministry, meetings for business, prophets, leadings, and discernment.
First day of next cycle: October 31st, 2018
Join the Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order group here.
Mathilda Navias created something remarkable in writing Quaker Process for Friends on the Benches. What I love most about it is the way in which Navias approaches Quaker process – not by saying “this is THE way to do such-and-such” but by saying “look at all the ways Quakers do such-and-such.” For me, that shifts the focus from right/wrong to the spiritual principles beneath.
First day of next cycle: August 23rd, 2018
Join the Quaker Process for Friends on the Benches group here.
Jeff Hitchcock’s Lifting the White Veil is a thorough, step-by-step exploration of racism written primarily for a white, U.S. audience. He uses a combination of personal experiences and academic study to make things clear for those of us who might say, “I hear what you’re telling me about systemic racism in this country, but can you please give me some examples? Or tell me what I’m supposed to do differently?” Hitchcock never claims to have easy answers, but neither does he shy away from the questions. Also, though he doesn’t say so explicitly in the book, he is a Friend, and his deep spiritual grounding shines through as he writes.
First day of next cycle: July 24, 2018
Join the Lifting the White Veil group here.