Friday, June 15, 2012

I knew that there was going to be a lot of diversity here. See, at the Women's Conference, we have North Pacific Friends (what I belong to) and Northwest Friends (I think the church in Hayden Lake might be Northwest). Part of the purpose of this Conference is to bring together women from different types of Quaker meetings and churches for dialogue, friendship, perspective, etc. Northwest Friends have churches, pastors, are Christians, sometimes are evangelical, and have programmed worship, with sermons, songs, etc. Northwest Friends are more conservative and tend to be bible and Christ oriented. North Pacific Friends have meetings (as opposed to churches), no pastors, there appears to be a LOT more variability in terms of their views on God and the bible, are not necessarily Christians, do not talk about saving souls, etc, and have unprogrammed worship (silent worship- for an hour. No sermons, no singing, etc). North Pacific Friends seem to be more liberal and in our meeting at least, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs about God, Christ, etc. In a single meeting house, you could find Quakers who are atheist, agnostic, Christian, non-theist, and even Buddhist, Wiccan, or Jewish. If there is any evangelizing going on, I have never heard of or seen it.

So I knew that we were diverse, but what I am finding is that we're even more so than I had thought. And yet, we can all get along, discuss our differences, explore the richness of viewpoints and experiences, agree to disagree, and get along.

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