Coming Out

April 3, 2011 § 5 Comments

or I’m a mother, a blogger, and a Quaker (well, almost)

I feel I should confess.  I go to Quaker Meeting a lot.  In fact I’m practically a Quaker (I just get all ditherety when I try and get around to writing a letter applying for membership. But seeing as how they have asked me to be on a committee, I can’t  imagine they’ll say no when I do get around to it).

This is always a bit difficult to explain to th0se with no or limited understanding of Quakers (or the Religious Society of Friends, to give them their proper name).  It is notoriously difficult to explain what Quakers believe in and I’m not going to try, as for starters I haven’t met them all  yet. In my meeting there are Christian Quakers for sure (as historically they all were), also Buddhist Quakers, Atheist Quakers and I’m sure many more besides. Part of the point for me is that there is no “List of Beliefs to Sign up for” on the door.

The worship/meeting bit is a bit simpler to explain.  A bunch of people, sit around in silence, probably for an hour, and anyone who wants to can speak (or minister) – although you’re only supposed to if you feel moved. On a good day its fantastic, although by no means always. It usually makes me think, it often helps me clarify issues in my life, and it is quite often challenging personally, to a greater or lesser degree.

If you’re really interested in knowing a bit more, I guess you should check out the British web site,, where people with more practice at doing so, have put it more coherently than I’m ever going to.

But what I really like about them, is there propensity to do things. To Let Their Lives Speak.  To be involved in stuff, from ecumenically accpomanyiers in Palestine, prison Chaplins, work with sex offenders, woodland burials, carbon counting, fair trade, peace work, non violent communication, hospital visiting – and that’s just a few off the people of the top of my head that I can think of here in Exeter.

I’ve tried to unravel how much I do/think what I do because I go to Meeting, and how much I go to Meeting because I do /think what I do (usually this is one of the distractions to writing That Letter) and not got very far. It’s probably a bit cyclical.  But it’s all caught up together somehow.  A lot of my reflection time comes in meeting for worship (a whole 50 minutes sitting down, with no jobs to do, and the children being taken care of upstairs, bliss!). A lot of my oldest friends are Quakers. And whenever I go do something, from a knitting group to a Transition meeting, I often find one there (especially at the latter).

This is not to say that everyone I know Doing Stuff is a Quaker, far from it (Quakers are notoriously evangelical and respectful of others choices, at least among Quakers they are!).

So, there you are, I’ve put it on the record. It was trying to creep into my posts anyway, just like all those family members keep doing that I try to leave out.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the oats people, they weren’t really Quakers.  It was a marketing scam to cash in on a good reputation. Now, Cadbury’s on the other hand …


§ 5 Responses to Coming Out

  • shane says:

    Now ur integrating ur religion into ur blog?? Thats rediculous. Are u sure ur not in an occult and just dont realize it?? They dont know, u cant reform a child preditor/sex offenders. Let them sit in jail. Thats where they belong. A child preditor killed my sister 15 yrs. ago, snatched her right off the street! He had offended 5 times be4 he finally killed my sister. I would be careful of all the “alternitive” methods of living. You never know what you will run into.

  • YveeB says:

    First of all who is Shane??

    And secondly….. did you never send that letter. Silly you 🙂 Having siad that it is a mindset right and writing a letter isn’t going to change how you think or how you act or what others think.

  • Shane is there to remind me that when you publish something on the internet, anyone might (scan) read it. Which I feel is a valuable lesson.

  • Shane says:

    Who is Shane?? Just another human being with a response. Who is YveeB?? What letter?? Send an email, saves paper & the planet,remember?? Darn, I missed something here. I better watch this blog closer then.

  • Liv says:

    Shane, that may be where you’re going wrong- you’re supposed to read the blog,silly,not watch it.

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