Please join me in mourning. . .

The Indiana Yearly Meeting I knew died Saturday, October 1, 2011.

A specially called session of Representative Council decided to begin a year-long process of seeking, with the clear expectation that the yearly meeting will be divided.

Friends in Indiana Yearly Meeting have struggled for more than 100 years over various issues:

  • tension between traditional “Orthodox” Christian Quakers and Friends who are influenced by holiness/Wesleyan theology
  • disagreement over the contributions of science and evolution to our understanding of religion
  • adherence to the peace testimony of Friends, and ways in which today’s peace and social justice issues should be addressed
  • participation in ecumenical organizations such as the National Council of Churches
  • literalist vs. modernist interpretation of the Bible
  • most recently, whether people of different sexual orientation can participate fully in the life of our meetings

The last straw, for many Friends, was the adoption by West Richmond Monthly Meeting in 2008 of its minute on welcoming and affirming. However, the task force appointed in 2011 acknowledged that this is only a symptom of deeper disagreements in the yearly meeting.

Many Friends – myself included – were strongly in favor of trying to work together to find ways in which we could continue to get along. Many other Friends in Indiana Yearly Meeting, however, were determined to go our separate ways.

It hurts. I have put a tremendous amount of time into Indiana Yearly Meeting over the last 18 years. I’ve served on many of its committees. I represented Indiana Yearly Meeting on the General Board of Friends United Meeting for 6 years. I’ve helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for missions, led workshops, mentored new ministers, visited local meetings where there was conflict, and written several studies of yearly meeting conditions. It really hurts me to realize that the organization I worked so hard for has died.

Indiana Yearly Meeting will be on life support for the next few months. Various Friends will try to keep some essential functions going. But the spirit, the soul of the yearly meeting, is gone. And none of us really knows what will happen next.

In this blog, I plan to share some of my own thoughts about the future of Friends in our area, as well as some ideas about basic ideas and practices which are worth examining. Please feel free to share these – it’s all out in the open, nothing’s hidden.

Be blessed.


1 Response to “Please join me in mourning. . .”

  1. 1 Quaker Pastor October 8, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Adirondack Friends are holding you in the Light and Love of God!

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All of the posts on this blog are my own personal opinion. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the members and attenders of the meeting where I belong or any organization of Friends. For more information, click on the "About Me" tab above.



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