How do we remain faithful to the hope that is in us? Where do we find hope when the world offers daily invitations to mourn, or even to despair, because of racial injustice, militarism, climate change, or environmental deterioration? What form can hope even take?
Over 350 years, Friends have repeatedly been challenged to sustain and renew their witness, not by skirting grief or desolation but by confronting, expressing, and transcending it. Early Seekers, who sometimes called themselves “mourners after Sion,” were transformed through their Quaker convincement into the vanguard of the Lamb’s War, a sustained nonviolent revolutionary movement for religious renewal and social change. Through succeeding generations, Friends have continued to find ways to transmute the melancholy of grief into fresh, resilient testimony for the Spirit.
In this weekend course, Brian Drayton and Doug Gwyn will share what they have learned through study of and deep listening to the stories of Friends through the centuries, and how that witness has helped them pass through mourning into renewed hope and witness. They will invite participants to reflect and share their own experiences. Together, we will encourage one another to make our testimony, find our hope, in a world that daily invites us to despair.
Doug Gwyn is a minister and author among Friends. His “biography” of Pendle Hill, Personality and Place: The Life and Times of Pendle Hill, was published in 2014. Formerly the Quaker Studies teacher at Pendle Hill, a well-traveled Friend, Doug has worked for the American Friends Service Committee, served among Friends as a pastor, and taught at the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England, as well as at Pendle Hill. Doug is a student of the Bible and of early Quakerism. His most recent works are The Anti-War: Militant Peacemaking in the Manner of Friends(2016) and The Call to Radical Faithfulness: Covenant in Quaker Experience (2017).
Brian Drayton is a plant ecologist working in science education. A member of Weare Friends Meeting (NH) and a recorded minister in New England Yearly Meeting, Brian travels extensively under a concern for Gospel Ministry. His writings include Treasure in Earthen Vessels; On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry; Getting Rooted: Living in the Cross(Pendle Hill pamphlet #391); Climate Change, a Spiritual Challenge; and Language for the Inward Landscape (with Bill Taber).