Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Presenting Quakerism to a Catholic Audience

I have recently been invited to speak to two different Roman Catholic groups about Quakerism. One is a women's spirituality group in a local parish in Brooklyn, and the other is the Friday night meeting of the Catholic Worker movement in Manhattan. My topic at the local parish is to be "Quaker Spirituality", and at the CW it is to be "Quakerism: A simple faith/A Radical Witness" (That last title is inspired by the slogan at New York Yearly Meeting's Web Site). I have been thinking about what I will say to each group and have decided to write down some of my thoughts here. I do not plan to read by remarks, however, so whatever I end up saying in either place will probably differ considerably from the following

I am grateful for this chance to speak with you and - I hope - to dialogue with you. Dialogue about matters of faith is not necessarily easy. We Quakers may be less skilled at it than many others because we have less experience at it. The large dialogues going on among the world's great faiths do not always include us, because - not to put too fine a point on it - we are not one of the world's great faiths, at least when judged numerically. Nor are we one of the great

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