Journey toward Convincement

I started this blog by writing about Jesus Christ Superstar because that piece has meant a lot to me for a very long time. The connection to Quakerism, or more specifically the connection to the content of the Quaker blogs that I follow, was not clear.

Yet in thinking about how I got from there to here, I thought it might make for an interesting story. In reading this version of a spiritual journey, perhaps other people will be inspired to write a bit about their own. In some ways, I’m skeptical of “Sharing Our Spiritual Journeys” types of workshops. It almost seems like such workshops can present a “lowest common demoninator” approach to Quakerism, in meetings where the only thing we can all agree on is that we all have a path to travel—as individuals!

Don't get me wrong: It is absolutely vital for us to talk to one another about the individual paths we're traveling, both in person at our meetings and here in the blogosphere. Of course, that's sometimes hard to do over coffee after a deep meeting for worship: "Hey, how's your soul faring? Whoops, my three-year-old just spilled his juice! Bye!" It can be easier via the blogs, I think that's one of their attractions: the conversation is set up for focus and insight.

So while that discussion is vital, I’m more interested in exploring our common path together as the Religious Society of Friends.

That said, sharing our stories or autobiographies does help us gain new appreciation for one another as human beings and as fellow travelers. And that can help point us down the common path toward forming and deepening our collective Quaker identity. (Thanks to LizOpp for the phraseology, of course.)

So I’ll start this as an occasional series, and see where it goes and how way opens or doesn’t.

For now, I'll just say I started in life as a Presbyterian, nominally. We went to church in a very modernistic, almost cubist church constructed in the late 1960s, and which was somewhat controversial in the suburban neighborhood. I have a number of fond memories from that time, including having as a Sunday school teacher Patty Gauch, a children's book author and editor, and who read us her book This Time, Tempe Wick? right after it was published; being chewed out by Big Sister 1 for going pee-pee in the creek nearby; and being crushed when I missed a documentary film on the Dead Sea Scrolls, because I thought it was about some monsters, the "dead seescrolls"!

By the time I was about 12, though, my mom asked if I wanted to go to church any more, and I said no. By then my parents were kind of burned out on the church, too, I think (my dad had been an elder for a while). I was pretty sure I couldn't believe in the God-of-Heaven-above as per the stereotypes, but I didn't really think about it much, either.

In any case, I'm grateful to have had some exposure to the church community at a young age, and I still have my Revised Standard Version of the Bible I got when I was 10 or so. But it lay mostly untouched until I was a senior in college. I hope to say more soon.

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