Toward The Future of Our Quaker Heritage

So I missed Quaker Heritage Day and the bloggers' dinner afterward -– blogged about here and here and here -- which Robin M. hosted at my own apartment, even!

Instead, I drove to Santa Monica for the annual spring meeting of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Representative Committee. As the clerk of the Children’s Program Committee, I had to go, the fate of the program depended on me! Or so Robin M. told me.

Somewhat reluctantly, or at least with petulant moaning about “Do I really have to go?”, I went.

And I’m really glad I did! It was a rich and fruitful weekend. During the drive, I enjoyed listening to a book on tape of Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith, by Kathleen Norris. There is much territory worth blogging about in that book! And it shows that you can be Presbyterian or a Benedictine Oblate or whatever and have some similar language and experiences to Quakers.

I gave a very successful report on the Children’s Program. I mentioned how many children there were last year (46 for some part of the annual session), how many volunteer slots we tried to fill (I estimated 90, but it may have been a little less), and how many volunteer person-hours we had (I estimated 250 or so, but that’s got a big margin of error). I also read excerpts from upper elementary and middle school epistles.

Result? Everybody felt really good about the program!

Further desired result: That people will turn out again to teach and to volunteer so we can keep this thing going!!

I told people it was just the Dale Carnegie Method in action: Tell people you’re going to do something, do it, then tell them you did it. Works every time.

Just because we’re unprogrammed Quakers and volunteers, doesn’t mean we can’t apply the worldly knowledge we gain from our jobs, volunteer work with nonprofit boards, or the like, for the benefit of our children! Don’t we owe it to them to be well organized?

1 comment:

Martin Kelley said...

Hi Chris,
I decided to read Dale Carnegie a few years ago. I was all embarrased, reading it on the train cover hidden. But there was great stuff. I love the part about owing it to the children to be organized. Just because most Quaker work is unpaid doesn't mean it has to be unprofessional.

I'm glad your alternate activity was fruitful and rewarding. It's a good lesson to realize we all don't have to be everywhere, that these conversations & projects are happening all over!
Your Friend,