Entries in Iowa (Conservative) (6)
I’m scheduled to be one of the major presenters at my yearly meeting, Iowa (Conservative), a little less than four weeks from now — Thursday, July 26.
Paul said something quite interesting about the familiar twentieth-century list of testimonies (Simplicity, Integrity, Peace, etc.): he said that for Friends, these are not virtues but instincts, not lists of conscious goals but natural ways of being. I myself have often said something similar, but Paul’s way of putting it delighted me; I felt it was quite the best I’ve heard so far. I do wonder how the other Friends in that room felt about it.
Paul suggested we start with little fears — fear of flying, fear of ham sandwiches — but our group fell immediately into big issues like fear of helplessness in old age, fear for our children, and fear for our aged parents. I thought that starting with the worst in this way would be a bad thing, but it proved to be a good one….
Paul Buckley’s theme for the weekend was “Be Not Afraid”, a subject which he had initially planned to tie to the story of Peter in the Gospels. However, as he told me over lunch the first day, after he had worked out his whole presentation and written out everything he planned to say, he “received orders from upstairs” — that is, a leading from God — to the effect that God wanted something different. So in the end he gave us something that wound up in a very different place from what he’d originally planned.
For those of you who are curious what Iowa Conservative Quakerism looks like, I’ve taken a few pictures of the Bear Creek Meetinghouse, where our Midyear Meeting is in session.
Well, my tax forms are all completed at last (though not yet mailed). Now comes the reward I’ve been looking forward to for months.
I’m packing this evening for the Midyear Meeting of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) — an annual event that lasts about a day and a quarter (most of Saturday plus some of Sunday) and at which there are No Business Sessions At All.