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4/1/11 8:56 P

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Well, I'm not a "real" Quaker either, but it never stopped me from having an opinion. There is this almost constant tension between people who have kids and want lots of support structures for that, and people who want to keep it simple. But I say that if it isn't really Quaker anymore, and few Quakers go there, then it is a busyness that needs to be laid down by the meeting.
There are some who want their kids immersed in a Disneyland of their faith, with school, camp, programs, youth counselors, coffee shops, so that they can have safe friends and activities. Many go to the mega-church nearby, and that is what they get. But then, others are concerned that there really isn't much that appeals to kids, and they leave as soon as their parents will let them.

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KAKIPOPUP's Photo KAKIPOPUP SparkPoints: (0)
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4/1/11 7:25 P

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I feel that the Quaker school which I attended from 1st through 12th grade has gone over to the glitz & glimmer side of life...so I do not contribute to the annual giving appeals - but when I went there, my grandparents paid the $5000 per year tuition - at the time (now almost 40 years ago, whew!) that money was equal to a year of college or to the cost of a mid-priced sedan.....in that context, $30,000 is in about the same ballpark -

It was a great classical education and prepared me to think for myself....but it was also a very privileged life....



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ELIZABETH_SKY's Photo ELIZABETH_SKY Posts: 442
4/1/11 11:09 A

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www.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/nyregion/
01
friends.html?hp


If you may not know, I'm currently only an aspiring Friend, so things may have stood out in a different way for me.

It's interesting that somebody thought that a school could distract the meeting from its purpose, which is worship. That surprised me a bit. Whatever else you do with your time, you're still quite free to set aside time for pure worship. And what higher earthly purpose could there be than bringing up children and teaching them wisdom?

I also noted the tension between different values. One thing I love about the Friends communities is their dedication to actually living their values. To me, this would seem to support getting out into the world and getting your hands dirty. Of course, the concern that the school - at 30K a year! That astounds my Midwestern sensibilities - is no longer in touch with Quaker values. So is the right, faithful practice the one that cuts ties with what it sees as a problem, or is it the one that sticks around and does the best it can under the circumstances?

Finally, and this relates to me writing this here, it was interesting to see the note on how Friends try to avoid tale-bearing. I very much agree with not spreading gossip, lies, or deception. But Quakers also believe in openness. My sense of this value is that it allows us to pass on information that we believe to be true and not harmful. Perhaps members of the meeting who don't wish to talk feel as though discussing it with the press before a consensus is reached will have a harmful, divisive effect. However, I feel like people should be comfortable explaining their opinion and understanding of the circumstances, as long as they do so in a thoughtful, careful, and kind way.

I don't think most Friends are black and white either-or people, so of course none of these tensions needs to be resolved with one definitive answer. I just found them very interesting and thought-provoking.

And I should mention that, not being in this community, any opinions I have come purely from what I read and don't relate to the actual, real situation.

"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present." - Marcus Aurelius


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