New NFN monthly Meeting for Worship and Creative Conversation

(This page duplicates the original post as amended on 3 March 2021).

At the NFN gathering on Zoom on 27th January a working group was proposed to consider further meetings as Meetings for Worship with Creative Conversations hosted by NFN on Zoom. This working group has now initiated such meetings on a monthly basis as follows:
(Note the additional dates below!)

Nontheist Friends Network (QRB) invites you to a monthly Meeting for Worship followed by Creative Conversation. Each meeting hopes to offer a different topic, shaking the Quaker kaleidoscope and perhaps shining a light on different ways of looking at our (more) traditional ideas.

By Zoom on the first Thursday of the month at 7:00pm UK time, starting on Thursday 4 March (7.30), 2021.  All are welcome.

Please email clerk@nontheist-quakers.org.uk to register.

Presenters:

4 March: John Senior, ‘Seeking the Light – is Fox still relevant?’

Please note the new time (6.45 for 7.00pm UK time from 1 April)
1 April: William Purser, ‘Fox to Opium via Marx….?’

6 May: Philip Gross, The language of poetry, and creative uses of the word ‘God’

3 June: David Parlett, A Theist Cuckoo in the Nontheist Nest

Date to be confirmed: Kiera Faber, Drawing Silence in Art

Date to be confirmed: David Boulton, Taking Leave of God in the Quaker Tradition

Interested in presenting a ‘Creative Conversation’? All are welcome to share their ideas with the MfW Working group: Gisela Creed, John Senior, William Purser, and Kiera Faber. Email clerk@nontheist-quakers.org.uk.

New Format:
• Zoom Room opens at 6:45PM, please arrive early.
• 7PM: Welcome and Meeting for Worship: approximately 20 minutes for quietly gathering ourselves and connecting.
• Creative Conversation: up to 20 minutes for presentation or raising a question.
• Open discussion: up to 40 minutes for creative exchanges, expressions, and reactions; hopefully fostering community and fellowship.
• Conclusion: ending with a few moments gathered in silence.
• Friendly chat: 20 minutes for socializing for interested Friends in small group breakout rooms
• Duration:1hr:45m-2hr:00m

Like all Quaker Meetings for Worship, these are open to everyone: Quaker or not, ‘theist’ or ‘nontheist’, ‘religious’ or not.  So we look forward to seeing you there.

6 thoughts on “New NFN monthly Meeting for Worship and Creative Conversation”

  1. Hello,
    I’m looking forward to tonight’s encounter. As I don’t think any of you know me, I thought I’d tell you a bit about myself. I grew up in the south Lakes region, where my parents took me and my sister to Yealand Meeting for several years. I also did my last two years of schooling at Ackworth Friends school.
    After university, I wound up in Paris in the early 1970s, and have lived there ever since. I spent most of my career as a journalist, working for Agence France-Presse, and in later years there I did a lot of trade-unionism. No religion of any type during all those years.
    After retiring in 2013 I felt a need to re-connect with my British roots, and the Quakers seemed like one possible link. I’ve now been an attender at the Paris meeting for around six years. My views are basically materialist: I like to say that I disagree with almost everything that Quakers say, but I love the shared silence.
    Anyone interested can get an idea of my politics (but not my Quaker activities) on Twitter: @DSharp_Paris.

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  2. Sorry for the slight delay in posting this David. I’m not sure that many will see it before the meeting but it’s nice to know there are Quakers in Paris (I think I’ve heard from one or more before) as well as in Congénie!

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  3. Interesting then to see and hear you tonight David.
    As someone who is no longer on the NFN Steering Group, I thought that went rather well tonight for a first attempt with over 85 participants and given the struggles with Zoom – which can only get easier with time.
    A few technical points were raised (with both zoom and organisational matters) so I think it will be worth putting up a new post recording some of those and inviting feedback and comments either here or on the new post.
    I look forward to that feedback, any reflections, suggestions or comments here and there!

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  4. While this is certainly off-topic….I’m sharing it anyway: LOL

    Rats and mice once were considered to be among the leading familiars of witches. Seventeenth
    century Quakers called rodents “the devil’s disciples” and said that they were carriers of the devil’s lies and deceits. A house or ship infested by rodents had to be exorcized, according to Quaker belief. The method was to write a stern letter ordering them to leave under threat of death.

    Supposedly, the rodents would find it, eat it and then leave. It was necessary for them to eat the letter in order to understand it. A 19th-century rat Exorcism letter found in the cellar of a Quaker home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, calls the rats “spirits of the bottomless pit” and warns,

    “Begone, or you are ruined! We are preparing water to drown you; fire to roast you; cats to catch you; and clubs to maul you.”

    The letter then instructs the rat to go to a neighbor’s house. In other lore, rats are said to be the embodiment of evil spirits and will haunts houses. Since ancient times, rats have been associated with the human soul. Their sudden disappearance from a ship or a house forewarns of death, doom and disaster.

    Further Reading:
    Cahill, Robert Ellis. Strange Superstitions. Danvers, mass.: Old Saltbox Publishing, 1990. radford, E. and m.A. The Encyclopedia of Superstitions. Edited and revised by Christina Hole. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1961.

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