The Christ-centered worship group, now called the Seton Hill Worship Group, met for the first time in the Metropolitan Church near Kevin-Douglas's house. Ken and I got there late and missed the silent meeting. We participated in singing led by Rachel and in sharing of joys and concerns.
Georgia Fuller, who attended for the first time, shared that the BYM programs committee turned down her proposal for a Christ-centered workshop on Christian Quakers who feel caught between being alienated by fundamentalist Christians and alienated by Quaker meetings that may be offended if they use language that is too "Christ centered." The committee, if I remember, believed the workshop would be too divisive(?). I'm not sure that's the word. Too confrontational? Something along those lines. Georgia then submitted a more toned-down proposal but has yet to hear back and was feeling pessimistic last night about getting approval. I hope the workshop will be allowed to go on. What do you think of Christ-centered workshops being turned down?
As usual at the Seton Hill meeting, I felt a very strong, palpable sense of the presence of Christ. It manifests as an almost overwhelming sense of love.
Clearly the issue is viewed as explosive by many liberal Friends.
Some interesting tidbits from the history of Friends in Christ interaction with Baltimore YM. In the earliest days, we talked with the YM Advancement and Outreach Co-Clerk, a former BYM Clerk, about possibly getting some support from the Committee. She told me that BYM would not allow a new meeting without the same theological mix typical of the YM. A new Christ-centered meeting within BYM would not be permissible.
Years later, Friends in Christ representatives met with key BYM folks - Clerks, General Secretary, Clerk of Ministry and Counsel, FUM Representative. The consensus was that it would split the YM if we asked to join.
Georgia may not be aware of this history, but the response to her proposal fits the pattern. The BYM establishment is very scared of Christ-centered Friends.
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