Friends 2007: Adventures in getting the point

Here are some quotes from blogs where I think what they say represents what I feel are adventures in getting the point from the Friends 2007 event. There are times where we will miss the point or need time to process … but these gems are pretty good.
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“… the Friends in Conversation event, you have to understand, was a difficult and risky step for me. One it meant me making a choice for myself to step aside from ‘family’ decisions, and two, it meant me coming out in the open and admit it, so yes, I’ve had some issues with ‘church’, and for far too long I’ve been sweeping it under the carpet.” – An uncommon departure

“… on a more personal level, today was a good day for me. Far from being weary, my time away has enabled me to be refreshed by the conversations today … evoking thoughts and feelings that I have not felt for sometime. Privately, I was thinking again about the basic tenets of my faith .. my Salvation, His death on the cross, the stark realisation of my own failings, vulnerability and helplessness … and the word GRACE seemed to be echoing in my head all the time. While it is true that for me, I found grace outside the church yet I cannot deny that it was GOD that had extended it to me, and for that I am grateful.

I came. I listened. I have no regrets.
Perhaps it IS true that God works in many, mysterious and wondrous ways.” – Who?

“I began this blog with this description of myself – one “who embraces God’s gift of life -to eat, drink and make the most of my job and whatever else wonderful that comes my way.” While this attitude towards life remains true, dialogues at “Friends in Conversation: A Quiet Revolution of Hope” recently made me think about greater issues than myself.

I’ve not had so much “food for thought” in awhile. What caught my attention, quite dramatically, was the small group discussion in which I participated late Saturday afternoon. The day sessions comprised plenary and panel discussions on the topics of “Gospel” and “Church.” It would, at that point, have been easier to go into small groups that were discussing the Gospel or the Church.

The one I ended being part of was to discuss the “World.” Now, why did I sign up for this? I don’t remember why actually, except that I must have thought it was a session that would tell me what God was doing on a large scale and around the world. As a Christian, I believe it is good to be in touch with “the waves” that God’s creating around the world. Knowledge helps shape our thoughts, attitudes, behaviors and actions.” – A Quiet Revolution of Hope

“The conversations are still going on, more vibrant in fact, after one week since QRoH. I fell really sick after the first day and missed the session on World the next day. But for me, the conference ended just on the right note – with Sivin reading out the Franciscan Benediction which echoes some of my own introspection:

May God bless you with discomfort
at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships
so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people
so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war
so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world
so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. ” – QRoH – A Compilation

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