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I've been browsing the forums today and reading some interesting stuff, so I thought I'd introduce myself.


I've been a reader of Bishop Spong's columns for a long time, but haven't posted on these forums before (though I do post extensively on other ones so I'm not new to forum culture). I am a British expat living in the USA - now an American citizen as well. I am a Quaker, though I don't think of myself as a Christian. In fact I would say that Bishop Spong's columns are about the only thing that keeps me feeling I have a thread of connection with Christianity.


Like most Brits my age (I'm 61) I grew up with an 'act of corporate worship' every morning at school - Bible reading, hymn and homily from the head teacher. If nothing else, this has the advantage of familiarizing you with the language and stories of the Bible and the beautiful poetry and music of some of the English hymnal (and the dreariness and platitudes of the rest). I attended a Methodist church in my teens, having been raised by an atheist father and a very lapsed Catholic mother so never attended church or had religious education beyond school lessons as a child. However, I have to admit that the church attendance was more for the youth club than anything else.


As an adult, when I had children, we decided to have them baptized on the grounds that you couldn't properly assess what you did not know, and we attended a C of E church regularly for many years. However, the longer I did this, the unhappier I grew with the language of the church, the hymns and the Bible, and the less I was able to join in with saying things I simply did not believe. Eventually I withdrew altogether.


Finally I found a Quaker meeting, which suited me from the moment I walked into it. Most of the worship is in silence, and there is a huge tolerance of a very wide range of thought. After my first husband died and I met my second, American, husband and moved to the US, I found a Quaker meeting here of which I am now a member and in which I feel at home and happy.


I look forward to reading more discussions and joining in, but this is probably enough from me for one day!



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Hi Jenny,


Thanks so much for sharing some of your background. I would think you will feel right and home here. We have other members who self-identify as Quakers and in my view they share most wonderfully with words and a spirit of unity.


Welcome to the forum and jump in anytime you feel so moved.



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Welcome JennyD. Its good to hear from you. :D

I have been a member of differing churches in my time, including the C of E, and like you I eventually settled with the Quakers. It is the freedom to question things and to be honest to what one personally believes instead of having it prescribed that I like. However, I know that there are a growing number of churches with progressive/liberal views like the Quakers. I just wish Spong had been my minister. I think it would of helped me through a lot of difficult soul searching and things if he had.

I think you will easily be able to make yourself at home here too.

Best wishes, Pete

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Welcome Jenny. Whilst I don't identify myself as a Christian or even as a Progressive Christian, I do enjoy reading the wide variety of topics introduced here. I too subscribe to Spong's newsletter (which I thoroughly enjoy), but I am also on the mailing list of one Philip Gulley - a Quaker Pastor & author, and if his writings are anything to go by concerning Quakers, I think I can appreciate why you feel at home! I have to say that if either Gulley or Spong had been my ministers growing up, I may well not carry a lot of the baggage I do concerning Christianity and God. I hope you enjoy your time here.



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