Quaker Mover and Shakers

Yeah, I’m a Quaker. No, not those folks with the horse and buggies. Those are the Amish. And not the folks with the furniture. Those are the Shakers. And no, it has nothing to do with oat meal.

On Tuesday I arrived at Pendle Hill, a Quaker school and retreat center outside of Philadelphia. Working with the Young Adult Leadership Development program, I presented some of my queer themed pieces, including my talk about language & oppression in the “ex-gay” movement, Talkin’ Trash in the Homo No Mo Halfway House.

Pendle Hill draws both activists and artists. Here you can meet people who worked in japanese internment camps in the 40’s and young teachers who serve at the Friend’s School in Ramallah.

A fully stocked library, a 24 hour art studio where you can do ceramics, silk dying and card making, an organic garden to supply the kitchen (which always offers a vegan meal option), a woodland path through an arboretum, nice spaces to read, write and think. This is where I come to refresh, recharge and get challenged.

Then in meeting for worship, in that quiet, still place, I sort things out (or get sorted out). Tomorrow I leave here to join the other movers and shakers out in the real world (no, not the folks on that inane MTV reality program, those are just silly).

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Peterson Toscano on July 1, 2005 at 3:18 pm Reply

    note: Tom Bodine (see the link for the Japanese Internment Camp) was a Quaker who attended my meeting in Hartford for years until he passed away this spring. A real mover and shaker, and queer, he did unbelievable things in the world. He is one of my heroes.

  2. Michael Ditto on July 1, 2005 at 5:00 pm Reply

    Not all Quakers are lovely accepting people. The church I grew up in makes Dobson look like a beacon of homosexual acceptance.

  3. Peterson Toscano on July 1, 2005 at 5:14 pm Reply

    Yikes! Read your blog entry. That was a Quaker nightmare. I feel so fortunate to have stumbled upon the significantly more open and affirming type of Quaker.

    During the national gathering of Friends General Conference (FGC), a large group of queer Quakers play a major role in the workshops, leadership and worship.

    I’m sure the anti-gay Quakers think that we are just a bunch of bad apples, but we ain’t going away any time soon.

  4. abbyladybug on July 4, 2005 at 7:00 am Reply

    There are bad people in every group. I can’t think of any exceptions. Glad you’ve found the good ones in a religious denomenation that works for you.

  5. Jennifer on July 5, 2005 at 2:24 am Reply

    Well, there is the man on the Quaker Oats oatmeal box, and my suspicions tell me that he’s probably George Fox or some other deceased Quaker big wig.

  6. bookwormaddict on February 18, 2007 at 3:56 am Reply

    Hello!
    I found your blog via Google and wow what a blog! I’m definitely bookmarking yours. Very interesting. Right now I’m currently reading God Among the Shakers. I know it’s not the same as the Quakers or Amish, but I find them very interesting. When I took a Christianity 101 class in college I found these three different Christian secs very interesting!!
    I’d love to hear more about how you became an exgay. Have you ever heard of Setting Captives Free? Just curious.
    Write soon:)

  7. Peterson Toscano on February 19, 2007 at 12:32 pm Reply

    bookwarmaddict, thanks for visiting. Glad you found the blog. I have LOADS on here about my ex-gay experience and even have a play about it I may just have to bring round to your neck of the woods.

    Never heard of that book you mention. I will have to look into it.

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