Wherever you go--there you are


More evidence? Thank you!
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Backwater--the edges of time...
Thanks to all who comprise this forum--I'm very impressed with the open, supportive and curious nature of those who post here, as well as their knowledge and intelligence, and I feel blessed to have been led here, for led I'm sure I was.
I was born into the Mennonite Church, one of the Anabaptist churches of the radical left wing of the Protestant Reformation. My religious sentiment was swept away in the tumult of the late sixties and the reaction of the disco inferno seventies, but I wasn't able to forget it entirely. In a world where Van Morrison could sing such a song as "Full Force Gale", there had to be an Over-I of some sort.
In the last couple of years, I've made a halting attempt to reclaim a faith that I'm not sure I ever really had before. Traditional Christianity is difficult for me to reconnect with, but I choose to see myself as a Christian, since that is the faith that has primarily informed my life. I see no exclusivity in Christianity, though--God, or whatever we may call It, is immanent--made known to all who seek, and present in those who have yet to look.
Recently, I've been reading Elaine Pagels' books on early Christianity, Elie Wiesel's tales of Hasidic masters, and Trich Nach Hanh's Going Home--Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, and may eventually finish Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God series--eventually ;)
Anyhow--very glad to have found this spot!
hey Bluejay-

the "Masks of God" series is pretty interesting- read a few of them and really liked 'em. he has some other really great books on more general myths and archetypes.

and welcome!
Zdrastvuitsye, hola, shalom, salaam, Dia dhuit, namastar ji, hej, konnichiwa, squeak, meow, :wave: BluejayWay.

Have you read any Chaim Potok, Isaac Beishevis Singer or Sholom Aleichem? They are Jewish writers (the latter two you might want to get translations since they wrote in Yiddish.) You might be familiar with Aleichem since he wrote what later became the famous musical Fiddler on the Roof. Singer wrote what (loosely) became the movie Yentl (there was a big todo about the film when it came out.) They aren't really religious writers, but you can see the lifestyles and the conflicts within the communities.

Phyllis Sidhe_Uaine
Thanks, all, for your kind welcomes. I'm looking forward to exploring the discussions, learning from you all, and getting to know you all better--and eventually perhaps having something profound to contribute myself;)

Brian, thanks for capitalizing my handle correctly! Could I impose on you to edit "BluejayWay" to "BlueJayWay", since I don't think I can edit my login myself--or correct me if I'm wrong--

ISFP, I'm a Hoosier myself--where do you go to school, if I may ask? I live in the South Bend area.

Phyllis, I've read Potok and Aleichem, although many years back. Singer I'm only now beginning to read. All very good writers. I think Christians overlook the great traditions of Jewish Talmudic and Torah studies at their great cost.

And Alexa, thank you for the compliment! My name is Jay, and I've always loved the George Harrison song, so the bluejay is my totemic animal from the feathery tribe.

Havea wonerful day, all, and if I might ask--please pray for my country, the United States, as we head to the polls today to determine our course for the next four years. I believe we need all the help we can get....
ISFP, I didn't want to assume, but since you are a "Quasi-Quaker", I would've guessed Earlham:D . I went to school at Goshen College--we'd play Earlham in soccer now and again, back in the day. The first Goshen-Earlham game I saw, your team consisted primarily of longhairs who were remarkably nonathletic--but hey, they tried, and as a longhair myself, I appreciated it--

Yup, been to Bloomington, lol!
yeah, we still suck at sports. :D

don't even ask about the football team.

and what kind of school is Goshen? sorry, we're such a bubble here, little news of the outise world ever filters in. (P.S. Bloomington kicks ass.)
Goshen is a Mennonite Church-supported school, socially and politically liberal, and we still suck at most sports, too--especially basketball, which is pretty pathetic for an Indiana school, eh? Our soccer heydays are behind us, even. But, we do have a winning record against Notre Dame! They dropped us from their schedule some years ago, but we can still brag:)

Mennonites do have an affinity for Quakers. We share pacifism and a tendency to emphasize social gospel activism. The first I'd ever heard the old Quaker song "George Fox", it was sung by a Mennonite choir.
"With your old leather breeches and your shaggy shaggy locks, you are pulling down the pillars of the world, George Fox!...If we give you a pistol, will you fight for the Lord? No, the Devil can't be beaten with a gun or a sword!"
and i've always liked the mennonites.... funny how these things work out. there's a mennonite community just a few miles away which is pretty cool. i've got to sing that song to some of my professors, see if they know it. :D
I see a Peace Church thread coming on....

At Goshen, for many years--prolly still is--a course entitled "War, Peace, and Nonresitance" was taught. For a while in the Mennonite Church, there was talk of a Peace Brigade type of organization being organized. If international or internicene conflict was threatened anywhere in the work, volunteers would place themselves physically between the warring factions, as witnesses, and potential sacfifices, to peace. The idea never got off the ground, but I would have rejoined the church at the point that it would have been implemented.
"No greater love", and all that....

On NPR today, Quaker resistance to slavery before the Civil War was mentioned. God bless your people, ISFP--