Envisioning a Strong Future for Quakerism

“I want to be part of a group that not only exists but is thriving in thirty years,” says Johanna Jackson. “I want to be part of a group that’s creative and rooted in their bodies and thriving, and becoming more relevant in the world.” In this episode of QuakerSpeak, Johanna and JT Dorr-Bremme share what they’ve learned over the last 18 months as they spoke with nearly 30 Friends as part of the Listening Project, a series of “interviews that focus on healthy spiritual communities.”

Johanna discusses how The Listening Project revealed the problems caused when Friends go out of their way to avoid conflict or gatekeep each other, particularly across generational lines, in “Visions of a Strong Quaker Future,” which appears in the October issue of Friends Journal.

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6 thoughts on “Envisioning a Strong Future for Quakerism

  1. This was a great beginning. I believe this subject warrants a 20 to 30 minute video from QuakerSpeak. Let Johanna and JT get into some specifics of what they have learned and if available some possible steps their group is considering to make Quakerism more vibrant forward thinking. Love this week’s post!

  2. I found this interesting, though disappointing. I had hoped to hear about such urgent concerns as climate collapse, racism, poverty, and the classism that often separates us Quakers from people whose everyday lives are so impacted by privileged choices. I wonder whether there is any plan to listen to people who live with such struggles, to help us truly move towards more of a gathered community 30 years from now.

  3. I love this but have to say that we need to make a clear distinction between individualism, being totally or mostly for oneself and individuality, being oneself. We need to support everyone’s individuality so that we can recognise when we need to choose not to think just of ones self.
    I have difficulty expressing this fully but I keep trying.
    We should be about celebrating our differences.
    We are not about conforming our individuality so that we are all the same.

  4. I too would be very interested in the learnings that Johanna and JT gained from their ‘Listening Project’ – what are the main themes and has there been much thought as to how to implement the changes that may be required?

  5. I’m sorry but this video is vague and non-specific. No concrete details, no distinct plan. What they say is noncommittal to anything! As quakers we need to stop talking in theory, in ideas of what we want to change. We need to be specific. What can we work on to change what we are doing now? Who will tend to our infrastructure? If you are doing work to listen, then communicate too!

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