Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Valiant Sixteen - Part 2

The Historical Practice of Friends Traveling in the Ministry
“The ‘valiant sixty’ was a movement of men and women in their late teens and twenties who went first to London, Bristol, and Norwich to proclaim the Gospel message.  Later they traveled to Europe and to the American colonies to carry the message abroad.”  Wilmer A. Cooper, A Living Faith: A Historical Study of Quaker Beliefs
In the early days of the Religious Society of Friends, many women and men felt called to travel in the ministry.  Although there are an increasing number of traveling ministers today, meetings and churches may have little or no experience with Friends traveling in the ministry.  

A surprising number of the ministers I spoke with had formally studied Friends, Friends history, and travel in the ministry in college or in seminary.  Meetings and churches are fortunate to have ministers with a strong understanding of the history of travel in the ministry, but it can be draining for these ministers to have the added burden of educating their meetings and the meetings they visit about the historical practice of Friends traveling in the ministry.

Accordingly, the first step meetings and churches can take in supporting young Friends who feel called to travel in the ministry is to become familiar with the practice, both historically and in the present day, and to learn about the various ways that meetings and churches can support these leadings.

[From the research paper I wrote for the School of the Spirit on the spiritual nurture of young Friends traveling in the ministry.]

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