Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Future of Friends

:: quarterly meeting ::

The Future of Friends was our theme this for this quarter's gathering of Friends from points along the Willamette Valley, the Oregon Coast, Columbia Gorge, Boise Valley in Idaho.

Although small in numbers, it's about quality more than quantity, and lots of magical switch boarding occurs. My first task, after locking my keys in the car at the campsite, was to phone AAA and get roadside assistance. The dispatcher sent a locksmith from Brightwood.

Our panelists and moderator Jane Snyder did a superb job I thought, of exploring our theme from various angles, with the younger voices talking up the Internet, older voices sharing more from their travels and encounters, with AFSC (Jeff Hunter) and Friends Peace Teams (Ann Dusseau).

Kathy Hyzy (a younger voice) certainly gets around though, in her capacity as Western Friend editor. Sarah Hoggat of George Fox College (the seminary), and blogger, told us of her spiritual voyage, winding up for now in the safe harbor of Peggy Parson's Freedom Friends Church in Salem, Oregon.

I spent much of my time chatting with Leonard, a former chef and abbot's assistant in some zen abbey in California, more recently a computer programmer, ardent student of Hellenic philosophers, of Spinoza, an admirer of Pierre Hadot and his Philosophy as a Way of Life. He's been getting to like Hume as a person, even if he disagrees with the philosophy. Of course I threw Bucky Fuller's Synergetics into the mix, and Wittgenstein's philo ("early or late?" he asked -- showing me he knew his stuff).

I also spent quite a bit of time with Children's Program, going on a nature walk, playing indoor games. It rained most of time, sometimes lightly, sometimes more torrentially.

Debbie, Pam, Jane, Diane and Gayle did a marvelous behind the scenes job I thought. We all did, judging from the informal feedback I'm getting.

Rocky Garrison did a great job of hosting community night, especially if you count his daughter Emily's considerable stage talents.

Sarah shared some tap dancing, her CD playing on my Ubuntu Dell through Derek's audio cables (on loan), through the Kiwanis Club's main hall's (quite adequate) sound system.