What Canst Thou Say Minister and Elders colloquium

WCTS colloquium book cover, featuring Jen Elam paste paper artProceedings of the What Canst Thou Say (WCTS) Colloquium for Ministers and Elders are available for purchase on Lulu.com or portions are available for free download from the WCTS website.    
The publication documents a gathering sponsored by WCTS at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Chicago from October 6 – 9, 2017. Twenty-nine experienced ministers and elders from a number of branches of Quakerism enriching the spiritual diversity of the gathering. Prior to the Colloquium, participants were encouraged to read the book, Inner Tenderings by Louise Wilson.

Paul Buckley spoke about “Restoring the Art of Eldering,” at its core: “See the Light, turn toward the Light, follow the Light.” Jennifer Elam tapped into our creativity as we played with clay and then wrote our impressions. Lucy Davenport spoke on “Laying Claim to our Calling” and Dan Davenport offered reflections on “Obstacles to Ministry.” Fernando Freire facilitated a Spirit-led discussion of “Covenanting,” Small groups pondered passages from Jeremiah 31:3134, Hebrews 8:6-13, and the Journal of George Fox on covenants to reflect on their own experience and form covenants from this Colloquium.

Participants marveled at the miracles and mischief of the Holy Spirit manifested among us. Messages expressed: concern about the diminishment of the Christian base of the Religious Society of Friends, signs of renewal among Friends that gave hope, deep trouble because members of the Society of Friends are not surrendering to the Holy Spirit, and a sense of planting seeds and leaving the harvest to God.