Chapter 26 » 26.36
Perceptions of truth
As the Yearly Meeting in 1994 struggled to find unity on whether 26.35 should have a place in our book of discipline, Jo Farrow wrote:
In the seventeenth century the first generation of Friends shocked many of their Christian neighbours. In trying to express their experiences of God – within them, as spirit, inward light, seed, inward teacher – they used words and phrases which sounded strange and audacious to their contemporaries. They spoke of their experiences of being drawn into community with one another using metaphors and analogies which were both new and old at the same time. ‘The kingdom of God did gather us all in a net…’ wrote Francis Howgill, trying to express the sense of relief and excitement which was theirs when they discovered one another and became aware of how deeply they had been drawn together as they struggled to articulate their experiences of the Spirit. In much the same way many women today are discovering a need to express their spirituality in ways which seem as strange to some Friends as the expressions of early Quaker spirituality did to those who first heard them. Rose Ketterer is a member of Haddonfield Friends Meeting, New Jersey. She writes of her attempts to reclaim a more womanly understanding of the divine.