TAKING UP THE CROSS: Is It Still Relevant for Friends Today?
Friends Center, Barnesville, Ohio
November 5-7, 2010
“The cross of Christ, which is the power of God.” These are the words Margaret Fell wrote in True Testimony in 1660. In their willingness “to take up the cross” – to practice radical obedience to God — Friends have done much to turn the world upside down. Today, Friends’ response to “the cross”, is scattered at best–some may see it as a central symbol of Jesus’ death and resurrection; others may find it irrelevant or even part of a damaging theology. Few Friends now would say, as Margaret Fell did, that the cross is “the power of God” in our lives.
This weekend will be a time of exploring what “take up the cross” meant in the lives of Early Friends and what it might mean in our lives today. We will prayerfully consider such questions as: What is our cross, individually and as a people of God? How are we called to change outwardly and inwardly? Can we help each other to take up our cross, to heed God’s particular call to us? What can we learn about the meaning and power of the cross from Early Friends’ experience and from Christian theology? What does the cross have to teach us about being with, and not fleeing from, the suffering in the world? What might contemporary Friend Bill Taber have meant by his often-spoken phrase, “the cross of joy?”
Marge Abbott is a released Friend from Multnomah Monthly Meeting in Portland, Oregon. She has traveled among Friends in Intermountain Yearly Meeting as the Brinton Visitor and taught at Pendle Hill and Woodbrooke among other venues. Marge has written several books and pamphlets, including Walk Worthy of Your Calling (with Peggy Senger Parsons), A Certain Kind of Perfection, Christianity and the Inner Life (Pendle Hill pamphlet # 402), and most recently, To Be Broken and Tender. After completing service as clerk of FCNL, she is now clerk for the FWCC Steering Committee organizing a worldwide consultation on global change.
For more information or to register to attend the workshop visit the Ohio Yearly meeting website at http://ohioyearlymeeting.org