Thursday, December 16, 2010

Search: Friends School

In the spring of my second year at William Penn, I found out about a new position at Moorestown Friends School in New Jersey. This was the newly developed Chester Reagan Chair in Faith and Practice. It was a combination of secondary school teaching, curriculum development, and ministry to students and faculty. It was with a good deal of anticipation and happiness that my family returned to the east coast and to a new adventure in Friends Education.

During my first two years at MFS I spent a good deal of time reexamining many of the writings from early Friends and some new ones. However, the more I sought answers from others, the more I recognized that it is in asking the right questions that the right answer finds us. As I wrote in the school’s annual on the theme of mystery

The greatest mystery

Is in seeking Truth and Love

We become the found.

I determined that my spiritual guide needed to be that which had found me. In early Friends language, I had been found by Christ and I was leaving myself there. I marveled at the twists and turns that had occurred which led me to that point and had numerous questions. Is there A path, or is it more like a mansion with many rooms and doors opening among them. Are there answers, or is it that all questions can lead toward the answer. Is it my training in developing hypotheses and then asking questions to formulate a new hypothesis that contributes to my use of the question format in my seeking.

I also became aware of the need for correctives in my questioning. Two of the main ones are the writings of early Friends and the Queries. The use of William Penn’s Fruits of Solitude was helpful in recognizing the discipline of concisely stating mileposts along the way. I believe that too often we may not share what or who we have already found as we continue our search. We recognize that we have not found the final answers but we should share answers that we have found along the way or at least the markings that have guided us thus far. The Queries have been used as guides along the way which may be appropriately asked at very different times and places but which continually point in the direction toward which we should be tending.

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