Outline of a spiritual autobiography

Two weeks ago I spoke to our meeting on my spiritual autobiography.  The meeting does several of these a year, provided there are willing volunteers.

I began by explaining that I’d grown up in a nearby unprogrammed Friends meeting which was rather similar to our meeting.  That I had become a Christian by convincement and that I would be trying faithfully to make the session one of sharing history and insights with my Friends, not an evangelical project.  I explained that my language would be Christian, as that matches best what’s in my heart.

Then I opened up to questions, answers or topics people wanted to hear about.  As I proceeded through my outline, I paid attention to those parts of it that might address those interests.

Here are the points I had written as an outline.  I haven’t expanded these in writing, but might someday.  If you’re interested in one or two, please ask for details, make suggestions or offer your related experiences in a comment.

  • Childhood in an unprogrammed meeting.  The influences of that community and some of those Friends.
  • The influences on me of my grandma and my older brother.
  • Quakers in Nigeria, where I lived during sixth grade
  • Friends School Saffron Walden for a year
  • Exposure to responsibility in the meeting as an adolescent and young adultRubble of my dismantled self
  • My interest in FCNL and preference for their clear strategy
  • Quaker Youth Pilgrimage of 1973
  • Coming of age in the Friends meeting (in Intermountain YM) where I started college.  My role as an experienced Friend in a young meeting
  • Attending a conservative meeting for a summer
  • The experience of being dismantled and shown my weakness in comparison to: God’s gently applied strength, and the challenges and expectations before me.  The assistance from the Lord that offers just sufficient resource to do the work I’m called to.
  • Young Friends of North America and Western Young Friends
  • Learning to clerk
  • The career call to physical activity and helping people come into God’s presence with joy and thanksgiving (Psalm 100)
  • The call I received to be part of this Friends meeting and settle in this town

In the next entry, I’m including more outline, about what I said and what I omitted.