Wess Daniels has eloquently expressed the concept of being apprenticed to the Quaker faith tradition in his recent eBook, Remixing Faith: Seeds of Renewal in the Quaker Tradition. In it he says,
“When it comes to our own renewal as Friends, we need apprentices who are so steeped in the Quaker tradition that they have read the key texts, they know the masters, they are formed by the practices and they are able to let them go in order to create something new. They are able to move out into creativity and improvisation in order to create something new. These apprentices will move from being consumers of the tradition, to producers of the tradition.
“It is critical to recognize that renewal of a tradition does not come at the whim of any person whether inside or outside the tradition, but by the very practitioners who have devoted themselves as apprentices to its texts, virtues and practices. It comes by way of adherents, or “fans” of that tradition paying homage to it by not allowing it to die a forgotten death, nor by protecting it from revision. They do not accept the maintenance of the status quo, they take seriously the challenges it faces and seek to help their tradition move forward in light of them. These are the people who enter the practices in such a way that they have become subordinate not only to the community that now constitutes those practices, but to the historical community of practitioners—those who precede the community now and whose achievements have made possible the existence of that present community; in this way they accept the authority of tradition and have the best possibility of extending it into the future.”
This relationship to the tradition is what I mean when I call myself an apprentice to the Quaker faith tradition, and it is the relationship to which we aspire in Deeper Roots and other Broken Vessel Quaker Ministries efforts and activities. To read more of what Wess has to say in this free eBook, go to http://gatheringinlight.com/2018/11/20/new-ebook-remixing-faith-now-available/.
(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the apprentice authors, and not official statements of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) or Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) of the Religious Society of Friends.)