Introducing Deborah Shaw

IMG_3572Greetings to all in and through that Precious Love and Light!

I was born into a Quaker family.  My first six years were spent in Pennsylvania, going to an unprogrammed meeting weekly, staying in meeting since infancy, following an hour of First Day School.  This weekly time of expectant waiting worship within a faith community continues to be my refuge, solace, challenge, instruction and joy! Our family’s moves afforded worship opportunities with Friends in Arizona and California.  Attending Olney Friends School in southeastern Ohio felt like a coming home to me – being received into the Conservative flavor of Quakerism, sweetly familiar as my father’s father had been a part of Iowa Conservative and so when I landed in North Carolina, I was grateful to again find a place amongst Conservative Friends.

Attending and later working at Guilford College (the only Quaker college in the South) had a great impact on me, as all branches of Friends are represented in this area, with seasoned Friends from around the world regularly coming to visit and speak.  A turning point for me was being privileged to be North Carolina Yearly Meeting’s representative to the 1985 World Gathering of Young Friends, which was held at Guilford. Gathering with over 300 young Friends from all over the world and across the Quaker spectrum challenged me to articulate what was particular to my interior landscape, to be able to authentically share with these dear Friends that which was most precious to me, my faith, my journey with God.  

I am closing in on one year of retirement after serving the past 25 years predominantly with young adult Friends (and fellow travelers) attending Guilford.  Being called to accompany others into the Presence of God, to validate physical manifestations of “Spirit poured on flesh,” to listen in tongues, to be a listening, compassionate, non-judgmental heart for countless people, to create safe space for seekers to be, has occupied my time all with the aid of the Holy Spirit.  The way in which I feel called to be in the world has translated easily to leading retreats in many places and in all these venues I especially delight in being able to enter into the Presence of God with others, the old Quaker practice of having an “opportunity.”

I am grateful and excited to be joining with “the other” Deborah and Lloyd Lee in this ministry! Each of them have been dear companions along the way for me in my spiritual journey and I am filled with joy at the opportunity to labor with them in this precious task.

(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.)


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