Quakers and Pastors

View this email in your browser

 

September 9, 2019

Our newest title, On Quakers and Pastors, from Derek Brown, has been in the works for more than two years. You can find it in our bookstore, and I’ve included an introduction to the book below:

For three centuries, members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) have regularly met to worship in extended times of silence punctuated by vocal testimony. Anyone can stand and share. This practice reflects the Quaker rejection of hierarchy and the belief that God can speak through any person, regardless of gender, race, or class.

But in the late nineteenth century, revivalism swept through America, and some Quaker meetings began to hire pastors to preach and teach for the benefit of new members – a practice that spread rapidly. Today many Friends meetings have pastors, and in those congregations, the sermon has largely replaced or severely limited traditional Quaker worship. 

These changes have not been without controversy. There are those who feel that a professionalized clergy is entirely incompatible with the ethos of historic Quakerism. On the other hand, there are some who believe that the pastoral system saved American Quakerism. 

In this study, Derek Brown identifies patterns in those Friends churches that have embraced a pastoral system, and he also demonstrates how a Christ-centered Quaker pastoral theology might strengthen a church’s Quaker heritage while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of its pastoral leadership.

As Friends seek to adapt to the needs of twenty-first century America, they must enter into an ecclesiological conversation with their past practice, their present context, and their current condition. Consider this book a frame and guide for those discussions – the beginning of a journey.


Eric Muhr

P.S. Derek Brown is Vice President for Graduate Studies at Barclay College, where he also serves as Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Chair of the Pastoral Ministry department. He earned a Ph.D. from Johnson University, where his research focused on Quaker ecclesiology and pastoral theology. Derek is married to his college sweetheart, Jessica, and has twin daughters – Sophia and Sarah.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com
Copyright © 2019 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

On pilgrimage

View this email in your browser

 

August 19, 2019

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Bethany Lee reflects on Psalm 121 and the nature of pilgrimage: “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all wandered, so maybe it should have come as no surprise that they fathered a wandering nation. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness. Paul spent much of his life of ministry traveling. Jesus himself had ‘no place to lay his head’” (Matthew 8:20).

We, too, are wanderers.

If you’re familiar with Bethany, you may already know about the year her family spent at sea. “My daughters were in middle school, and our family managed to cut enough ties to land life to take a sabbatical year aboard our small sailboat. Since my return, I’ve found commonality when speaking to others who’ve spent long, slow miles in one direction.” Bethany’s brother-in-law hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, “one section at a time over the course of eleven years. My friends Martha and Sandra who walked the El Camino pilgrimage in Spain.” And Bethany has been reminded in these shared experiences that the value of pilgrimage comes at least in part from facing into “life’s inherent uncertainty, to get lost, to stumble over surprises, to follow a path as well as to wander, to leave where you are as a way of finding your way home.”

I can relate to this – life’s inherent uncertainty. Maybe you can, too. I wonder if this is why the psalmist offers both an anchor point – “I lift up my eyes to the mountains” – and a promise – “The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

The psalm is a “song of ascent,” but it is also a prayer for pilgrims:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.


Bethany admits that she didn’t know she was “embarking on a pilgrimage, but along the way, I began to walk in pilgrim shoes.” In the wilderness, she found both “struggles and gifts,” and she challenges us to consider how we might also already be on a pilgrimage of our own: “Consider where in your own life you are feeling unsettled or moving from one place to another.” After all, “it doesn’t take travel to be a pilgrim.”


Eric Muhr

P.S. Although Bethany is still working on the book about her family’s time at sea, you can find more of her short essays in this week’s Fruit of the Vine. Bethany’s book of poetry, The Breath Between, was released last spring and is available online in the Barclay Press Bookstore.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com
Copyright © 2019 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

There’s a wave coming

View this email in your browser

 

August 5, 2019

Is Barclay Press worth saving?

Early this spring, I heard that Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI) might be working to start its own publishing house in order to replace the services that Barclay Press historically has offered to evangelical Friends churches. This possibility was confirmed in an email exchange this last month and re-confirmed in a follow-up email late last week. I believe there has always been more need than supply for quality Friends materials, so I’m interested in the success of these efforts. I also know from experience that these same efforts could put even more financial stress on Barclay Press.

You already know about our financial stress. Many of you have given generously to support us. You’ve sent in 162 individual donations in 2019 (up 46 percent over this time last year) for a total of $20,074.

We’ve used your donations to accomplish far more than we otherwise could. This tiny, independent, Quaker publisher has released more than one hundred titles since its inception in 1948 (about 1-1/3 books each year). This year, we’ve already published ten new titles!

In addition, more new books are on their way, including the following:

  • Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation by C. Wess Daniels (Friends Center Director at Guilford College) will be released as a paperback with a new foreword from Wes Howard-Brook and a new afterword from Rev. Darryl Aaron
  • On Quakers and Pastors by Derek Brown (VP for Graduate Studies and Chair of Pastoral Ministry at Barclay College)
  • Palestine and Israel: A Personal Encounter by Max L. Carter (member of New Garden Meeting and who previously served as the William R. Rogers director of the Friends Center and Quaker studies at Guilford College)
  • Distinct: Quaker Holiness in Everyday Life by Jennifer M. Buck (Assistant Professor in the Department of Practical Theology at Azusa Pacific University School of Theology)

We’ve also hired Cherice Bock to edit our Illuminate Bible study series. A recorded Quaker minister, Bock sees environmental concerns as one of this generation’s most important social justice issues. Her academic work focuses on nonviolent theology, Quakerism, contextual theologies, feminism, environmental justice, and ecotheology.

We’re at a crossroads. Barclay Press is producing more new work than at any time in our history. We’re accomplishing this new work with no full-time staff, a donation-dependent budget, and the potential loss of our traditional supporters from among evangelical Friends.

Is Barclay Press worth saving? Does the work we do matter? Is there a reason for us to continue moving forward as we have for the last 71 years? 

The history of Barclay Press can be traced to 1948, when Ray Carter and Ralph Fletcher each put up an investment of $3,000 for offset printing equipment that they used to print Northwest Friend magazine (later replaced by Evangelical Friend). When Carter died in 1959, Oregon Yearly Meeting (now Northwest Yearly Meeting*) purchased the equipment and renamed the operation Barclay Press.

In February 2001, Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM) announced its plans to sell the printing equipment and reorganize Barclay Press as an independent, non-profit publishing ministry with a dual focus on Christian spirituality and social responsibility. Part of that reorganization included a merger with George Fox Press, publishing Adult Friend (replaced in 2011 by Illuminate) and the Fruit of the Vine quarterly devotional reader. Funds from Evangelical Friends Church – North America (EFC-NA) yearly meetings supported the creation and distribution of those curricula through the EFC-NA Christian Education Commission.


“The new Barclay Press is a ministry with an appropriate structure, increased efficiency, and profound vision. This structure retains a mission to serve the church and although some of the ministries receive financial support from the church, the relationship creates no potential liability. The combining of books, curriculum, and periodicals into one organization creates new efficiencies in administration, production, marketing, and in the creative use of new media. The new Barclay Press creates a center where vision for Christian outreach through publishing finds expression and fulfillment.” – Dr. John Williams Jr. (2001)

In the intervening years – under the leadership of publishers Dan McCracken (retired in 2015) and Eric Muhr (2016–present) – Barclay Press redesigned and re-released Adult Friend as Illuminate, established four new imprints, and published nearly sixty new titles (more than doubling the size of its catalog). These new books included collections representing the full spectrum of Quaker theology, polity, and praxis in the United States with a special emphasis on theology and a major investment in poetry.

“It is time for a new generation to take Barclay Press into a new era of communication. It is time to empower a new generation with trust, faith, and by stepping out of the way.” – Dan McCracken (2014)

“Evangelical Friends have a story that the larger church needs to hear. And each of us evangelical Friends has our own story, experiences that – when shared – connect people to Christ, to us and to each other. Barclay Press has weathered nearly six decades of change, sharing these stories. The story of Barclay Press, the stories we’ve been given to share – they still matter.” – Eric Muhr (2015)


In 2017, the EFC-NA Christian Education Commission was laid down, and its members were invited to continue serving in an advisory capacity to Barclay Press. Then in February 2018, the Executive Committee of EFC-NA unanimously approved to respectfully separate from its relationship with Barclay Press.

This decision by EFC-NA put pressure on Barclay Press, as it meant a loss of significant financial support. The decision this year to start a new publishing house potentially puts even more pressure on Barclay Press, so I ask, “Is Barclay Press worth saving?”

I think it is.

Barclay Press is doing a new thing, lifting up new voices and serving new audiences. If Friends testimonies matter, then their value extends beyond Friends (and even beyond the bounds of the church).

Barclay Press has also continued to do all of the old things with small but important improvements such as the introduction of historic Quaker quotations to Illuminate along with more and better questions for facilitating class discussions, engaging with Scripture, and prompting personal reflection and spiritual growth.

Here at Barclay Press it feels like we’ve been caught up in an unexpected undercurrent. We’re working to keep our little boat upright, and we’re paddling. We know there’s a wave coming, so we keep paddling. Wondering. Waiting. Always working with the hope that Paul’s words for the church at Thessalonica might become his words for us:

“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Thessalonians 1:2–3).

Thank you,
Eric Muhr

P.S. You can support the continuing work of Barclay Press:

  • Make a one-time or monthly donation by clicking on DONATE at barclaypress.com.
  • Talk to your church or monthly meeting about making support for Barclay Press a part of your budget.
  • Pray for Barclay Press and for the work that we do

*Included churches that are now independent as well as several that have worked together to form a new yearly meeting, Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF)




 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com
Copyright © 2019 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp