The show gets its name from the early Quaker phrase “carrying a concern,” which was used to communicate how it felt when a Friend was traveling in the ministry. For example, when the abolitionist John Woolman was traveling in the ministry it could have been said that he was “carrying a concern for the ending of slavery.” In the 17th century English of Early Friends, “concern” meant business, so to have the Spirit lay a concern on you meant that you were being given a task to accomplish. A ministry to live into. In any case, what was being communicated is that the minister felt something had been laid upon their heart and mind by God and they had to somehow act differently if they wanted to remain feeling faithful and in integrity.
The shared language and metaphors of Quakerism has changed over the years, but we think that there's still some shared experience underneath the various ways we have of talking about it. What it comes down to is that we want to explore the sense that someone gets when they feel there's a piece of work that must be done and that it is theirs to do. What is it like to live with that feeling? How do folks process it? Where do they think it comes from? Can it be dodged? Encouraged? This is a show about those things.