The Show

In historical Quakerism, Friends serving in ministry often kept a journal during their travels, with a tradition of passing it along to others down the line. While that still happens occasionally, keeping a journal and handing it on has largely fallen out of fashion. Consequently, it seems to us that there are probably many openings, encouragements, and wise reflections that are being lost to time without being recorded somewhere to be passed on. We’re hoping that this project can serve to do some of that recording, and we mean that literally: with a microphone and in person.

Though magazines like Friends JournalWestern Friend, and Quaker Life are produced regularly, they don’t often feature in-depth explorations of how an individual grows (and struggles!) in service. Similarly, while Quaker Theology is an excellent journal for the development of academic Quaker Studies literature, it tends not to engage in personal narrative or spiritual biography. In a different vein, though QuakerSpeak does an excellent job of highlighting how individuals think about The Religious Society of Friends and issues relevant to Friends, the brevity of their format means narrative is necessarily cut short. This project, with regularly released audio and transcriptions, is an attempt to fill this gap.

Beginning in the spring of 2017 we’re planning to start travel within New England Yearly Meeting, visiting with Friends for conversation. We want to hear stories about what it has been like for people to follow leadings into service. What have been the struggles? The joys? How has way unfolded and what lessons are there to share? We feel honored to be able to collect these stories and excited to be able to share them with you.

At some point we’ll begin editing each of the recordings down to somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 minutes. By September of 2017 we’ll be ready to begin releasing an episode every week until some day in the fall when we run out of content. Each episode will be transcribed and come along with some queries for community and individual use.

When we finish in the fall, if Friends have found the project worthwhile, we'd be willing to start the process over again with more further travel, conversation, and additional episodes. We’ll cross that bridge when if get to it.

The Title

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.

The Hosts

Kristina and Callid Keefe-Perry live in Arlington, MA and are members of Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of New England Yearly Meeting. They serve on the Spiritual Growth Committee of Fresh Pond and both travel in the ministry within and beyond the Friends’ denomination, each carrying a minute of travel from their Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Meeting. They have offered bible studies, been plenary speakers, and led retreats in Lake Eerie Yearly Meeting, Intermountain Yearly Meeting, New York Yearly Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting, and Pacific Yearly Meeting. They have been teachers of Quakerism at Pendle Hill retreat center and are the creators of the Jewels of Quakerism series for adult religious education.

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Callid is a grateful husband and father. Currently he is completing a PhD in Theological Studies at Boston University. His scholarship is at the intersection of imaginative and creative practices and their connection to teaching, learning, and spiritual formation. His present research relates to the development of a public theology of education and the ways U.S. public schools spiritually affect youth. He has previously published work on the use of communal discernment and has taught the practice of the Clearness Committee to hundreds of youth beyond Quakerism. He is the author of Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer and the Executive Chair of the Association for Theopoetics Research and Exploration. He is a long time performer of improv theatre and can sometimes be caught on stage with his team, “How Time Works.” More about Callid is available via CallidKeefePerry.com

Kristina is the mother of a first grader, a wife, and a native Californian. She grew up among redwood and oak trees and from there has followed her passion and sense of call into many areas of work and geography. Trained as a cultural geographer and cartographer she has worked significantly in sustainable agriculture around issues of equitable access to healthy food. A  graduate of Boston University’s School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity, there she focused on the ministry of chaplaincy. An acknowledged Elder within the Religious Society of Friends, she facilitates retreats and leads worship in Quaker churches and other settings. Currently, she coordinates Creation Care Ministry for the American Baptist Churches in Massachusetts and is a childbirth doula, hospice volunteer, mediator in small claims court, master composter, and lover of singing. As a permaculture designer, she finds that sometimes the things that present themselves as challenges are really as-yet-to-be innovations.

Our Support

 

On Carrying a Concern is produced as a ministry under the care of Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting (Cambridge, MA) and with the financial support of New England Yearly Meeting's Legacy Gift Fund.