Moment of Truth: Wilmington Yearly Meeting Divides over a Familiar Set of Issues

By Stephen W. Angell Wilmington Yearly Meeting (WYM), assembled at the Friends Meeting in Maryville, Tennessee, on the last weekend of July, released five meetings (four monthly meetings and one preparatory meeting) that requested to sever connections with the yearly meeting. Wilmington Yearly Meeting includes Friends Churches in the states of Tennessee and Ohio, and […]

The Separation Generation

By Chuck Fager; with material edited and adapted from previous issues of Quaker Theology. I – Background It’s not easy – in fact, impossible – to pick a starting date for what I call the “Separation Generation” in American Quakerism. My personal preference is July 1977, when the first major interbranch conference in decades, gathered in […]

Is There Life after Death in Quaker North Carolina?

Chuck Fager Demolishing a 320-Year-Old Meeting     At 10:58 Eastern time,  Seventh Day (Saturday), Eighth Month (August) 5, 2017, at Quaker Lake Camp near Liberty, NC, Clerk Michael Fulp asked, “Do you approve?”     The assembled Friends, about 120 of them, responded with a surprisingly subdued, “Approve.” And with that, they pressed the button that […]

An Increasingly Familiar Story: Northwest Yearly Meeting Expulsions & Sequelae

Chuck Fager We’ve also been following the growing tensions in Northwest Yearly Meeting, out west (see Issue #24:, Issue #27  ; and Issue #28 ).     In January 2017, these tensions came to a head when the YM leadership announced a purge of several meetings that had adopted LGBT-affirming positions or minutes.  The leadership framed this as a […]

Wilmington YM: Another Yearly Meeting Schism?

By Stephen W. Angell The Fairview Minute This eloquent minute (around which most of the discussion in annual sessions in Wilmington Yearly Meeting was based) was approved on January 15, 2017, in a small rural Friends’ church in New Vienna, Ohio. It was in response to a longstanding disagreement in that yearly meeting over a […]

Back From The Brink: North Carolina Yearly Meeting Says No To A Split

Chuck Fager I North Carolina Yearly Meeting-FUM (NCYM) has ended the two-year effort to purge its “liberal meetings.” This seems to be the most definite outcome of its showdown annual session on August 13 and 14, 2016. It was a very close thing. The leadership wanted a purge disguised as a split, and the steamroller […]

North Carolina & Northwest Yearly Meeting Updates: Ambushed, Sandbagged, and Kicked Down The Road

Chuck Fager I Have you seen moments like this in detective films, or in stories? When Sherlock, or whoever the sleuth is, hunches forward and shouts: “Good God, Watson! How could I be such a FOOL??” (Usually, it means things are about to get very interesting.) I had that kind of a moment Saturdayྭmorning, November 7, 2015. […]

Quakers and “Transformation”

An Editorial Commentary You ask me, it’s a sure sign of a needed change coming: Just as I was finishing up this piece, I found a notice that The Center for Spiritual & Social Transformation, part of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California just changed its name (on September 1, 2015) to the […]

George Fox University and West Hills Friends:

Controversy and Conflict in NorthwestYearly Meeting By Stephen W. Angell [Editor’s Note: In Issue #24, we reported on a two-sided struggle that had appeared in Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM). On one side, there emerged a visible support group for LGBT students, staff and alumni at the Newberg. Oregon campus of NWYM’s academic offspring, George Fox […]

Part II: Northwest Yearly Meeting Elders “Release” (i.e., Expel) West Hills Friends Meeting

Background On July 24, 2015, only hours after the annual NWYM sessions had adjourned, NWYM elders communicated to West Hills Friends Meeting (WHF) that they had been expelled, or, in the el­ders’ term, “released,” from the yearly meeting. This action has a long pre-history that we have covered in QT #24. WHF is a 1989 […]

Thunder In Carolina, Part Two: North Carolina Yearly Meeting – FUM And “Unity” vs. Uniformity

Chuck Fager I We begin by looking back to August 30, 2014, at the annual session of NCYM-FUM. The Executive Committee has just made its report. Almost immediately intense controversy breaks out. Pastors and others from four meetings, in particular, rose to loudly insist that business, as usual, be set aside. The yearly meeting, they […]

Thunder In Carolina: North Carolina Yearly Meeting – FUM

Chuck Fager North Carolina Quaker Showdown As this issue went to press, North Carolina Yearly Meeting-FUM (NCYM) was on the brink of a showdown over its future, with a high probability of undergoing a major schism. What’s at stake in the struggle? Many things, but what stands out are four Ms: Mission, morality, marriage, and […]

Letters From Meeting Demanding Disciplinary Action Against Meetings With Which They Differ – And Responses

[Note: The letters are reproduced here, and are also online at our website. Links are listed after the letters. The quality of reproduction is as good as we could make it from the available copies.] Bethesda Friends Meeting, Dunn, North Carolina Deep Creek Friends Meeting, Yadkinville NC Deep Creek Friends Meeting – Page 2 Forbush […]

Links to NCYM-FUM letters online

Protesting Letters Poplar Ridge Letter: https://afriendlyletter.com/files/Poplar-Ridge-Friends-NCYMFUM.pdf Pine Hill: https://afriendlyletter.com/files/Pine-Hill-Friends-NCYM-08-3024.pdf Deep Creek: https://afriendlyletter.com/files/Deep-Creek-Friends.pdf Hopewell: https://afriendlyletter.com/fles/Hopewell-Friends-NCYM-082014.pdf Forbush: https://afriendlyletter.com/fles/Forbush-Friends-082014.pdf Plainfeld: https://afriendlyletter.com/fles/Plainfeld-Letter-ALL.pdf Bethesda: https://afriendlyletter.com/fles/Bethesda-Letter.pdf Responses Fancy Gap Withdrawal Letter: https://afriendlyletter.com/files/Fancy-Gap-Quit-Letter.pdf Spring Meeting “Stay Put” Letter: https://afriendlyletter.com/fles/Spring-Letter-Stay.pdf

Separation Accomplished: New Beginnings for a New Association of Friends and a “Reconfigured” Indiana Yearly Meeting

By Stephen W. Angell The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and set out, the believers commending him to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. – Acts 15:39-41 (NRSV). Has a […]

Northwest Yearly Meeting and “Shattering” Conflict: Chapter One

Chuck Fager with Jade Souza With the schism in Indiana Yearly Meeting over one meeting’s open welcome to LGBT persons now complete, one could have thought this journal would have a break from coverage of such events. But it was not to be. In July 2013, another American Friends church, this time in an evangelical […]

A Conservative Yearly Meeting is Born

Lloyd Lee WilsonAdapted from Remarks at Representative Body, North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative), 10/30/2004 Several years ago, Wil Cooper gave a plenary address to our yearly meeting sessions. After his prepared remarks, a member of the audience (not a Friend) rose to ask a question. Friends, this man observed, in his experience talked about themselves […]

The Core Quaker Theology: Is There Such a Thing?

Chuck FagerAdapted from a presentation atAmawalk Meeting, New York, 8th Mo 14, 2004 When I hear or read of questions about such things as “normative Quakerism,” or “authentic Quakerism” or “traditional Quakerism,” it usually means one of two things: either a person or group feels very much confused and at sea, and is honestly looking […]

“If Grace Be True: Why God Will Save Every Person*” and “A Treatise on Atonement*” Reviewed

Reviewed by Chuck Fager Dissident Quaker Meetings in Indiana Almost two hundred years ago, Hosea Ballou foretold what would befall two Quaker pastors in Indiana, Philip Gulley and his good friend James Mulholland, in 2002: To profess universal salvation,” Ballou wrote, “will subject some to excommunication from regular churches; others to the pain of being […]