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Subject: [Q-R] Conference on Quaker History and Genealogy
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 10:25:36 EST


I attended the Guilford conference two years ago and found it
particularly valuable -- someday I'd like to attend a second time.
I do think that an internet course, although of value, would not provide
nearly the same experience. Quakers were and are tremendously literate
people. Before and after the conference I have read many original sources --
George Fox, Carlyle, Naylor, Orginal Disciplines, etc. Later authors like Tom
Hamm, Elton Trueblood, and even Jessamyn West, who paints wonderful
porttraits of Quaker home life, are fantastic resources. There are a number
of wonderful websites where some of these references are reproduced. I'm sure
with little effort Jerry Richmond could produce a suggested reading list for
his website.
However, I think this misses the whole point of the conference as an
experience. My group was almost evenly divided between Quakers and
non-Quakers, like me, and I think we all learned from each other. I found
the insight of attendees like Joyce and Laura very rewarding. Also a computer
can't provide the feel of being in meetinghouses -- old and new. I found
lasting spiritual meaning in our morning silent worship and a brief service
at New Garden. In my case, morning visits to graves of my GG Grandparents
buried across the street from Guilford in New Garden was a real link with my
Quaker heritage. Actually viewing the original meeting records were another
such link.
I would highly recommend this conference. I know everyone has conflicts
and it's easy to make excuses or put off til another time. Please view this
as resource like those tape recorded interview we all wish we had made with
our deceased forbearers -- sometimes opportunities don't exist forever. It's
definitely worth a sacrifice to attend.
Lane Trueblood


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