[FT] Address by Irish Quaker Missionary Physician

Arthur Roberts aroberts at georgefox.edu
Mon Oct 26 09:20:22 PDT 2009

I think EFIC mission efforts in Ireland are viewed as complementary‹ room
for everyone.  Historically, NWYM, which is part of EFIC, has had contacts
with Irish Friends.  I recall how in my younger years our  churches were
ministered to by traveling Friends from Ireland, the Sintons, Dorothy and
???, who held special evangelistic meetings.

In many areas different Friends groups interlace.  I don¹t think any group
holds title to a territory.  Pacific Yearly meeting arose within the
parameters of Southwest and Northwest Yearly meetings, and folks seem to get
along amicably, although differing theologically. Some dialogue occurs, and
probably helps folks examine their belief systems.  Tolerance can, and
sometimes does,  blur truth; but it can also sharpen truth, given a humble ,
penitent, and prayerful spirit.

Arthur Roberts  

On 10/26/09 7:48 AM, "William F Rushby" <wfrushby at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Thanks, Bill Samuel and Larry Ingle, for replying to my post!
> My first encounter with Irish Friends occurred in the 1960s' when William
> Brien, a Friends' minister from Northern Ireland, made a religious visit to
> the US with the backing of the Friends World Committee.  Among other contacts,
> he came to the South Starksboro Meeting in Vermont, at that time a very small
> Gurneyite meeting under New York Yearly Meeting.  I attended South Starksboro
> while was at home in the Champlain Valley in the summer months.  William won
> us with his warm Christian faith and Irish charm and wit.
> William Brien was orthodox in faith, the norm among Friends in northern
> Ireland; Doreen Dowd refers to them as the "Northern Friends."  I had not
> known that these Christian unprogrammed Friends even existed until that time.
> It is strange to me that these orthodox Friends are located so close
> geographically to British Friends, many of whom seem to be rather outspokenly
> anti-Christian in outlook.
> I know that some Northwest Yearly Meeting Friends relate to the Friends in
> northern Ireland.  Does anyone on FT know more about these contacts?  It must
> be a rather lonely experience for the Ulster Friends to be Christian in a part
> of the world where that is no longer common in the Society of Friends.
> With Larry, I also wonder about the part played by the Evangelical Friends'
> mission efforts in Ireland.  Is it legitimate for one Quaker denomination to
> establish mission outposts on someone else's turf?  The Conservative Friends
> have faced this issue, and some criticism, for establishing meetings in areas
> where other groups enjoyed a monopoly in the past.
> Bill Rushby
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