Emily Provance is a member of Fifteenth Street Monthly Meeting in New York Yearly Meeting.
“I spent seventeen years looking for a faith tradition. I knew that my people would say “God speaks to everybody,” and the day I found Quakers was the day I found home.
“We are a covenant people called to establish the kingdom of God on Earth. (To be clear–I doubt Quakers are the only ones called to do this.) To be a covenant people means that we have each given ourselves to God and that God, in turn, has given us to a group of people. We have a mutual responsibility to identify each Friend’s spiritual gifts and to provide the necessary recognition, support, and accountability to enable each of us to explode into the fulness of who God has made us to be – and then, also, to do this beyond the boundaries of our own denomination. To do that is to begin the work of establishing the kingdom of God.
“It’s a big job, but as Thomas Merton has prayed, ‘the desire to please you does in fact please you.’
“My own unique work is with Quaker institutions, be they local meetings or regional/yearly meetings or umbrella organizations: to see where the systems and structures that we have built are supporting God’s purposes and where those systems and structures are getting in the way. I work to see these things, to explain them, and to experiment with changing them, across this covenant people called the Religious Society of Friends.”