Thank you for your invitation
Looks to me as if I have already introduced myself to some of you before, but by way of formal introduction on this invitation (thank you Mr kwakersaur), let me just say that I am a Christ-centered Friend. My meeting is in Downers Grove IL and we are a great mixture of all kinds of Quakers from all tracks.
I am a fairly conservative person in my personal life, and am decidedly not a socialist. In point of fact I think I am here by our host's invitation to explain my view on that score.
Let me simply begin by framing a question:
New members as well as new meetings for worship always prosper best when they have the input of "seasoned" Friends to help in small ways of guidance and care.
To my mind, what better and more "seasoned" a Friend could there be than William Penn?
Relative to his view of "property" and the like, he wrote in his book "No Cross, No Crown"
"The lawful self which we are to deny is that conveniency, ease, enjoyment, and plenty, which in themselves are so far from evil, that they are the bounty and blessings of God to us, as husband, wife, child, house, land, reputation, liberty, and life itself; these are God's favors which we may enjoy with lawful pleasure and justly improve as our honest interest. But when God requires them, at what time soever the lender calls for them as is pleased to try our affections by our parting with them; I say, when they are brought in competition with Him, they must not be preferred, they must be denied."
For me the operative phrases are "...which in themselves are so far from evil." And "...these are God's favors which we may enjoy with lawful pleasure and justly improve as our honest interest" (Please note PROPERTY is listed). And finally "when they are brought in competition with Him... they must be denied."
This sums up perfectly my feelings as well. So I guess I'll be on Penn's side (insert non-aggressive smiley).