Category: Meeting

At Meeting – 18th August 2013

There is little point in praying to be enabled to overcome some temptation, and then putting oneself in the very position in which the temptation can exert all its fascination. There is little point in praying that the sorrowing may be comforted and the lonely cheered, unless we ourselves set out to bring comfort and cheer to the sad and neglected in our own surroundings. There is little point in praying for our home and for our loved ones, and in going on being as selfish and inconsiderate as we have been. Prayer would be an evil rather than a blessing if it were only a way of getting God to do what we ourselves will not make the effort to do. God does not do things for us – he enables us to do them for ourselves.

Elisabeth Holmgaard, 1984

Quaker Faith & Practice 2.28

 

Sunday morning 1

Another friend spoke of being reminded of a story where a man was visiting meetings around the country and arrived early at one meeting house so sat down in a chair to wait for friends to arrive. The first person to arrive promptly asked them to move as the place they had chose was where they normally sat.

They too were not sat where they normally liked to be seated but though they sat with their back to the window they felt they became more aware of the sounds of birds through the door left open so as to allow a breeze to cool a still warm late summer morning. They were grateful that sitting elsewhere had enhanced their appreciation of the sounds of nearby nature.

Thanks and appreciation was also expressed for friends who were at Balcombe as part of concerns regarding fracking.

At Meeting

What is my religion? My friends, my teachers, my God. And who is my God? He speaks within me; if I mishear, my friends correct me; if I misdo, I look to Jesus Christ. How then am I taught? I hear in the silence, I ponder in solitude, and I try in the noisy crowd to practise it. What do I learn? To put gaiety before prudence, grace before pleasure, service before power. What am I commanded? To seek patience in suffering, humility in success, steadfastness always. What is forbidden me? To reject another's love, to despise another's wisdom, to blaspheme another's God. And to what purpose? To help others, that we may enter the Commonwealth of Heaven together, each to find our Being in the Whole.

Frederick Parker-Rhodes, 1977 – Quaker Faith and Practice 26.41

This passage was read out today at meeting.

LibraryWindow

Another friend expressed their appreciation of the unprogrammed silent meeting and the opportunity to grab other small moments of stillness as their occur. These moments were sometimes a much treasured escape for them. They also referenced 1 Corinthians 10:13 in relation to coping with life's challenges.

A few notices of note. A first hand report of last Thursday's Area Meeting in Milton Keynes and leaflets from Harpenden Quaker meeting in relation to their appeal for help realising their refurbishment initiatives.

There was lots of friendly chat after meeting with a shared cuppa as usual and pleasure in meeting a visiting friend whose work has limited  their ability for involvement and attendance as regularly as had been possible in past years. Much smiles.

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