Our readings today were from Quaker faith and practice:
“At the World Conference of Friends in 1991, Val Ferguson asked:
Does anything unite this diverse group beyond our common love and humanity? Does anything make us distinctively Quaker? I say yes. Each of us has different emphases and special insights, but wherever Friends are affirming each other’s authentic experience of God, rather than demanding credal statements, we are being God’s faithful Quakers. Wherever we are seeking God’s will rather than human wisdom, especially when conflict might arise, we are being faithful Quakers. Wherever we are affirming the total equality of men and women,
we are being God’s faithful Quakers. Wherever there is no division between our words and our actions, we are being faithful. Whenever we affirm that no one – priest, pastor, clerk, elder – stands between us and the glorious and mystical experience of God in our lives, we are faithful Friends. Whether we sing or whether we wait in silence, as long as we are listening with the whole of our being and seeking the baptism and communion of living water, we will be one in the Spirit.” 29.16
“Therefore, dear Friends, wait in the Light, that the Word of the Lord may dwell plentifully in you.”
William Dewsbury, 1675. 29.19
One Friend played a piece on a recorder, the marvellous Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Another Friend recalled that Beethoven composed this supreme expression of elation after he had become deaf, suggesting the intensity and wonder of mystical experience even out of difficulty and distress.
We heard updates on the life situations of some Friends after meeting for worship. There was also the job of clearing the grounds of the Meeting House of rubbish, much of it apparently left by a rough sleeper.