Of note here is that Ben Pink Dandelion’s ‘Living The Quaker Way’, as recommended by Luton Meeting (amongst many others of course) is now free, bar postage and packing.
Meeting had a delayed start today due to a Member having a car accident turning into the Meeting House so there was support to be given and taken whilst the immediate matter was sorted out. Luckily nobody was injured except the metal of two cars. Of course it’s an upsetting experience that’s hard not to be affected by.
During Meeting itself a Friend read an extract from Quaker Faith & Practice 18.20
The Society of Friends might be thought of as a prism through which the Divine Light passes, to become visible in a spectrum of many colours; many more, in their richness, than words alone can express.
Later a visiting Friend contributed musically by playing a compact accordion. Often music speaks louder than words. Or at least is complimentary.
At the close of Meeting we were asked to uphold the Friend who had endured the car accident and who had left early as a result.
A sunny day. Interesting to notice how the sun doesn’t hit the main Meeting room window any more as where the sun is at this time of day has changed slightly. The wild meadow out the back is reaching further upwards. Insects flit between the tops and the surrounding trees.
Advices & Queries 28 was read during this slightly shortened meeting die to the Preparative Meeting (Quaker Business Meeting) that followed it.:
Every stage of our lives offers fresh opportunities. Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.
Later a friend reflected on this passage by saying that whilst they thought it was very much common sense they still found themselves conflicted about it. They felt that tasks are laid onto people who often feel ill equipped and very unsuited to the task. But that they felt strength was given to do that task if it is God’s will.
They said there were examples at Yearly Meeting of people being called to undertake tasks via a calling or concern, in Quaker language, and though some had felt it was unwise to take on this work it nevertheless bore much fruit.
After Meeting we shared refreshments and chat and many of us stayed on for PM.
The latest edition of Quaker News: summer 2016.
Healing the divisions…
The final days of spring as sunny days are interspersed with outbreaks of rain. Good for the plants. The rest of us get caught in occasional downpours.
During Meeting a Friend played the recorder with a short tune that seemed to be a variation of Morning has broken.
A Polish friend read Quaker faith & Practice 27.06
I have assumed a name today for my religious principles – Quaker-Catholicism – having direct spiritual teaching for its distinctive dogma, yet recognising the high worth of all other forms of Faith: a system, in the sense of inclusion, not exclusion; an appreciation of the universal and the various teachings of the Spirit, through the faculties given to us, or independent of them.
Caroline Fox, 1846
Later another Friend spoke of watching a programme on TV about buying a property in the country. A person in this episode had very limited eyesight and would often say “give me a minute” as he put all the little pieces together to comprehend the whole picture.
It made them think how true this was of life, whether understanding something or picking up the pieces that had fallen. Picking them up and putting them back together and appreciating and accepting the time it takes to, perhaps make a new picture.
During bridging time another Friend was thankful for the gift of the readings ,music and ministry as well as being with us all.
Meeting was held on a muggy drizzly spring day. The wild area out back continues to encourage wildlife and we sat in a mostly silent Meeting save for a reading of Quaker, Faith & Practice 26.61:
There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath different names; it is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any where the heart stands in perfect sincerity. In whomsoever this takes root and grows, of what nation soever, they become brethren.
John Woolman, 1762
After Meeting we shared refreshment and chat mostly about the potential referendum on the EU.
Should pacifists be allowed to opt out of funding war through their taxes?