Monday, January 27, 2014

Rural, small-town, Quaker church.

As a glimpse into life in mine,

here are a few excerpts from our statement explaining
"Some convictions about gathered worship"...

"...Silence is a practice and a value."

"...believing that God fills each moment, we don't rush from activity to activity..."

" opportunity for all to express their giftedness."

"Know our goal is a non-hierarchical, egalitarian community."

"We want our community to teach one another, believing God can speak through anyone."

"Wrestle thoughtfully..."

"Remember that worship is richer when there are more people involved..."

"Encourage interaction..."

" each gathering [make] time set aside for silence..."

So here's what I learned last night
about attending the business meeting of such a church.

1) For the love of all that is good and holy: Bring knitting.

Wrestling thoughtfully,
not rushing from moment to moment,
creating space for participation from babies in arms to octogenarians in wheelchairs and everyone in between,
believing long periods of silent listening are an essential part of prayer,
and being willing to put a major decision off til next year if "all hearts are not clear"...

does not a brief meeting make.

2) Be ready to leave so very, very grateful
to be learning from and loving in
this thoughtful, honest, praying,
caring, trusting, faithful
community in which I somehow landed.

1 comment:

Cliff Girl said...

Thank you for your depth. As our assembly makes some big decisions I particularly resonate with "wrestle thoughtfully" and "all hearts being made clear". Thank you

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.