A Friend After 50 Years

A record of one journey into a peculiar type of Quaker Christianity, and a bit of silliness to boot.

Location: Arkansas

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Let's just be quiet and talk

In my meeting, we have very little vocal ministry. Usually the hour is completely silent. But once the hour is over, it seems we immediately break into conversation, jokes, discussions of business, and announcements as if nothing significant had just happened. I usually feel the need for some sort of transition, at least.

I read a passage by William Penn recently in which he said that Friends used few words. It seems to me that today Friends could benefit from adhering more to Penn's description (was that diplomatic enough? :) On the other hand, a hopeful sign for our meeting: our clerk announced that many Friends had told her that they want our Meeting for Business to be more worshipful. And last Sunday it was: not entirely, as we're all (myself included) in the habit of speaking without being recognized and engaging in cross-talk, but it was an improvement.


Blogger Liz Opp said...

One thing I have found about Meetings for Worship for Business: when Friends wait until the Spirit moves them to say something--just as in MfW--the sense of worship prevails.

But it is a challenge to "retrain" us or steer us back to this sort of practice and discipline. We need repetition and models of how it can be done.

I have found that the annual sessions of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) are engaged in that sort of worshipful waiting while conducting business. Since a few of us from the worship group have been to IYM(C) sessions, we seem to be falling into a similar practice ourselves.

I have found the silence and the worship to be very sweet and rich.

Liz, The Good Raised Up

8:00 PM  

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