Advice and Queries for Fourth Month
Advice: It is the rhythm of waiting and listening throughout Meeting for Worship which enables us to sense the Inward Light and to follow its leadings.
Queries: How do I know when to speak? Am I prompted by the Spirit? Do I hold myself back when moved to speak, or do I trust in the Light to lead me?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In memory of Tom Fox, a member of the Christian Peace Team in Baghdad, who was held hostage since November and recently killed. His home Meeting held prayer vigils with members of a local mosque. Before his capture, he wrote:
Our apartment is across the street from a park. Many evenings around the time we are gathering for supper, a mother and her three children walk by our living room window. The western sun illuminates her face and the faces of her young children. I don’t know her but in a way I feel I do. She looks tired. So many, many people here in Iraq are so very tired. She looks a bit fearful. Will today be the day when the insurgents set off a car bomb near the park? Will today be the day when the young men of the Iraqi National Guard, riding like cowboys in the back of their pickup trucks, get trigger happy and start shooting with her and her children in the line of fire?
Yet day after day I see her hope and the courage in her heart. It reflects on her children as does the setting sun reflect on the nearby Tigris River. She gives me courage to face the overwhelming difficulties of life in this broken land. She is living in the present moment fully aware of the dangers and uncertainties and yet she has not given up hope, she has not given in to despair, she has not let herself be driven into hiding by men with guns and bombs. She is my teacher. She teaches me how to live fully conscious of the horrors of today and still be able to envision a future of promise, peace, and plenty. I would pray that we all live each day, no matter where we are, ‘for the sake of our children.’
From Tom’s blog: http://waitinginthelight.blogspot.com
Quaker Decision Making
From Faith and Practice of Pacific Yearly Meeting:
Unlike a decision resting upon a majority vote, one made according to a true “sense of the meeting” can avoid overriding an unconvinced minority and carry with it the inner consent of those involved. It also allows the development of unforeseen insights which may enable Friends to modify previously held opinions and agree in a new and better view of the matter in hand.
Yet the method is subject to abuse unless Friends are truly willing to open themselves to the light and guidance beyond their private wills. A few Friends with strongly held opinions may prevent a Meeting from taking an action felt to be right by the large majority of those present. In such a case, objecting Friends may well question whether their views should be considered as binding the Meeting as a whole. On the other hand, a Meeting may too readily agree in an action on plausible but superficial grounds, in which case it will do well to ponder objections voiced by a minority of Friends, or even a single Friend, which reach to the heart of the matter at hand. In any case, Friends’ method of agreement calls for repeated self-examination by all concerned.
By “unity” in a given action, Friends understand that the Meeting approves it without objection or that Friends are so fully agreed in it that those who have objections are willing for the meeting to proceed even though they themselves still hold certain reservations concerning it. If the latter is the case, the minute formulated should reflect that fact. If those concerned so desire, the minute may record the names of objecting Friends.
In any case, it is better that a Meeting allow full opportunity for differences to be aired and faced than for it to try to muffle certain views or circumvent certain attitudes in fear of dissension, or to carry through a given proposal. The faith of Friends is that truth, fully and openly sought, will carry its own conviction, and that unity can be found in truth and love.
and from Howard Brinton’s Guide to Quaker Practice:
To succeed fully the members should be bound together by friendship, affection and sympathetic understanding. Factions and chronic differences are serious obstacles. The members should be religiously minded, religion being a powerful solvent of the type of self-centeredness which makes group action difficult… Persons who are dogmatic, who speak with an air of finality or authority and who go to the meeting determined less to find the truth than to win acceptance of their opinions are exceedingly difficult to absorb. The attitude of a debater is out of place. The object is to explore as well as to convince. …Unity is always possible because the same Light of Truth shines in some measure in every human heart tending toward the same goal. By prayer, meditation and worship that goal gradually becomes apparent.
- Submitted by Steve Spencer
Spring Women's Worship Sharing. Friends and their friends are invited to join us for an evening of spiritual sharing and a Cinco de Mayo Taco Feast! Friday, May 5th, 6:00 p. m. Contact Marty Carroll 424-1220 or Bettina Raphael 988-2487 for the location and potluck sign-up.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Educational Program on Quaker history and Principles. In response to requests from members, the Ministry and Oversight Committee has announced a four-session educational program, to meet at 10 a.m. on Sundays during March and April. All members and attenders are invited to participate in the two remaining sessions. Reading material will be provided. Roland Pool and Reuben Hersh have agreed to lead the discussions. The remaining scheduled sessions are:
April 2: 19th-Century Quakerism. Orthodox, Conservative, and Hicksite. (Roland)
April 16: The Present Day. Intermountain Yearly Meeting, programmed Friends and unprogrammed Friends, Christocentric and Universalist, FWC and FCNL and AFSC, Friends in Africa and Latin America. (Reuben)
Call to Intermountain Yearly Meeting 2006. To be held at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico June 11-18, 2006. We invite all Friends to the annual gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting. As our theme this year we have chosen “The Force of Truth and the Power of Love.” During worship, business sessions, and interest group times we hope to reflect on how one can come from a place of love, in the face of fear, when so much seems to be going wrong in our world. Our plenary speaker will be Joe Volk, Executive Director of the Friends Committee for National Legislation. He will draw on his own spiritual journey and add examples from FCNL’s history of ways we can ground our work in love. As William Penn noted, we can try what love can do to mend a broken world, and live so that love is the first motion.
Friends are encouraged to consider the following queries: “In what areas of my life do I most need the force of truth and the power of love?” “How have I experienced these in my life?” and “How can love and truth extend deeper into my way of life?”
There are two segments of the annual gathering. Beginning Sunday evening (June 11th) we invite you to come for Early Days, a three-day period with seminars and workshops in the morning then time for relaxing and reflecting in the afternoons. Wednesday evening (June 14th) Yearly Meeting begins with the welcoming session. The schedule will be similar to last year’s. Mornings include worship sharing groups and meetings for business. Afternoons provide time for Friends to gather for interest groups to explore topics, concerns and spiritual deepening. Programs for children and sessions of Junior Young Friends and Senior Young Friends happen throughout the day.
In mid-March registration forms and seminar information will be posted on the web site, imym.org. Registrars will also send materials to all the meetings and worship groups. No one should stay home because of financial concerns. Contact your monthly meeting first for scholarship information. The Yearly Meeting will assist when the monthly meeting cannot. We are a stronger community with each and every one present. Register as soon as possible.
We extend a special invitation to those who have not attended Intermountain Yearly Meeting before. Talk to someone who has been there. Find out what happens when you mix Quaker worship and business with the natural beauty of the high desert country. Last year more than 300 attended, about a fifth of whom were under 21. Yearly Meeting is a time to get to know Friends from other meetings and deepen friendships. We will gather strength and inspiration to return to our homes ready for working and sharing our gifts and our love. Rebecca Henderson and Cynthia Smith, co-clerks of Yearly Meeting~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ An invitation to join our Dream Seminar: Marty Carroll and Mary Ray Cate are scheduled to lead a week-long seminar entitled Dreams: A Path to Wholeness and Self-Understanding at Ghost Ranch this summer (not part of IMYM). The dates of the seminar are July 31 to August 6. We'll be looking at methods of recall and interpretation, common dream themes, and the use of artwork to explore dream images. We would love to have our Friends join the seminar! Further details can be found on the Ghost Ranch website, www.ghostranch.org, or you can speak to one of us! Marty & Mary Ray ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Some Key Meeting Contacts
Ministry and Oversight Committee: (to whom you bring personal or meeting-wide concerns and needs for pastoral counseling) Audrey Miller, convener 424-1208, audrey88 at pobox.com; Greg Cliburn, 474-7313, gcliburn at gmail.com; Rebecca Henderson, 989-8627 rebeccahenderson4 at hotmail.com; Jan-Willem Jansons, 471-6167, JanWillemJ at msn.com; Beverly Busching, 984-8742, bbusching at mindspring.com; Roland Pool, 983-7241, RolandPool at aol.com; Reuben Hersh, 983-5044
Meeting Clerk: Beverly Busching, 984-8742, bbusching at mindspring.com
Meeting Resident: (to schedule use of building, guest apartment, report building problems, etc.) Roland Pool, 983-7241, rolandpool at aol.com
Newsletter: Kate Moses, editor, 988.2709, please email submissions, preferably as Word docs, to katemoses at earthlink.net, by the Friday before Business Meeting (held each third First Day).
Recorder: Marguerite Kearns Culp, marguerite at owlmount.com, 505-753-9760 home, 505-670-3124 cell
Treasurer: Frank Hirsch, 466.0109. Please mail financial contributions to: Treasurer, Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, 630 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501
(All Committees and members, attenders and their contact information are listed in the Meeting Directory.)