I have done a great deal of soul-searching on this subject and expect to do quite a bit more. Nevertheless, I would love to hear your opinions on it. Could I be a convinced Friend and a new convert to Judaism? I see them both as paths that lead to the Almighty and "choosing" one over the other is not an option for me. I'm sure we as a community have talking about this before but I would like some weighty advice.

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Thanks Olivia.  I must tell you that my meeting has gone through dark times as a meeting, just as we each do as human beings.  But there is indeed an 'ocean of Light' waiting for us that will overcome the darkness if we want that fuller helping of Love and Light in our meeting's life.

I have found after many experiences that these ingredients are things to consider:

  • Come to a place where you want fuller Love and Light more than anything for your meeting, and claim that goal for your meeting; pray for it constantly and if during worship the Spirit moves you to minister or pray aloud about it - go for it!  Be courageous!  Don't be afraid to talk to others about it.  If they don't 'get it', remember that's their reality - not yours.  Shrug off others' ego criticisms (sometimes given in the guise of "eldering") of your spirit-led efforts because it is given out of ignorance. Continue to walk cheerfully finding that of God in everyone, seeking and talking about Love and Light so that you demonstrate it yourself as situations happen.  Others will start to see its power, beauty, and joy.  This necessitates your own regularity at worship.
  • Be willing to let go of everything of the ego that you thought you held dear about your meeting; in other words you must be willing to trade what has become darkness (anything that is now limiting the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about Love and Light) - for what will bring your meeting to your goal of a fullness of Love and Light in your corporate life.  Suggest things that could be simplified, made more egalitarian, or discontinued so that the Spirit is completely free to sweep within the hearts of Friends in your meeting.  If suggesting means you need to talk to a committee, do so - but if the committee doesn't 'get it', talk to the clerk of the monthly meeting and tell her/him you have a concern to bring to Meeting for Business.  Speak truth to power (the 'power' in your meeting).  Don't hesitate to tell Friends at your meeting things other meetings have done (most Quakers are completely ignorant of what others meetings have and are trying).  Quakers work best with groundswells - so suggestions do take time to take root; be willing for others to own your suggestion and modify it somewhat.  And remember, it is a work in progress.  Be joyful for the little changes that occur.
  • You need to be eager for the Spirit of Truth to come upon you and your meeting to show you the way forward into a place of Love and Light.  So, encourage the meeting to not be afraid to try (pilot) new ways with a sense of mindfulness to see how it works in bringing about your goal.  Be single-minded and persistent.  Change in your meeting takes time.  Don't give up - ever! 

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