Mark Russ's Blog (6)

Vibrant silence

Every now and again I take part in a Quaker Meeting for Worship that is totally silent: a whole hour where not a word is spoken. To an outsider looking in, all these occasions may look the same, but to the worshipper these experiences can vary wildly. Sometimes I rise at the end of worship with a sense of nourishment, and have at times been graced with a renewed sense of connectedness to my Friends, God and everything. I vividly remember one totally silent Meeting where I felt a palpable,…

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Added by Mark Russ on 5th mo. 15, 2012 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

'Community - build it or break it?'

Yesterday I attended 'Community - build it or break it?', tenth in a series of Dialogues organised by London Quaker's. 53 friends from across London gathered at Friends House to hear Catherine West and Nigel Norie speak about difficulties of finding ways of tackling inequality consistent with Quaker principles. We heard about initiatives such as the Islington Fairness Commission, North London Citizens and the Islington Youth Council. Catherine described Islington’s methods of tackling…

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Added by Mark Russ on 4th mo. 29, 2012 at 12:31pm — 5 Comments

Quakers and the Peacemeal

In a previous blog post I shared my own journey with God and food, expressing my desire that Quakers would eat more regularly together, even suggesting that Meeting for Worship is incomplete until food has been shared. Now I would like to expand on these thoughts.

Quakers speak a lot about the whole of life being sacred, faith in practice and letting our lives speak. Quakers are known for their activity in the world. However, to someone visiting a Meeting for Worship, they might see…

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Added by Mark Russ on 4th mo. 15, 2012 at 11:36am — No Comments

Transformation and transition – growing as a resurrection community

Why do I go to Quaker Meeting? I go to be transformed by God. Whether this language chimes with other Quakers or not, I hope no one expects to leave Meeting for Worship the same as when they arrive.

My desire is that everyday I will become a better follower of Jesus. This requires not only my own effort but also God’s grace. I meet with others to learn what committed discipleship looks like and witness how God’s grace is manifest in the lives of my fellow pilgrims. In a Quaker…

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Added by Mark Russ on 4th mo. 7, 2012 at 5:23am — 5 Comments

God, food and me - my journey with communion

I am convinced that at the heart of a community is a shared meal. When I consider my local Quaker Meeting, we eat together only once a month, and it is always precursor to something else, never existing for its own sake. More and more I am convinced that a stranger who attends meeting for worship and leaves after tea and a biscuit has witnessed only half of the Quaker experience. Meeting for worship is not complete until the community has broken bread together, and by that I mean shared a…

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Added by Mark Russ on 4th mo. 3, 2012 at 3:21pm — 3 Comments

'Communal Intelligence'

Last weekend my partner and I visited friends in Manchester, two couples with young children who live in intentional community. We got to witness some of the ins and outs of communal living, especially the joys and challenges that small children bring to the community dynamic.

 

We were struck by the ways devotion and liturgy were as much a practical part of the house routine as putting out the compost. They shared their house grace with us (a song from the Iona community), and…

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Added by Mark Russ on 3rd mo. 29, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments

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