Getting Messy with the Business of the Gospel

QuakerQuaker this Week, 4/9/2012

In the Quaker blogs, Alice M Yaxley asks "What Does the Gospel Look Like?" and writes "The problem's too complex for us to solve with our own minds, but sinking down into the Holy Spirit's well of deep peace and compassion, I believe we are each being led into the action that is required uniquely of us." Her post began as a response to Micah Bales's article "British Quakers Support Occupy - Can We Go Further?" which is also well worth a read for those wanting to know the relationship between faith and action.

  • Since attending quaker meetings I’ve started to pay attention to the amount people listen in meetings at [work]. I’ve started by first paying attention to how much (or little) I’m listening, but also watched others. Additionally, I’ve tried to notice the effects of not listening.... My summary is this: we don’t listen much, and this causes all sorts of problems. 
  • I realized that is all these dreamers wanted. They want to “appear as they are,” undocumented and unafraid, and be accepted into their own community. We suddenly shared an experience of standing up to authority in a risky way – just to be who we are. I told him that when the judge was being critical, I felt protected, held, and guided by the Spirit to respond with words that came from somewhere else. 
  • I’m dealing with Parkinson’s Plus and for forty years I’ve been a Quaker (The Religious Society of Friends). My Quaker belief is that my life itself is a gift: precious, freely given, unearned. And further, that everything in my life is a further gift: health, abilities, family, valued friends. I’ve earned none of these. They’re gifts. And after my initial diagnosis, I came to view Parkinson’s as a gift as well. 
  • George Gil: A Philosophy of Ministry After the Manner of Friends
    In my experience as a released minister, I treasure the time of silence in the weekly meeting. In the silence I find my center from which I can speak and teach. Without the time of silence the meeting becomes stressful and more like a performance in which I MUST measure up. Silence is the center of worship and places me in the position of listening in dependence on Christ, our worship of the spirit.

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