The Three R's of Unity: Part One - Relationships

Back in the day if you learned the three R's of 'ritin, readin & 'rithmatic you had an education.  If you could read, write, add and subtract you could pretty much handle anything life would throw at you.  That was a much simpler time.  Now you might have to do that in more than one language.  Plus if you can't find your way around a computer don't expect to make much progress on the job.  Inventory?  Bookkeeping?  Sorry!  Adding and subtracting isn't going to do it.  My slide rule from my undergraduate engineering days is a museum relic.

Unfortunately it appears, at least to date, that the 3 R's of education are not the only things that are no longer sufficient to meet today's needs.  If you read the articles on QuakerQuaker on a regular basis you see how the Quaker Process that attracted so many of us to the Religious Society of Friends is not able to prevent deep divisions within the various Yearly Meetings over what must be acknowledged as difficult questions.  I would suggest that in this case the Quaker Process is not the problem but the lack of understanding of what that process is built on.  As Jesus pointed out in Matthew 7: 24 to 27 without a solid foundation a structure can only take so much battering from life's storms before it collapses.  It is my contention that the Quaker Process is built on three R's and where these 3 R's are not part of the Quaker Process those who claim to follow it will fail.

The first of the 3 Quaker Process Rs is Relationships.  Those who would claim to be part of the Religious Society of Friends must be in relationship one to another.  It is easy to talk about the "Blessed Community" but it is harder to be one.  It starts with Relationships between the members.  Paul writes at length of this in 1 Cor. 12.   I am not going to copy that chapter into this blog.  Instead I urge everyone to spend the next few days reading and re-reading that passage, meditate on it, contemplate it, examine your own relationships within your meeting in light of it and ask the Light to shine on your heart to show you the way to improve your own relationships within your monthly meeting and, if applicable, your Yearly Meeting.  If it can't be done, find a meeting where it can be done or start a new meeting built on relationships.  Storms will come.  The only way to survive them is to have a solid foundation.  Relationships is one leg of that three legged foundation and all three are necessary during a storm.  

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