Friday, 13 July 2007

'Members of one another'

This is part of the Minute from our Meeting on 1st July, at which we considered participation in our Meeting community. Please add your further thoughts and comments by clicking on 'Comments' (below):

We have spent most of this Meeting for Worship for business considering the question “What are the opportunities for contributing to the life of the Meeting, and how we can all be more fully part of our community?”

In a large Meeting it can be difficult for everyone to feel included in our community. We would like to address issues of communication and feel that this could be improved. In particular those new to the Meeting can find it difficult to discover more about Quaker practices and different roles within the Meeting. We would hope to collate this information into one place and make this more readily available to newcomers. We also wish to be clearer about the envelope system, our main means of distributing information, opening this to all including our children and young people.

It can be difficult to come forward and tell each other about our lives, but we urge Friends not to be too shy. We all have times when we need the support of our spiritual community. We can all be overseers, helping in the pastoral care of our Meeting; and we would like to look further into a Circles of Support scheme.

The word job can be an off-putting one and we hope that Friends will offer service rather than feeling that tasks are too onerous. However there needs to be a balance between responsibility for oneself and responsibility for the life of the Meeting. We need to feel free not to do a job or offer service and respect this for other people in the Meeting who may have many other unknown pressures in their lives. We wish to recognize the grace of God within each one of us and give thanks for the gifts and talents of everyone in our Meeting and community.

1 comment:

Tim Neal said...

Thank you for the blog entry. I was at that meeting on the 1st and it was my first experience of a Meeting for Worship for business. I am struck on reflection by the tension between a Meeting and a Meeting for business.

What occured in the latter was what sometimes appears beneath the surface in the former: a need to speak and be heard on personal feelings about things. This tension is found in the reply you gave to an earlier entry 'Reflections of an attender': where you distinguished between waiting for vocal ministry - a gift from God - and giving voice to something that needs to be said to the meeting.

The Meeting for business is where such messages for the meeting are spoken and heard. I hunger for the main Meeting and that space, that patience, to allow other vocal ministry to well up.

Tim Neal