Thursday, 11 February 2010

about being a Quaker...

Before the New Year our Hearts and Minds group met. The final activity of that particular session was where we were each asked to write on pieces of paper terms or phrases that for us encapsulated – in some way – what we felt and/or had learned about being a Quaker. Several of the group are members of the Society of Friends; others are more or less long term attenders. We have all agreed to share this list of understandings as perhaps a window into further reflections about being a Quaker.

  • Equality
  • About compassion and listening
  • Being open and honest (or trying to be)
  • Committing to the practice of being silent together
  • Being someone who isn’t afraid of silence
  • Peace
  • Possibility
  • Developing my voice
  • Being part of a group where everyone’s voice can be heard
  • Respecting and honouring others
  • Finding something beyond ‘thought’
  • Not stealing post-it notes from work – thinking about what I do in the world
  • Living according to my values and questioning and affirming my values
  • Having a place to be
  • Listening deeply
  • God – living life
  • God – forgiveness acceptance
  • Questions and learning
  • Having somewhere to go and something to do on Sunday morning without having to think about it each time!
  • Thinking
  • Something greater than me
  • Supportive environment for trying to live a positive purposeful life where beliefs, ideals and actions are linked
  • Doing and being with integrity
  • Making time/space to let a voice inside be heard – to listen to ‘that of God within me’ and to have this approach to others
  • Connections with my family
  • Shaking/stirring the pot and letting it settle
  • Engagement and ethics
  • Connectedness with history
  • Important values, together, peace, equality, simplicity? consensus
  • Acceptance – non-judging
  • I love the uncertainty of not knowing where a Meeting for Worship is going to go
  • The children – and offering them this…
  • Exploring
  • Shared and equal responsibility for the voice within us and the community as a whole
  • Be able to be still and quiet
  • Being free to believe in god, and to not believe too
  • Being part of a community
  • Am I a Quaker?
  • Listening
  • Engaging with Quaker tradition/testimonies
  • No priests!
  • Being open to the still small voice within
  • Being part of a community
  • Greater acceptance of the diversity of individuals
  • Practice
  • Making and developing friendships
  • Living reflectively
  • Having responsibilities for others in the Meeting – not just ‘taking’
  • Living actively, rather than reactively
  • Valuing my own experience of spirituality
  • Listening, hearing others
  • Being someone who takes their coat off to worship!


Laura Kerr said...

Fantastic. Thanks for posting that.

Jan Lyn said...

Thanks for sharing a the results of a beautiful activity. It was good to read and caused me to pause and reflect on it today. That acceptance-nonjudgement characteristic reminds me of the importance of creating communities both in the physical world and online where we create a space where the soul feels safe. I appreciate Friends for teaching me the importance of trusting enough to be a part of that.

Great list.

In friendship and peace,
Jan Lyn

Craig Barnett said...

Wow... Thanks for posting this Tim.

Nadine Wills said...

Yes, thanks so much to you and the group for making this public. Agree with Jan that there is something beautiful/artistic about the presentation and sense of connection it represents.

Made me wonder if you had thought about putting this up somehow in the lobby/Meeting House for people to ponder over/see as they enter worship or maybe to even contribute their own post-its?

Tim Neal said...

Now that's an idea Nadine,
We'll discuss that next time we meet.

Beth said...

I LOVE this! Thanks for posting!