Wednesday, September 30, 2009
-- Edward Burrough, 1659
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
-- Harold Loukes, 1954
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Yep, 60 years. Together. Every day one of perfect bliss. Okay, perhaps not perfect bliss (with a kid like me, how could it be bliss?). But still togetherness. So, since it's been a whirlwind of activity, the taste of celebration (primarily for Nancy and me) has been fast food meals while on the road, lots of cake (Nancy baked the cakes for the reception), veggie and cheese trays from the caterer, a complimentary pizza from Josie's (in Columbus, OH -- hand delivered by the manager. Also one of my dad's nicknames for my mother -- Josie), and a Sunday brunch at Salvi's to celebrate my dad's 80th birthday.
And then, this evening, for our Friends in Fellowship worship group, the taste was of celebration, too -- for our after gathering repast was left-overs from the great feasts in Columbus, Ohio. Fitting, I think, that food/taste from our family gathering should be the closing tastes of worship this evening. The family of God -- well, 10 of us anyway -- gathered on the farm for quiet worship and sharing and food.
A blessed weekend, indeed. It tasted good.
Friday, September 25, 2009
-- London Yearly Meeting, 1806
Thursday, September 24, 2009
—London Yearly Meeting, 1893
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Most of us need from time to time the experience of something spacious or space-making, when Time ceases to be the enemy, goad-in-hand, and becomes our friend. To read good literature, gaze on natural beauty, to follow cultivated pursuits until our spirits are refreshed and expanded, will not unfit us for the up and doing of life. Rather will it help us to separate the essential from the unessential, to know where we are really needed and get a sense of proportion. We shall find ourselves giving the effect of leisure even in the midst of a full and busy life. People do not pour their joys or sorrows into the ears of those with an eye on the clock.
--Caroline C. Graveson
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Imaginative, ain't I.
I did have a steak for supper -- as my sister Julie and her husband Dave stopped by on their way from Montrose, Colorado to our home town of Columbus, Ohio. Off we popped to the local pub -- and I had a filet. Medium rare. Very tasty. Yum...
Which reminded me that, while I like ham and cheese in its many varieties, variety is what adds zest to my meal times. The change of tastes.
Which is true for my spiritual life, as well. While I'm pretty comfortable as Quaker -- I enjoy and grow from the long, deep silences -- and could probably live on the spiritual diet for the rest of my life, I do enjoy the freshness that a change brings. Like my spiritual chats with my friend Beth who's more evangelical that I am. Or my friend Cat (via email) who's decidedly more liberal than I am. And the fresh tastes of reading Phyllis Tickle (an Episcopalian) and Frederick Buechner (Presbyterian) and Tony Jones (Emergent) and A.J. Jacobs (Jewish) and...
My spiritual body is energized by these "out of my ordinary" tastes.
Hmmm, I wonder what I'll have for lunch today. Doubt that it's ham and cheese -- I still have that at home.
-- London Yearly Meeting, 1909
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
-- Hannah Whitall Smith (author, The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The quiet aisles of prayer,
Glad witness to your zeal for God
And love of man I bear.
I trace your lines of argument;
Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent,
And fears a doubt as wrong.
But still my human hands are weak
To hold your iron creeds:
Against the words ye bid me speak
My heart within me pleads.
Who fathoms the Eternal Thought?
Who talks of scheme and plan?
The Lord is God! He needeth not
The poor device of man.
I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground
Ye tread with boldness shod;
I dare not fix with mete and bound
The love and power of God.
Ye praise His justice; even such
His pitying love I deem:
Ye seek a king; I fain would touch
The robe that hath no seam.
Ye see the curse which overbroods
A world of pain and loss;
I hear our Lord’s beatitudes
And prayer upon the cross.
More than your schoolmen teach, within
Myself, alas! I know:
Too dark ye cannot paint the sin,
Too small the merit show.
I bow my forehead to the dust,
I veil mine eyes for shame,
And urge, in trembling self-distrust,
A prayer without a claim.
I see the wrong that round me lies,
I feel the guilt within;
I hear, with groan and travail-cries,
The world confess its sin.
Yet, in the maddening maze of things,
And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed trust my spirit clings;
I know that God is good!
Not mine to look where cherubim
And seraphs may not see,
But nothing can be good in Him
Which evil is in me.
The wrong that pains my soul below
I dare not throne above,
I know not of His hate,—I know
His goodness and His love.
I dimly guess from blessings known
Of greater out of sight,
And, with the chastened Psalmist, own
His judgments too are right.
I long for household voices gone,
For vanished smiles I long,
But God hath led my dear ones on,
And He can do no wrong.
I know not what the future hath
Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death
His mercy underlies.
And if my heart and flesh are weak
To bear an untried pain,
The bruisëd reed He will not break,
But strengthen and sustain.
No offering of my own I have,
Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave,
And plead His love for love.
And so beside the Silent Sea
I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me
On ocean or on shore.
I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.
O brothers! if my faith is vain,
If hopes like these betray,
Pray for me that my feet may gain
The sure and safer way.
And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen
Thy creatures as they be,
Forgive me if too close I lean
My human heart on Thee!
-- John Greenleaf Whittier, "The Eternal Goodness"
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be."
Monday, September 14, 2009
-- Isaac Penington
Sunday, September 13, 2009
--Lewis Benson (Catholic Quakerism: A Vision for All Men)
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
-- Carl Heath. Heath was a Friend from Great Britain who was instrumental in setting up Quaker Embassies across Europe following WWI and laid the groundwork for the future Quaker United Nations Offices.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
But I have changed my mind. I think it's time for a new Yearly Meeting here in Indiana and I think I'm just the fellow to organize it. No, I don't have any backing for this, other than my own sense of self-appointment, but that's never stopped any Quaker before (well, maybe it has in the past, but doesn't seem to be an issue these days).
To this end, I have contacted an attorney at the law firm of Dewey Cheatum and have asked them to draw up incorporation papers for a new Yearly Meeting. It is to be called "Mid-Indiana Yearly Meeting of Progressive Evangelical & Evangelical Progressive Friends." I wanted to call it Brent Bill Yearly Meeting, but the attorney (an Episcopalian by the way) said that sounded a bit pretentious and haughty and not at all God-led. So I deferred to his wisdom.
The creatures joining me in this proposal for a new Yearly Meeting are my dog Princess and Ebony, one of my cats. The other cat said she didn't want any part of it -- my own fault, I guess. I should have named her Judgement instead of Grace. I did not ask Nancy to participate.
That's because she and I use far different theological language and I didn't want a separation to be the first point of business for the new group. Besides we disagree on how a phrase in Faith and Practice should be interpreted. In Part III there's a section it says under the title "Friendly Method" that, "After due consideration, it is the duty of the clerk of the meeting to weigh carefully various expressions and to state what he or she believes to be the sense of the meeting. Action is by approval of the gathered meeting." Nancy agrees with that. I say that it's all fine and good, but the nuance of that is "approval of the gathered meeting unless they decide something that I disapprove of." I mean, let's face it, some Friends just cannot be trusted to hear the words of God in their souls or through the Bible.
Hence the need for this new Yearly Meeting.
Of course, I will -- I mean the new Yearly Meeting will -- have to write a new Faith and Practice. Here are some of the changes you'll notice:
- Removing all affiliated groups that I don't like, depending on the day and my mood and whether they agree with me or not.
- Adding "Faith and Practice" to the Biblical canon. Hey, it worked for the Mormons!
- Adding a Loyalty Oath for pastors to sign. After all, we want to have a clergy caste now -- this idea that a Quaker pastor is a member like all other members is just plain silly. We know that pastors should have to live up to standards that normal followers of Jesus (aka the laity) shouldn't have to. And besides, what's with this Quaker abhorence to signing stuff? It's not like it's a creed or swearing an oath or anything.
- Pastors only will be allowed to be part of the Executive Committee, clerks, or other officers of the Yearly Meeting. We really can't trust the "laity" to know God's will for us, now can we?
- Adding to the Rescinding of Recording portion a section about not agreeing to whatever the current mood of the Yearly Meeting (i.e. Brent) is.
I -- I mean the Yearly Meeting -- would have no assessments for the first year. Or probably any year thereafter, since many Meetings don't pay their share anyhow and still come to Yearly Meeting and complain. If I -- I mean the Yearly Meeting -- does institute assessments, only those people from Meetings who actually pay their full assessment will be allowed to speak. And then only if they agree with what I -- I mean the Yearly Meeting -- thinks.
There won't be any committees. There's no need for them. After all, the Yearly Meeting will all be of one mind and so everyone in it -- Princess, Ebony, and me -- will know what to do.Oh, and the official scripture verse of the new Yearly Meeting will be John 11:35.
Well, I think those are the highlights. If you're interested in joiningg the new Yearly Meeting I invite you to come to a meeting the second Tuesday of next week. We'll be gathering at the David B. Updegraff Memorial Swimming Pool.
Monday, September 07, 2009
--L Hugh Doncaster
Sunday, September 06, 2009
-- Robert Barclay
Friday, September 04, 2009
-- Elizabeth Fry (1833)
Thursday, September 03, 2009
-- Caroline C Graveson. Graveson was a writer and vice-principal of Goldsmiths College (part of the University of London).
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
-- Robert Davis
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
-- William Penn