A Quaker Approach to Living with Dying

A Quaker Approach to Living with Dying

Friends reflected with her about her desire for integrity and living in alignment with the testimonies, her beliefs about an afterlife. She was afforded the opportunity, though her Quaker way of living, to proceed to a Quaker way of dying. One First Day, as we knew death was approaching, our meeting of about 80 Friends decided to meet in a hospital conference room for worship. About halfway into the worship hour, a Friend came downstairs to announce our Friend’s death. It was a gathered meeting. Our Friend died the way she had lived.

All bright thoughts and pure shall gather / Round that meek and suffering one

All bright thoughts and pure shall gather / Round that meek and suffering one

Ministers hold to the awareness of their own ineptitude, first because it’s true, and second because they have come to know the promise fulfilled in them, that the real life and power does come from God. This daily cross, this mortification, is a necessary preamble to knowing God’s power and glory, just as Christ’s death and entombment preceded his resurrection to power and glory.

Seeking counsel from other ministers

Seeking counsel from other ministers

Other challenges arise, however, as one carries the concern for service through the ups and downs of life. In such cases, the sense of kinship and mutual responsibility between ministers can lead to real consolation as well as frank advice.

Money, Money

Money, Money

Oftentimes, we use the phrase “financial aid is available” as if this were some sort of magical cure-all. It’s not. Those of us who have asked for financial aid know this to be the case. But for the sake of those who might not have had this experience, here’s what it’s like (at least for me).

Homesick

Homesick

I get asked, “How can we create a safe place for people in the margins?” I point out that it might be nice to have it stated somewhere that “we will not discriminate.” I also point out that it might make sense to have people of color involved in creating a safe place for people of color. Instead, I just get talked at. Or if I’m not getting talked at, I don’t get acknowledged at all.

www.meetinghouse.xyz

Bullies

Bullies

Quakers are somewhat diverse, but we don’t really handle diversity very well. It makes us nervous the moment we encounter Quaker who really don’t think the way we do. Quakers talk a lot about unity, but the record shows that we have a sorry history of division over the last 200 years.

Will the real Quakers please stand up?

Will the real Quakers please stand up?

Quakers are somewhat diverse, but we don’t really handle diversity very well. It makes us nervous the moment we encounter Quaker who really don’t think the way we do. Quakers talk a lot about unity, but the record shows that we have a sorry history of division over the last 200 years.

Meeting response to individual concerns

Meeting response to individual concerns

Many meetings do not really know the faith and practice of traditional Quaker ministry. All they know how to do is write a minute, and that often with a rather shallow understanding—or maybe they don’t. They often don’t know how to conduct a clearness committee for discernment. They may not know about the resources available for guidance in creating support committees for Friends with leadings.

Awakening to the Prophetic Call of Quakerism at Pacific Yearly Meeting

Awakening to the Prophetic Call of Quakerism at Pacific Yearly Meeting

My message to Friends who want to make a difference is simply this: No matter how inadequate we may feel, God will give us the words we need to say if we put our confidence in the One who calls us from the depths of our souls. My prayer is that we will do our best to be faithful to that inward call. David Hartsough was favored with the following message which makes clear how much Friends need to speak out loudly and clearly against the injustices of our time, just as early Friends and prophets did during their time.