Monday, November 9, 2015

What are Friends for?

The other day in a discussion about Quakers, I commented that perhaps our numbers are gradually declining because many of our fundamental principles have been adopted and internalized by many other groups, and by large segments of the public at large.  Many people believe in and experience unmediated access to the divine, the power of church hierarchy is surely in decline, lots of Christians live out of a desire for Peace, Simplicity, Integrity, etc, whether or not they have an explicit list of what Friends nowadays call "testimonies."

In other words, as with the commandment in Genesis to "be fruitful and multiply" maybe we're done now.

On further reflection, I don't think so.  Here are some things that strike me as pieces of "What Friends Are (still) For" - in the sense of what our calling has been and still is, what we're supposed to be doing during our time here on earth, and also what we're "for" as opposed to what we're against.

Please do jump in - I'd love for this blog to be more of a discussion -

Susan J

Some thoughts on "What Friends Are For":

1) peace, integrity, simplicity and the other Testimonies - there are a couple of other blog posts about these.

2) waiting on the Lord (see Isaiah 40:31) in the sense of spiritual openness as well as our traditional form of worship, where we wait in expectant silence.

3) being friends, being friendly, being community among ourselves and in the larger world.

4) walking cheerfully over the earth, speaking to that of God in every person.

5) listening and watching for that of God in every person.

What say ye?  What are Friends for?

2 comments:

  1. Coaching seekers. I have struggled most of my life to come to terms with church, the Bible, and God. The most help I've had by far comes from my Friends Meeting

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  2. Max Carter says, in a completely different context:

    "The "central mission" of Quakerism is personal and societal transformation through the power of G-d's Inward Light to show us our darkness and give us the power to overcome it."

    Source: http://afsc.org/friends/trying-what-love-can-do-response-quakers-no-friends-israel-op-ed

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