Ann Arbor Friends Meeting
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Readings for Reflection: January 2012
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

Passages for Reflection on LEYM Annual Query

This month’s Reading is the passages that accompany the Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Annual Query, on the physical and spiritual state of our monthly meetings and Spirit-led meetings. The LEYM Committee on Ministry & Nurture wrote the query and selected the quotations printed below. Ann Arbor Friends will discuss the query on Friday, January 20, at 7:00pm in the Fellowship Room; the discussion will be preceded by a Potluck supper; see under “Announcements.”

Mind that which is eternal, which gathers in your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another’s heart.

                                                                                                  George Fox – 1652

Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying for one another and helping one another up with a tender hand.

                                                                                          Isaac Penington – 1667

In community we come up against all kinds of experiences that challenge our own ego-definitions. People do not concur with our notions of what is right and good … These problems are made more intractable because we respond to them out of fear, anger, frustration, and all the wounded places in our own lives. We soon discover that there is no way to build our image of the loving, faithful community out of our own strength. We are brought humbly to a sense of emptiness, darkness, absence, and loss. Paradoxically, it is often then that we turn, in our weakness and repeated failure, to God. Only then does it become possible for us to accept God’s gift of life in community.

                                                                                               Sandra Cronk – 1991

Living in community brings deep joy, and personal and corporate growth, but it requires patience, forbearance, speaking truth in love, engaging in conflict, and seeking reconciliation and forgiveness. It involves learning to deal with tensions and conflict and building a communal Center for which we can witness and support one another on our individual and corporate paths to plain living.

                                                                                     Catherine Whitmire – 2001

Community reminds us that we are called to love, for community is a product of love in action and not of simple self-interest. Community can break our egos open to the experience of a god who cannot be contained by our conceptions. Community will teach us that our grip on truth is fragile and incomplete, that we need many ears to hear the fullness of God’s word for our lives. And disappointments of community life can be transformed by our discovery that the only dependable power for life lies beyond all.

                                                                                          Parker J. Palmer – 1977

All Readings for Reflection

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