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Readings for Reflection: February 2015
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

AAFM Response to Annual LEYM Query 2014

Below is the response the Meeting has sent to Lake Erie Yearly Meeting’s Ministry & Nurture Committee.

The Query
How has our practice of expectant waiting in worship invited the Divine to guide our meeting’s actions? In what ways do our actions in the world as a meeting enrich and transform the spiritual life of the body?


Twenty friends gathered on January 17, 2015 to consider through worship sharing the query and related readings provided by LEYM’s Ministry & Nurture Committee. The following attempts to capture our collective response.

The query itself has a sense of expectant waiting, reminding us that we are a group both spiritual and active. Prayerful waiting is a demanding discipline; recognizing and understanding the Divine often feels out of reach, and we share doubt in our ability to do so, yet several of us confirm that the effort is enriching and effective.

In expectant waiting, we open ourselves to uncertainty, fear, possibility, and challenge. Part of the discipline of corporate waiting is to discover what our calling might be. Sharing helps illumine what we are waiting for. We must listen as a group, intentionally seeking to be led in our corporate life. When we do, it enlivens our worship.

Although sometimes the waiting may chafe and worry us, tempting us toward self-willed action, we need faith that Way will open to us through gathered worship. Concern was raised that our slowness to undertake corporate action perhaps reflects a lack of depth to our expectant waiting. Yet revelation may happen in small incremental steps, evident in their effect over the long term, rather than in large, dramatic decisions.

Many have experienced individually the fruits of expectant waiting. Through communal worship we feel led and supported by the Meeting, see that of God in others, and recognize the Spirit’s presence in our work. Friends may return this support in communal Meeting activities such as committee projects, Bible study, and discussions, and may take faith into the world through social action in many forms.

Instances of the Divine guiding the actions of the Meeting as a whole are harder to identify or more subtle. We understand that we seek a kind of integrity such that our concern for the world and our perception of the promise of the world flow naturally out of the quality of our worship and practice of community. Recent examples where we recognized the effect of our worship together include our reaching out more actively to the children and families in our Meeting and formulating child safety policies to meet our own needs rather than an insurance company’s mandate. Our gradual integration of an earthcare testimony into our witness may reflect the reciprocal effect between taking actions and transformation of the spirit.

Flowing throughout our worship sharing was a heartfelt appreciation for the spiritual nurture and support we receive in community, both as a source and a constantly replenished pool of Spirit-led living.

All Readings for Reflection
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