The following is my response to last fall’s Ministry and Counsel survey.
- What is it you need to know to connect to the collected recordings of valued spiritual revelations from Quaker history and to enhance your openness to spiritual revelation today?
I spent a rather intense two week sabbatical at Pendle Hill last fall, during which I was led to read a fair amount of Quaker history and early testimonies. I found myself especially drawn to the writings of Isaac Pennington. Perhaps the Meeting could offer a reading group that met monthly to explore more Quaker writings, from early works to Pendle Hill Pamphletes and other contemporary writings (Benjamin Pink Dandelion would seem especially useful).
- What committee or group activities within the meeting or service outside the meeting foster or strengthen your sense of the spirit?
I often struggle to wake up on time, but the worship sharings on the first and second First Days foster explorations. I’d also like to make it to more of the worship sharings proceeding the Young Adult Friends potlucks. I struggle with volunteering for the Community Dinners: I feel I ought to want to, but I’m often tired and don’t feel led. I do volunteer twice monthly at 15th Street’s Shelter and find the service important to my spiritual life.
- Have you discovered within yourself gifts that you perceive the meeting may benefit from or has a member of the meeting suggested that you possess such gifts?
I think I may be feeling the beginnings of a leading to become more involved in Adult Education. I’ve volunteered to bring in material for next months worship sharing on spiritual texts and am very excited to share material far from Quaker tradition (a memoir by an Russian atheist and film maker) that I feel truly resonate with Quaker beliefs.
I’ve also tried to bring as many friends as possible to Meeting for Worship. I think Quakerism, especially the tradition of unprogramed worship, speaks to the modern condition. We are so suspicious of authority that we are often at a lost of where to turn. We’ve left many of the faiths we grew up in, unable to reconcile ourselves to the emphasis on tradition, or hierarchy, or absolute truth. Quakerism offers us a practice to find a personal way to reconcile ourselves to the universe. It is a hard practice, with no easy answers, but it also offers a supportive community along the journey.
- How does the meeting and/or your personal inclinations encourage you to continue to worship at Brooklyn Monthly Meeting?
I find social hour and the monthly Young Adult Friends potluck foster a sense of community. I’m also struggling in my personal life and Meeting for Worship is an powerful support.