Quaker worship is rooted in silence and the idea that a) Jesus Christ is present in our gatherings and is able to teach us himself and b) God can and does speak to anyone and through anyone no matter what age you are or how “religious” you appear to be on the outside. Two weeks ago I told the Godly Play version of the Parable of the Good Shepherd during the message part of our worship gathering. That means the children stayed with during our whole meeting for worship, including our silent portion. This is what I said to help invite our children into that space.*
We are going to take a time of what we Quakers call “silent” worship. It is a quiet time to sit, listen and to wonder about the story.
Silent worship is one of the ways that Quakers do their work. We close our eyes and listen in the silence – this gives us time to think, pray, and hear if God wants to speak to us.
So silent worship is a very special time.
It’s okay to color or draw; and if you can write, you are welcome to do that, but we don’t want to do anything that will distract us or our neighbor from paying attention.
And if you feel like you have something you want to share, you are welcome to share a hopeful or kind word to the rest of the group.
We believe that God can speak to and through any person.
Let’s enter a time of silent worship.
Feel free to adapt, share or use as you see fit.
*This text was helped a lot by my good friend Chad Stephenson on twitter @chadstep.
Here’s an interesting infographic based on some studied that have been done about how those who have money act in contrast with those who are poorer.
Created by: AccountingDegreeOnline.net
This is the message I brought to worship on May 13, 2012.
If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God’s testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God’s own testimony regarding his Son. This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life. (1 John 5:9–13 MSG)
This week not only have I been thinking about the passage of Scripture we all have been reflecting on, but I’ve been thinking, very deeply — as only one could do — about this Beatles song — Hello/Goodbye.
We just learned today that Rodney King was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool on father’s day. King, who himself was a father, is a tragic figure in the landscape of recent American culture. He struggled with addiction, never fully healed from the beatings he received that fateful day, and wrestled with what it meant to be thrust into such a public role that he had not planned or desired.
As the NY Times reports:
“People look at me like I should have been like Malcolm X or Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks,” he told The Los Angeles Times in April. “I should have seen life like that and stay out of trouble, and don’t do this and don’t do that. But it’s hard to live up to some people’s expectations.”
And yet, he is remembered for forcing America to finally SEE the brutality that the black community had been living with for generations. Continue reading
In preparation for me taking paternity leave as soon as #3 arrives (I constantly imagine the baby singing Dylan’s lines “Any day now, any day now, I shall be released) the church has set aside today’s “message” and the next two Sundays’ messages to be led by people from the congregation (and friend of the congregation – Seth Martin). The invitation isn’t exactly to give a “message” as it is to share one’s story about God. Today’s story was shared by a woman who I have known for about 2.5 years through the church and hearing her story was beautiful and powerful.
In sharing her story she was able to talk about the difficult stuff as well as the good things that have happened to her. The story that came forth was one that was honest about the struggles she’s had in searching for God, the various churches that she’s been to (and many, turned off by), and the “many teachers” that have crossed her path and helped her learn and grow. One of the most powerful parts of the story she brought was when she shared the first time she ever heard Jesus say directly to her that he loves her. Another came when she talked about the realization that she was being invited to forgive someone she had no intention of forgiving and what it was like to work through that. Continue reading