Jun 132012

It’s an odd heading, and the content may be equally odd for those who are not Quakers.  If you google “Quaker Ministry” you may find helpful sites.

My concern is that, at least in the Meeting I usually go to, there is an insistence that it is not appropriate to turn up at Sunday Meeting for Worship with Ministry you have prepared earlier.  The idea is that Quakers should speak ‘from the heart’, being led by the Spirit to speak.  There is a suspicion that coming prepared is a sign of not speaking in the Spirit.

But a consequence of being strict about this would be that we have no chance to hear carefully prepared thoughts and we are less likely to hear complicated thoughts.

Now it is true that Quakers have a commitment to living simply.  But if we are to let our lives speak in the real world we must take account of the fact that the real world is devilishly complicated.  (I am using words carefully here.)  Sometimes a truly spiritual response to that worldly complication will only be possible after some careful preparation.

The insistence on spontaneous ministry seems to deny the possibility that the Spirit may be leading us during our detailed preparations, and not just as we deliver our ministry to a gathered Meeting.

Let’s keep it as simple as possible, but sometimes we need Ministry with Portfolio.

Robin W. Ahlgren

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 Posted by at 14:30

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