One of the highlights for many attenders of FCNL's Annual Meeting is the daily worship sharing sessions. These are some of the materials used at our meeting in 2010.
If other resources have helped you connect the work of FCNL to your spiritual life, please share them with us!
- Listening Spirituality
- Truth in Action
- Simplicity, Earth Stewardship
Worship sharing is an opportunity for group meditative reflection on a query or topic. In keeping with Friends’ worship, the worship sharing group enters into an immediate sense of divine leading from God. Although not necessary, one person is usually designated as the facilitator. This person will read the guidelines, have participants introduce themselves, and perhaps read portions of the queries or quotations. Due to the number of readings provided this year, participants are requested if possible to read through them prior to the worship sharing sessions. We trust the Spirit to lead each group in speaking to what is most relevant for them.
- We speak from our own experience.
- We do not discuss, dispute, or respond to another.
- We speak as we are moved, not in any predetermined order. Whether one speaks out of silence or remains in silent meditation rests with the individual.
- We are mindful of the time so as not to take more than one’s share of it.
- When others are speaking we listen attentively, without judgment and without the distraction of our own thoughts.
- We each speak only once, at least until everyone has had the opportunity to speak.
- When the facilitator is comfortable that all who wish to share have spoken, the facilitator will state that those who have more to share may do so.
- When one is finished speaking, we allow a period of silence for reflection before anyone else speaks.
- Everything said is held in confidence, not to be repeated outside the room except by, or with the permission of, the one having said it.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
--Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 7:24-27
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
—apostle Paul, I Corinthians 3:9-11
Where people are sincerely devoted to follow Christ and dwell under the influence of his Holy Spirit, their stability and firmness through a divine blessing is at times like dew on the tender plants round about them, and the weightiness of their spirits secretly works on the minds of others.
--Friend John Woolman
“Behold I stand at the door and knock,” but too many well-intentioned people are so preoccupied with the clatter of effort to do something for God that they don’t hear Him asking that He might do something through them.
—Friend Thomas R. Kelly, A Testament of Devotion
How can someone experience the Divine Presence and remain forever silent? How does a person encounter the Eternal One’s prophetic call upon one’s life and yet not think about the implications of that call? How does an individual meet Christ in worship, but then have nothing to say about the friendship that emerges from that meeting? How can we survey the social and cultural terrain of our day without asking what response faith demands to the surrounding landscape?
—Friend Jay Marshall (Dean, Earlham School of Religion), 2001
Jesus addressed nearly every major social issue of his day in one form or another. If we are to be faithful, we must do the same. ….We go to Congressional hearings on world hunger or town hall hearings on zoning laws praying for the power of the Lord to be over all. When we speak, it is out of a deep reservoir of prayer, which gives both humility and authority to our words…. There is much that we can do.... We become global citizens by caring enough to be informed about what happens to our neighbors [around the world.] We become advocates of the powerless and exploited.... We go beyond relief and become involved politically. Life is political; if we refuse to influence public policy, someone else will.
—Friend Richard J. Foster, Freedom of Simplicity
....We honor the lives of our Quaker [forerunners] as patterns which help us recognize our own leadings. Their commitment, dedication, and courage remain as worthy standards. May our lives be used as theirs were to give leadership to [people] everywhere to be vehicles of the love of God. We share a deep love for all creation, and cry with the pain of its desecration. We must realize we are part of the natural world, and examine our lives in order to change those attitudes which lead to domination and exploitation.
—1990 epistle of the International Theological Conference of Quaker Women
….we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ which leads us into all Truth will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world.
--Friends’ letter to King Charles II, 1660
A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come from it.....We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive, or gain by love and information..... Let us then try what Love will do.
—Friend William Penn, 1693
We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other..., but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound.
—Friend Edward Burrough, 1659
There is a God who establishes the infinite value of every person, who mystically dwells in every human being and gives to each and every one of us eternal significance.... The resurrected Lord of the universe is revealed to those who are open to His presence in others.... They are entrances to the holy of holies where God waits to be loved.
--Anthony Campolo, A Reasonable Faith
Most of what has happened over the past decade across the world was legal. ... But very few people acted responsibly, honorably, or nobly. ….No system — capitalism, socialism, whatever — can work without a sense of ethics and values at its core.... We are in the midst of a vast crisis, and there is plenty of blame to go around.... But at heart, there needs to be a deeper fix within all of us.... If it doesn’t feel right, we shouldn’t be doing it.
—Fareed Zakaria (Newsweek, June 22, 2009)
The antidote to the “moral malnutrition” of unrestrained technology and consumerism is the virtue of grace – creating space and readiness for recognizing and engaging the sacred in our midst….. A damaged earth [appeals to us] to engage with nature to restore its ecological integrity, and in the process we restore ourselves…. What made the early Church so compelling in the midst of the excesses of the Roman Empire was its alternative way of living – “the Way,” in earliest lingo. We again need a vision that reveals the moral emptiness of a life built on consumerism and attracts us instead to a life of excellence.
--Dan Spencer, Christian Century