Westerly Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
57 Elm Street, Westerly, RI 02891-2136
(401) 474-9635

For, when I came into the silent assemblies…

January 27th, 2014

“For, when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I felt a secret power among them, which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up…”
Robert Barclay December 23, 1648-October 3, 1690 Scottish Quaker and theologian

May There Be Peace – A Villanelle

January 25th, 2014

Soon, soon, here in this place, may there be peace.
Hear our prayer, Inner Light of great and small:
Help us make violence end and bloodshed cease.

May we, though given so much to caprice,
Be still long enough to hear the meek call:
Soon, soon, here in this place, may there be peace.

May we, from crude chains that bind, gain release
For we would press on, though first we might crawl,
To help make violence end and bloodshed cease.

May our tenacity each day increase
As we help bring down hate’s sundering wall
So, soon, here in this place, there may be peace.

May we be strong as iron, soft as fleece,
As required to break the ego’s spell
To help make violence end and bloodshed cease.

If not all at once, then small piece by piece
Grant us strength to be freed from fear’s dark thrall
So, soon, here in this place, there will be peace
For we’ve helped make violence end and bloodshed cease.
David Madden Westerly Monthly Meeting, clerk

What Do Quakers Believe?

January 14th, 2014

Historically there can be no question but that the Society began as a Society of Christians, and for the most part of its life the Christian basis was accepted without demur by its members However, a Society lives in its members and not in its history. Any discussion of what the early Quakers believed is interesting…yet the important question is what Quakers believe now, not what they believed fifty or two hundred and fifty years ago…

[Members] should not concern themselves with questions such as “What are your beliefs, my beliefs, the Society’s collective beliefs…for such questions lead on to judgments of others, and the sorting of humanity into Christians and non-Christians.

It would be more productive and more Quakerly if the questions we asked ourselves were:

(a) Why do I have to have beliefs?

(b) Does it matter to me what other people believe?

(c) Is it important to me if those with whom I worship and work are exclusive Christians or not?

(d) If it matters to me, why does it matter?

This last question is…the critical issue… It is surely very important to know why the convictions of others in this respect should matter so much to us. And it is worth remembering that one reason for attaching importance to uniformity of belief is not being quite sure of oneself I feel fairly sure Jesus himself …would have been quick to recognize and applaud other teachers whose teachings were similar to his. We need the teachings too badly to split hairs about the differences…or worry about the names we give them.

Geoffrey Hubbard (22 May 1923 – June 1998) gave the Swarthmore Lecture at London Yearly Meeting 1991, published as Patterns and Examples: Quaker Attitudes and European Opportunities. He also wrote an introduction to the Quaker faith: Quaker by Convincement(1974).

“What Do Quakers Believe?” found at http://www2.gol.com/users/quakers/what_do_quakers_believe.htm

Give Over Thine Own Willing…

January 7th, 2014

“Give over thine own willing; give over thine own running; give over thine own desiring to know or to be any thing, and sink down to the seed which God sows in the heart, and let that grow in thee, and be in thee, and breathe in thee, and act in thee, and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that, and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of life, which is his portion.”
~ Isaac Penington, 1616-1679, one of the early members of the Religious Society of Friends

Micah 6:8

January 6th, 2014

8 He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice,
and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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