Monday, 7 May 2007

Food for thought

Into Friends House at quite a civilised hour this morning. Blogging with the sausage factory last night and subsequent transport adventures meant I wasn't home 'til 2am!

I went into the restaurant for a hearty but cheap breakfast. I sat with Anne Hosking, a Quaker Life staff member. Anne has done lots of work on Eldership & Oversight, and is full of Quaker insights.

Although we were both tired, we had really interesting conversation. Yearly Meeting can be studded with inspiring chats like these.

A few gems from Anne included the thought that 'experience' was a better word than 'belief'. Anne feels that it's much easier to listen to someone talk of their 'Quaker experience'. For many, the word 'belief' can have quite negative connotations. The word 'experience', on the other hand, doesn't deny the possibility of other experiences.

Another idea which clicked with me is whether a meeting for worship is closed, ended, or completed. These are very similar terms, and it might seem pedantic to distinguish between them. However, the words closed and ended suggest that something is being interrupted before it is finished. Complete, on the other hand, is much more positive. It suggests that the worship we are doing has come to a natural end, without closing it off from the rest of our lives (which can be equally worshipful).

A few small words, but meaningful to me. As Anne said, I offer these to you.

Thank you, Anne.

1 comment:

A tenative Quaker said...

And thank you too. Words can be a wall or door, these are a door. Experience frees us from I think to I feel; from what do you know to what have you known.