Barnstable Friends Meeting, a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting (BFPM), continues to find inspiration and Truth in our connection to the Divine. In 2010, this motivation guided us to work in comforting the suffering of people in a number of big and small ways, including the problems of the homeless and of the low-income elderly’s lack of access to compassionate care. An abiding faith in this transcendent Source strengthened our resolve this past year to be true to our Quaker roots, practices and faith.
In the early summer, as avenues to our continued membership in New England Yearly Meeting were closed, Mattapoisett Friends offered us a home as a preparative meeting within their beloved community. We have worshiped together and have felt blessed that we were in each other’s lives — including cross fertilization in business meetings. The blessings of this union have been astonishing.
There is also an aspect of this Truth that BFPM finds in the deep valley of the rich, dark silence of the soul. It is here that we find an inner comfort, knowing that there is a heavenly force that holds us in Its love. It is out of this depth that the still, small voice of Creator guides our discernment of a positive way forward with forgiveness, dignity and faith in the ultimate triumph of Truth, wholeness and peace.
Social testimonies were frequent topics of conversation. This outward practice of our faith expanded to include partnering with a local motel to provide homeless women respite from the streets for one week a month and helping a Wampanoag elder publish her book. We distributed “War is Not the Answer” signs around Cape Cod and also expanded our publication on death, dying and bereavement. Our worship has helped us clear our minds and feel Spirit bring us together, giving us the strength to face the week ahead.
Some discussion also took place around the concept of “submitting to an authority” beside that of Creator. BFPM expressed concern about this phrase. We were reminded of this relevant quote: “These things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by, but that all, with the measure of Light which is pure and holy, may be guided; and so in the Light walking and abiding, these may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not from the letter, for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.” — George Fox.
We move into 2011 with a strong sense of the abiding presence of Divine beauty. We thank Creator for our blessings: the difficult times for they are an opportunity for growth, and the joyful times for they nourish and sustain us. We held all in NEYM in the Light and prayed for a time of healing. We are eager for a reconciliation with all in our Quarter to bring everyone back into loving harmony.
Creator, Spirit has such a calming and warm effect, it speaks to Love, the Light. This inspires us — along with the words that came during the silent worship at a Sandwich Quarter Meeting, “blow on the coals of one's heart” (from JB, a play about Job, by Archibald MacLeish). When one feels all is lost, there is more hidden within, — just blow. Approved 3/6/11