Wednesday

CALENDAR

Every Sunday -- Meeting for Worship 

10:00am -- Burgess House

ALL ARE WELCOME
COME CHECK US OUT
BURGESS HOUSE is at 559 Cotuit Rd. ROUTE 149, (south of Rt.6) 
MARSTONS MILLS (P.O. Box 718) MA
(exit 5 off of route 6 turn south on Rt. 149 (Prospect St) after a small rotary stay straight on 149 (Prospect changes to Cotuit) Burgess House is about 3 miles on right.
There is a large parking area just beyond the house and a walk through the fence on your right.)

Barnstable Friends Meeting is a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting. 
Periodically we all go there for worship and Business Meeting (103 Marion Road)

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Unprogrammed Worship
contemplation, silent prayer
At the center of Friends worship is the core belief in God as “present in dwelling teacher”. The silence of unprogrammed worship is not empty silence. During the silence there are heroic things happening. The Spirit is gently nudging each person in worship toward a central truth. The gathered meeting is the way of discerning that truth and ministry is the way that truth breaks the silence and is experienced.

FOR INFORMATION ON QUAKERISM IN GENERAL VISIT:
http://www.neym.org/ ~~ OR ~~ http://www.quaker.org/

A PERSONAL BLOG OF ONE MEMBER'S SPIRITUAL REFLECTIONS
http://reflectionsfromtheeaglesnest.blogspot.com/

Saturday

State of Society Report 2017

State of Society Report 2017
BARNSTABLE FRIENDS MEETING 
(a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting)

Spring comes late to Cape Cod but eventually green shoots appear; just so for Barnstable Friends Meeting.  In 2017 we had a few more attenders make their way to our door and even though we are still very small,  worship is verdant, rich and meaningful.
Mattapoisett continues to hold us in their loving care and we are grateful. The following spoke to our condition:

"Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity.  it is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice.  It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free.  Peacemaking is about being able to recognize in the face of the oppressed our own faces, and in the hands of the oppressors our own hands. — From A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

Thursday

State of Society Report 2016

State of Society Report 2016
BARNSTABLE FRIENDS MEETING
(a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting)

           
“When all is said and done, we’re all just walking each other home.”
~Ram Das

Barnstable Friends Meeting is a place of solace for those who gather during this tumultuous time as we do our best to “walk each other home” in safety, peace and joy.  Although we occasionally get visitors, our Meeting in 2016 has remained tiny.  Worship, however, was still most sweet and restorative. We continue to be supported by Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting and feel deep love, gratitude and connection between our Preparative and our Monthly Meetings. Our hope is that in the coming year we can make visitation a more regular occurrence. 

We feel the following quote speaks to our condition, and forms a prayer that we may be a constructive part of the "chorus of the Union” that makes up the various pieces that is New England Yearly Meeting,  and that we may all be blessed by "the better angels of our nature.”

     "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield [vigil or protest] and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
~Abraham Lincoln
………………………..


Tuesday

Orlando, Florida

Barnstable Friends Meeting mourns the loss of our brothers and sisters at the Pulse in Orlando, Florida.
We will participate at the invitation of Orlando Friends  in a called meeting for worship
7 p.m.  Tuesday, June 14th 2016) whether in our homes or meetinghouses
Leonard Cohen's The Future prophetically name the horror going on, the one line we can hold onto is "love's the only engine of survival”. In the face of homophobia and racism with the final outcome of the absolute worst kind Love, in the pure universal connected oneness, is the only thing that makes sense. 

When looking at it through the eyes of eternity,  Love does win - always.

Sunday

State of Society Report 2015

Barnstable Friends Meeting: Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting
State of Society Report for 2015  
(approved Barnstable 2/7/16, Mattapoisett  2/28/16)

Although tiny, Barnstable Friends Meeting; a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting is precious to those who attend, it is where we connect to the deepest part of our being as typified by the following message:

Walking the Path of Love
It came in a dream and then a memory of a dream; elusive upon waking. A mass of extraneous things swirled around the seed of truth. The things the mind hooks onto are easy to remember.  They seem annoying, a distraction but the realization came that they fill an important function by presenting the aspects that tell where the path is not.  These need to be cleared out before the essential is reveled.  It does no good to clear the undergrowth from the whole forest. It is only when we can clear away the obstructions from where we want to travel that we can rise to a higher plane of being and walk the path. 
What are the components of this undergrowth? Much is a normal part of the human condition, thoughts or feeling that possibly everyone has from time to time: 
a.  Competition: finding the path has nothing to do with being the victor or loser,  winning or losing. Rivalry, antagonism obscures the path.
b. Judgement: The path of love has nothing to do making a negative assessment, recrimination, judging someone to be troublesome or mean. 
c. Differences:  It also surprisingly, has nothing to do with reconciliation, the repair of a past relationship, overcoming rejection or irreconcilable differences.  This type of love is not about expectations. 
d. Success: It is not about success, achievement,  being given a great honor, recognition and the pleasant feeling this engenders. 
e. Failure:  it is also not about failure; everyone, everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have available.
f. Friendship: Odd as it sounds, its not about the love people feel for each other, even those who set the heart racing. 
To get to the core of the message all this has to be cleared away.
The essence of how to walk the path of love can only break through when everything seems lost, when all hope of doing or making things better is gone. Realization comes after,  in that dream of being chased,  there is no where to turn,  not intellect, not feelings, not strength, not even faith.  It is then that a voice comes; at this time when there is nothing else to hold onto, there is a feeling of being receptive, resigned and complete surrender. It's a secret message but in plain sight, it comes and says something so simple it seems idiotic. Pure, unconditional Love can be held in one’s heart. It’s possible. As President Obama said quoting MLK Jr. "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."
The instruction that came through the dream about how to walk this path, was simple. At times of meditation think about a person only in terms of how they are wonderful, miraculous and special. Reject the components of this undergrowth;  judgement, differences, success, failure, friendship.  See, feel, sense the inner essence; see only the eternal, not finite, beauty. The negative or positive stuff might be true but it isn’t Truth. For this moment it doesn't matter.   Cleared away what is left is brilliance, uniqueness and beauty; just radiant inner goodness, with no, expectation. None. No right or wrong, no if / then. No quid pro quo, no strings, no "going back to how things were,” no opinion, or business, just simply being in that space of pure positive soul to soul connection.  In prayer BE in the place, hold this energy. This is relating on a higher plane. On the lower plane of life there is good and bad and tangled agendas, like a piece of paper filled with so much writing that eventually there is no space to write even one more letter. But on the higher plane it is all blown away with one breath, disappearing ink; no duality. 

Imagine the world where this is practiced; a different way of being with each other surrounded by peace and joy. Certainly we all will fail at this but what would it be like if we don't give up? Imagine starting right now … Imagine…

Our Letters to the Editor

(letter appeared in Cape Cod Times August 20, 2015)
Not a Solution
Doing away with the Noah shelter is not a solution and could make the problem worse. Reduce the number of beds available and people will still be here, some causing more problems not less. Moving the shelter makes it hard for people we don't have cars to get to work or mental health services which doesn’t help. Ending homelessness need a layered approach. We need 1. some sort of housing that is affordable for people working minimum wage jobs,  2. housing, education and job development for people who have gone through recovery from addiction, etc but not solidly on their feet and for people beginning recovery, like Homeless Not Hopeless  3. a place like Noah shelter.
Most of all though, we need compassion.  We need to understand that this is holy work. The Bible specifically demands hospitality toward the other  "for you were strangers in a strange land" (Lev. 19:34 and see Ex. 12:49).  Isaiah states that one of the duties of those spiritually connected is to "give thy bread to the hungry," and to "bring the poor that are cast out to thy house" (Isa. 58:7).
Where will people go if Noah Shelter is closed?  Will you bring people into your home? What happens in January and zero degrees? What if it was your son or father, your sister or you?
Rachel Carey-Harper for Barnstable Friends Meeting (a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisset Monthly Meeting)


(letter appeared in Cape Cod Times,  published  5/29/2014)
Dear Editor,
While we applaud Harwich Conservation Trust's hope to purchase 40 acres in Harwich ("Scrambling to buy some history" May 26 CCTimes), we are concerned that it would be a purchase of stolen land only once removed from the family that perpetrated, and for centuries profited from, the theft in the first place. By what right did the land transfer from Wampanoag people? In all likelihood it was through the Doctrine of Christian Discovery. Receiving stolen property is a crime and in many cases there is no statue of limitations.   We encourage people who are not descendants of the original inhabitants to consider this because the harm that has been done and the privileges enjoyed by our ancestors and even today by us personally, whether we know it or not,  have serious consequences for our souls.   That of God within,  the essence of who we really are, exists in eternity, therefore serious wrongs do not dissipate with the passage of time.  There is a good way to move forward in an effort to be in right relationship with our indigenous neighbors. The long journey of healing begins with the first steps of interrupting the behavior and knowing about and acknowledging the harm.  There are alternatives including a donation of the property to Native Land Conservancy, Inc.  19 Pine Road Mashpee, MA 02649. This way, true love can prevail.
Rachel Carey-Harper, Barnstable Friends Meeting 
(a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisset Monthly Meeting)

(letter appeared in Cape Cod Times,  published  12/02/2012 )
Truth
A recent article about clearing the homeless camps says its purpose was to "encourage people living in them to get off the streets" but is this true? The high price for a rental apartment, "affordable housing" geared to middle income wage earners,  coupled with the extreme difficulties that any organization has in establishing a group living situation and the many bylaws of our towns seems designed to punish rather then help. To walk a path to solve this problem requires reassessment,  both community policies, priorities and personal attitudes.
We are ALL part of the Divine whole; the illusions of the world do give way to the infinite place of Love like the sun through a Cape Cod foggy morning.  Rather then punish the poor, the disabled, those who sleep in the dust , you and I can be part of the solution. We are all related, more same then different, each of us doing our very best to fulfill our divine purpose with all our stumbling even if we can't see it in the "other".  Let's be examples of healing not harm, focusing on Light in heart and mind and spirit and walk cheerfully through this together.
Rachel Carey-Harper, clerk
Barnstable Friends Meeting, Marstons Mills

Wednesday

Toward real peace in a beautiful world


Toward Real Peace in a beautiful world -- published in Cape Cod Times Oct. 16, 2014
Recent letters to the editor criticize County Human Rights commissioner Elenita Muniz for saying “…everyone who is white-skinned is racist.”  One author says she "…should be investigated for hate speech and terminated.”  My purpose for writing is not to judge or get into an argument. Rather to offer a personal statement originally written in 2002 (with slight updating). It also contains a prayer from me and my Friends Meeting for this holiday season, a time of Light returning. 
...
Hello, my name is Rachel and I'm a racist. No, I'm not secretly a member of the KKK; rather I have come to admit that my attitudes and assumptions around race are unmanageable in a just society. I look to a Power greater then myself to restore me to sanity. 

Just as our collective thinking about what it means to be an alcoholic has changed from simply a derelict with a paper sack to include "respectable" people, so my personal thinking has changed regarding the affliction of racism. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a racist as a person who “…believes that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.” While I certainly don't consciously believe this, what about an unconscious belief because of being raised in white privilege? Doesn't this count?  

At a very early age I was very carefully taught and conditioned. Being from a "good" Quaker family, it was most easy for me to deny any part of this problem.  Of course prejudice is wrong. And after all, Friends were on the forefront of the civil rights movement.  Yet white privilege has affected the very structure of my mind. I viewed white practices, customs and attitudes as the norm against which others were to be compared. My spirit requires that I now struggle with the results of these attitudes and entitlements not enjoyed by other groups, including: 
•  Not having to see or feel that Ferguson or all such incidents — before and after — are in any way connected to me or are my problem.
•  Still looking at faces of my society’s leaders and seeing mostly people of my race (congress is 87% white yet people of color make up 30% of our population).
•  Having my race be the source of all the art and music "Great Masterpieces.”
•  Being taught in school about all the famous explorers, philosophers, leaders, etc. who happened to all be members of my race. The list goes on.

Although I have been slow to precisely name my addiction, I have been in recovery for some time now.  Knowing that I am FAR from perfect, I try to educate myself, promptly admit it when I am wrong regarding issues faced by people of color, and work at make amends. Just as importantly, I seek through prayer to bring spiritual energy for a solution both within my heart and the world.  I look forward to someday reaping a harvest of Joy, Light and Oneness.
.....
In closing we ask each reader: Are we morally, spiritually and visibly, stepping into this moment?  Are we bearing witness both to the injustice and also to how Spirit is being made manifest for us at this particular time and situation? How do we build a truly beloved community that embraces that of God in everyone? Are we a part of this awakening, speaking Truth about who we are in relationship to all humankind, all our relations? 

At this season, may each of us be lamps of pure Love and Light to bring a new dawn of real peace into this beautiful world.
Rachel Carey-Harper
Barnstable Friends Meeting