Reading Drayton in Community
Chris M. and I used to go every Thursday, for about three years. When H. got too big to carry with us and just sleep through everything, Chris and I gave up going. Rather than have one of us be resentful every week, we decided neither of us would go. Harmony in our marriage was more important than our study group. However, I have tried to read some of the same books that the group has read and from time to time, I have recommended books or pamphlets that I have read to the group's semi-official leader. Members One of Another by Thomas Gates is one example that I think they took up.
I have been enthusiastically encouraging the study group to read Brian Drayton's On Living with a Concern for Gospel Ministry for six months now. They finally finished up the William Penn text that they'd been reading for months, and announced that this would be next. Hooray!
Several of us have already read the book. I agree with the person who said last night that he is really looking forward to reading this with other people. I am looking forward to the chance to discuss the calling to vocal ministry with some of the true (if unrecorded) ministers and elders of my Meeting. I phoned several other people in our Meeting who give vocal ministry to encourage them to come too. Some of them have other commitments on Thursday nights; some have too much going on in their lives already to add one more night out. But one of them showed up last night and I hope that others will drop in from time to time.
Last night, in one hour, we got through the Foreword by Fran Taber and about half the Introduction. That's about eight pages. Methinks we'll be reading this book for a long time to come. The group's method is only partly about reading the texts. As Friends said last night, it's also about sharing our spiritual journeys and questions and creating the blessed community among us.
I feel blessed to be part of this community. I had the opportunity to say last night how much the Quaker blogosphere has helped me to appreciate being part of my Meeting.
Labels: meeting work
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