Reflections from extended worship, and other moments of clarity
I was worried a little bit that this wasn’t good enough for such a big chunk of the workshop time. Would people think that we, as leaders, should be presenting more? I comforted myself with the notion that this was the period of the workshop to be led by the Holy Spirit. It turns out that two hours of worship weren’t enough. People were still going strong at the two hour mark. Should we have planned for three hours? Four? I haven’t done it that long myself, but what if we tried? I think Marcelle Martin wrote a Pendle Hill Pamphlet about her experiments with extended worship. Maybe I should re-read it.
One of the messages that I received that didn’t rise to the level of vocal ministry but seemed like a clear lesson for me came from watching the rain out the windows of the Casa de Luz.
As the clouds passed in front of the ridge across the valley, from time to time I couldn’t see the horizon. But when the forest on the horizon was obscured, I could focus better on the tree right in front of me.
One Friend read to us the parable about the farmer who sows his seed on the road, in the weeds and on fertile soil. Another Friend said to us, “Mind the fire.”
In the middle of the two hours, I noticed that the fire that had been burning hotly in the woodstove when we came in was dying down. I tried to get up and put another log on the fire quickly and quietly so that we wouldn’t get cold, but not waste too much wood since we would be leaving in another hour. By the end however, I was given to understand that you can’t stoke a fire on the cheap. It may flare up but it will also burn out quickly. You have to lay the foundation properly and put in the time it really needs. A later suggestion from another Friend: always add two logs to the woodstove at one time. It greatly increases the chances of them catching fire.
I think the same is true with ministry.
For more reports on this weekend workshop, visit the Event Coverage page on QuakerQuaker.org.
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