How do we maintain love and unity?

How are love and unity maintained among us?

This is supposedly one of the oldest queries still in use in Friends' books of Faith and Practice.

In meeting for worship the other day, I was wondering especially about how do we do this.

What methods of communication do we use?
What trespasses do we forgive?
What do we just ignore in order to maintain love and unity among us?
Like a baby with the hiccups in meeting for worship?
Like things/people we don't want to deal with?

And in my family specifically, how do we maintain love and unity among us?
What does that take?
How do we do it?
How well do we do it?

Several blog posts have responded to this question before I posted it:

Liz Opp on the significance of benches
Gregg on the blogging community and NWYM's Peace Sabbath
Aj on Quaker distinctives
Chris M's lesson on clearness and giving ministry while your sweatshirt hoodstrings are pulled
anj on a family threshing session
Anna on rattling cages
cubbie on the limits of acceptance
and ages ago, Martin wrote about the testimony against detraction
Fri morning addition: Will T about the recent FUM meeting in Africa

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use all methods of communiation. Forgive all trespasses.
Ignore nothing to maintain love.
If a baby hiccups in meeting, celibrate the fact that it's there.

At least that is my idea about how things should be done.

Thank you for all the love of your posts.


2/23/2007 12:30 AM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thanks anonymous. But I'm especially interested in the how. In what works. In how do we forgive and how do others know that we forgave them?

And what do we do when we fail?

2/24/2007 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post--reading it feels like I am reading the thoughts of my own head this week. We had what some would consider "bad behavior" in MfW this week, and I've been sitting with it, wondering what (if anything) to do.

Unfortunately, I don't have much of a concrete answer, other than to stay open. Don't give up, on the meeting, or the person. Trust the spirit that may lead you to elder, or trust that it is not your place to elder, and that someone else will do it. Admit frustration, to yourself, or to trusted associates, but then return to the place of staying open, knowing that the meeting is stronger than any individual behavior that is going on within it (at least that has been my experience).

I think your query that you bring up is an important one, and I for one would like to see our meeting use it more.

In the Light,

Mia (who is not the same anonymous as above)

2/26/2007 1:28 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Mia, like ministry in meeting for worship, the ability of other bloggers to write just what I needed to hear continues to amaze me.

May the blessing of understanding be given to you and your meeting.

2/26/2007 2:08 PM  

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