Reweaving Spiritual Connections
In the last six months I have visited several meetings within Friends General Conference. There is a great desire among Friends to feel more spiritually connected, to know what issues other meetings are laboring with and how they go about discerning what they as Friends are called to do.
Our foremothers and fathers understood the importance of sharing their spiritual leadings, holding each other in the Light, and taking the risks of living their lives as they felt called to do by God. Love of the Divine and a call to be compassionate with each other moved Friends to action. Women and men, with clearness and support of their monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings went forth on dangerous trips (dangerous both because of the uncertain nature of travel in those times, as well as the hostility of society to those bringing unwanted messages) to be a presence and sometimes carry a concern. Messages calling for Friends and others to treat each other with compassion, to renounce the holding of slaves, to call for women’s equality, to demand better treatment of prisoners, to provide equal education opportunities, and give humane treatment of those with mental illness were first carried to other Friends meetings and later to the wider society. As John Woolman is reported to have said, “Love was the first motion, and thence the concern arose.”
As our meetings look for ways to reweave a spiritual connection with each other Friends are finding themselves called to travel in the ministry. Some are being called to travel with a listening ministry and others with concerns for today’s S/society. The journey may be no easier today than it has been in the past.
Friends General Conference Traveling Ministries Program helps provide assistance to monthly and yearly meetings and those in their midst who are called to travel among Friends. FGC is encouraging the reweaving of our spiritual web by coordinating travel of resource people and seasoned Friends with monthly meetings and other Friends groups. Meetings seeking visits from workshop leaders and/or traveling seasoned Friends are encouraged to contact the FGC Traveling Ministries Coordinator. Those who feel they have leadings to travel among Friends are also invited to contact FGC.
There is risk involved with following a leading of the Divine. The risk might be greater if we choose not to follow.
Deborah Fisch, coordinator of the Traveling Ministries Program, is a member of Paullina Monthly Meeting and clerk of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative).