What is the Religious Society of Friends for? — Pastoral Care

Through the Flaming Sword

Human life is quite full of human suffering. One of the most important roles for the Quaker meeting is to minister to one another in our suffering. Thus pastoral care is for Friends a form of ministry. 

The faith and practice of pastoral care, the roles and responsibilities of both the individual and the meeting, are not different for pastoral care ministry than they are for vocal ministry or witness ministry, or any other form of ministry: 

As individuals, to always seek to be open to the promptings of the Spirit to serve, in the knowledge that any one of us at any time could be called to be there for someone in pain; that you do not have to have professional training to do this. 

As meetings, to teach the spiritual practice of Quaker ministry, including pastoral care as one of its forms, thus encouraging all members and attenders…

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Simplicity part 5 — a Quaker perspective

Michael's 'Deep Thoughts'

In the Quaker understanding of Christianity, Simplicity is a response to both the Quaker understanding of God and the Quaker understanding of humanity. Friends believe that God still works in the world, and still touches the individual. Friends take the idea of vocation very seriously. Friends also believe that every human being is the express image of God. When we approach life, we need to see something of God in everybody that we meet. Seeing God’s image in others should affect the way we think, speak and live.

If we believe that God is active in the world, and that all people are subject to God’s calling, then people must live in a way that allows openness to God’s call in life. Simplicity is not only about living in obedience when God’s call is heard, but living in expectation so that obedience becomes possible. Simplicity takes away competing entanglements, allowing…

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Lenten Devotional Series: March 7th

Walking Cheerfully Over the Earth

Merkajia, Kurdistan Iraq Photo Taken by Rachel Stacy Merkajia, Kurdistan Iraq
Photo Taken by Rachel Stacy

Friday, March 7, 2014

“The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9)

Generosity feels like it should be simple but usually isn’t. Too often when giving or receiving, I question the giver’s motives, the receiver’s reaction, the appropriateness of the gift, the system of oppression that the gift might be engaging in (classism, racism, sexism, etc), etc. Guilt, mistrust, anger, offense, fear, and embarrassment are all feelings that often accompany generosity.

Ben and…

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