Greetings from Michigan. This Fall it’s a joy to be among Friends here in North America. In this post I’m sharing some highlights from traveling ministry and Quaker service; photos too are interspersed. As this web site is periodic for updates, I also would point readers to two Facebook pages: Sink Down and Rise Up about traveling ministry, and an artist page about creative life.
In October, I participated in the Steering Committee Meeting of Quaker Earthcare Witness held at Pendle Hill Center (Wallingford, Pennsylvania), where my official contribution was as a QEW representative for Lake Erie Yearly Meeting. One of my personal joys was meeting some Quakers who share a path to honor our indigenous ancestors, as well as Friends who regularly center the wisdom of First Nations in their lives. In this direction, please read Stanley Chagala Ngesa’s article “Quaker Christianity in Kenya” from Friends Journal, October 2019.
Related to QEW, I’m happy to share that my article published in its newsletter BeFriending Creation. “Listening to Roots, Walking in Beauty” conveys the concern of Right Relationship in the traveling ministry that I carry under the care of Kalamazoo Monthly Meeting and, as endorsed through July 2020, Lake Erie YM. The piece draws upon ministry among Friends of Britain YM, between August to September, especially extended visitation with Southwest Cumbria (Swarthmoor) Area Meeting.
From November 9 to 10, Oberlin Monthly Meeting (Lake Erie YM) received this ministry for an after-dinner discussion and in First-Day worship. The fellowship was deep as a small group of Friends entered into worship sharing about our condition of living amid climate breakdown. We left with renewed spirits about how we use our bodies to honor the Earth, including a question from the Fall 2019 QEW Epistle by the Steering Committee: “What has to die in us so that Earth can live?”
This weekend after Thanksgiving, which also is observed as a National Day of Mourning, I will be with Ann Arbor Monthly Meeting (Lake Erie YM) from November 30 to December 1. I expect to join both Meetings for Worship, and to give a presentation at the Environmental and Social Concerns Committee. The presentation will share news from the traveling ministry and roles for Lake Erie YM. One item is from Friends of Britain YM engaged with Action for Bhopal: a call to learn about ongoing harm from a chemical disaster 35 years ago, and to discern a present response arising from North America toward related companies headquartered here.
In closing, I’ve been Light holding many of you among whom I’ve traveled and served, Light-holding our individual and corporate lives. That we all listen to the Light as we seek ways forward amid much brokenness in the world. That we hear the call to faithfulness, and be true to that which is put on our hearts. I often turn to the Prayer of Courage, which I carry with me after a brief visit in 2018 to the interfaith and reconciliation center Corrymeela in Northern Ireland. ‘Croi’ means ‘heart’ in Gaelic. You’ll find the poem below the photo.
Courage comes from the heart
and we are always welcomed by God,
the Croi of all being.
We bear witness to our faith,
knowing that we are called
to live lives of courage, love
in the ordinary and extraordinary moments
of each day.
We bear witness, too, to our failures
and our complicity in the fractures of our
May we be courageous today
May we learn today.
May we love today.