Post from Steve—January 21, 2016
It’s very hard to get a good Internet connection here, which is complicating my blogging.
I shared the following poem in the silent worship this morning. It was written when we lived in a small log house on a mountainside in the interior of British Columbia, where our children were born. At that time we lived an hour and twenty minutes from Vernon Monthly Meeting.
I wake to find the morning ashes glowing, barely red.
Too weak to draw a draft, the morning fire is almost dead.
I gather up the coals into a small compacted bed
And breathe on them until a self-sustaining flame is bred.
We, too—so scattered. Gather up your Friends like coals,
And breathe on us, Lord, ’til we light each other with our souls.
All ministry is translated into Spanish and French. The French translator added that if it were George Fox that was breathing on the coals, it would create a powerful apocalyptic fire! (And her addition was translated back into Spanish and English.)
There is indeed a fire growing here among us, the kind of fire that starts to grow when Friends gather in large gatherings like CYM and FGC. I woke up in the night and I felt like my heart had cracked open and was releasing healing tears.
This morning was the worship session organized by the English-speaking part of the Section of the Americas. The theme of the spoken message was the importance of nourishing the spiritual life of children. But the message that dominated the open worship that followed was a call to allow children to share their ministry with us. One woman compared it to the radical development among early Quakers of allowing women to also preach and asked if we can likewise give the ministry of children an equal and important place. And many Friends gave examples of how their lives had been touched by the ministry of the very young.
This is a message that our daughter Lilia would have resonated with, who has a gift with children and has dedicated herself to educating them with love and respect.
This evening I went to a fascinating presentation by a woman who is in the early stages of a research project of how Quakers helped Jews survive during the time of the Nazis. Please contact me if have any personal connection to this history.