Living our Ministry in a Secular World

BARNESVILLE,  OHIO

MARCH 2017

Living our Ministry in a Secular World

co-led by Margery Post Abbott and Honor Woodrow

When is the grand gesture an act of faithfulness and when is it right to be obedient in the small actions of daily life? Apparently insignificant gestures as not tipping a hat can have far reaching consequences.

Some Friends are called to ministry and a passion for addressing our changing climate and other rapidly shifting dimensions of our world yet encounter secular organizations which leave them feeling frustrated or isolated. What might it look like if we develop a more ecological orientation to ministry and celebrate the everyday motions and see how they might grow the strength and the community to sustain a public witness.

We are each called to be faithful, to take up whatever cross that is ours to carry.  The desire to embody the New Creation can open up the heart and grant a willingness to let go expectations. 

Noticing and attending to the ministry that is potentially there for all of us is at the heart of life among Friends. How do we find our base community that helps spread the vision and provide accountability? How do we develop the daily disciplines that aid in sorting through the anger that may surround us and avoiding the isolation that can cut us from our roots? How do we find ways to avoid getting caught up in the pressure to be effective or otherwise successful in the world’s terms?

We can stand with each other and hear our agonized cries just as we can speak to the sustaining joy that can fill our hearts. We can bless each other as we walk alongside each other, reminding each other of the flavor of the divine touch that sent us on this path as we share the false steps and the helpful learnings — the despair and hope — which have brought us thus far.

Our hope for the weekend is that we might raise up the everyday ways in which our lives are intertwined and knit together in the Spirit. Might we better be able to go forth into the world bear witness to the Inward Guide in ordinary actions as much as in radical proclamation.

May this time together allow us to uphold one another and find renewal if we have been tumbled and battered.

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