Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 24th September 2023
Dear Friends, One of the marks of community is that everyone is valued and has a part to play within it. I realised this when staying at a convent in … Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 24th September 2023
One of the marks of community is that everyone is valued and has a part to play within it. I realised this when staying at a convent in Liverpool for an ecumenical conference some years ago.
The nun who welcomed us said that those we would see would be the ones helping to look after us. But there were others. Some were the active ones out on the streets of the city finding ways of changing the lives of the homeless and the prostitutes. Others we would not see because they were too frail to leave the upper floor in which they were cared for, “But”, she said, “They know you are here and they are praying for you.” That was their role.
Whether making an active witness in wider society, maintaining our local Meeting in quiet but necessary practical ways or supporting other members with prayer and encouragement, we all play a part in sustaining a strong community. Community is a two-way process. You have to put into it as well as take out of it but the ways in which we each can put in are not the same. We need the variety of ways.
In 1986 in a contribution to an international ecumenical exploration of how different churches saw ministry, British Friends said:
“We recognise a variety of ministries. In our worship these include those who speak under the guidance of the Spirit, and those who receive and uphold the work of the Spirit in silence and prayer. We also recognise as ministry service on our many committees, hospitality and childcare, the care of finance and premises, and many other tasks. We value those whose ministry is not in an appointed task but is in teaching, counselling, listening, prayer, enabling the service of others, or other service in the meeting or the world.
The purpose of all our ministry is to lead us and other people into closer communion with God and to enable us to carry out those tasks which the Spirit lays upon us.”
QFP 10.05 (From ‘To Lima with Love’)
I hope that is what we can achieve in our Meeting.
For the Pastoral Care &Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Convenor, Caroline Pybus, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall)