Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 3rd December 2023

Dear Friends, We are all deeply concerned for those in Gaza, and for the many struggling in the West Bank. We grieve also for the Jews who were killed by Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 3rd December 2023

Dear Friends,

We are all deeply concerned for those in Gaza, and for the many struggling in the West Bank. We grieve also for the Jews who were killed by Hamas. We may think of how we might hold them all in the light. But that seems barely appropriate at the present time.As Quakers we usually want to be helpful. But at this time there appears to be very little that we can do. We are not going to be listened to by any of those involved in the wars.We have to accept that parts of the world have become very ugly. The relatively peaceful days of the recent past have deteriorated horribly.The passage below, taken from Quaker Faith and Practice, Fourth Edition, Chapter 24, Our Peace Testimony, 24.60, was written in 1974 by Wolf Mendl. It suggests a rather different view.The first Friends had an apocalyptic vision of the world transformed by Christ and they set about to make it come true. The present generation of Quakers shares this conviction of the power of the spirit, but it is doubtful whether it will transform the world in our lifetime, or in that of our children or children’s children. For us it is not so important when the perfect world will be achieved or what it will be like. What matters is living our lives in the power of love and not worrying too much about the results. In doing this, the means become part of the end. Hence we lose the sense of helplessness and futility in the face of the world’s crushing problems. We also lose the craving for success, always focusing on the goal to the exclusion of the way of getting there. We must literally not take too much thought for the morrow but throw ourselves whole-heartedly into the present. That is the beauty of the way of love; it cannot be planned and its end cannot be foretold.Clearly we must continue to do all that we can, supporting the good causes that are accessible and of use. We greatly value the Quakers who have worked in Ramallah over many years. We know that although Quakers in Britain are quite few in number, there really are many people who know about us, both here and abroad. We should speak whenever we can.Nancyon behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Caroline Pybus, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall)