Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 7th January 2024

Dear Friends, In meeting for worship on the last Sunday of 2023, the ministry included references to the depressing state of the world, but turned too to the signs of Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 7th January 2024

Dear Friends,

In meeting for worship on the last Sunday of 2023, the ministry included references to the depressing state of the world, but turned too to the signs of hope to be found in new life springing up in the gardens and in the joy brought through new human life. The talk of new green shoots reminded me of a quote by which I have long been much taken. It is from Patrick Geddes, a renowned Scottish Biologist. He wrote:- This is a green world, with animals comparatively few and small, all dependent on leaves. By leaves we live. Some people have strange ideas that we live by money. They think energy is generated by the circulation of coins, whereas the world is mainly a vast leaf colony  growing on and forming a leafy soil, not a mere mineral mass: and we  live not by the jingling of our coins, but by the fullness of our  harvests. I doubt if we will agree that this is all that needs to be said about life, but I find it a helpful contribution when musing on what it is all about. It speaks of an interdependence of all life, which surely we recognise when we contemplate the threats of climate change, the collective response needed to keep diseases like Covid at bay, or even the underlying inequalities which lie behind the pressures of migration, not to mention the perils of species loss. The following passages from Quaker Faith and Practice give a similar message. We are all one, in a subtle but most significant way, one in the sense of being interdependent.…  All we can be sure of is that everything we do, say or think cannot help having an impact on the totality, the All of which we form part. Adam Curle 1992 QF&P 29.07 (I’ve done him a great disservice by missing out a huge chunk very reminiscent of the FWCC triennium theme, so do look it up!) Are we willing to open ourselves to this wider vision, to cease our urge to control and dominate, to listen instead to our hearts, to recognise again the integrity and sacredness of this planet which we have so abused? This means entering into a new relationship with ‘our Mother the Earth’, it means seeing ourselves again in a cosmic context, a larger perspective, which includes fire-ball, galaxy, planet, and all other life forms.If we can move from our ‘human-sized viewpoint and look instead from a cosmic perspective, there is a sudden and dramatic widening of the lens through which we look. Redemption is seen to be for all creation, and our human story, far from being diminished, is incorporated in the whole drama of an emerging universe.Grace Blindell 1992 QF&P 29.18 (part) That chapter of QF&P ends with a message suitable for the new year Therefore, dear Friends, wait in the light, that the Word of the Lord may dwell plentifully in you.William Dewsbury, 1675 QF&P 29.19 Wishing you all a happy new year Bob Harwoodon behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Caroline Pybus, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall)