Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 25th February 2024

Dear Friends, In this time of interminable disasters, we all listen to the news of war and destruction. There are so many areas of trouble in the Middle East.  We Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 25th February 2024

Dear Friends,

In this time of interminable disasters, we all listen to the news of war and destruction. There are so many areas of trouble in the Middle East.  We are not able to do anything though sometimes we can spot a way of donating to struggling Palestinians. The outcome looks very unpalatable. What we can do is to retain our fundamental principles. We can look out for organisations that are deeply committed to helping. We can quietly speak our minds when we listen to the thoughts of others. We can offer help where we may come across problems and difficulties, and uphold those who suffer and those trying to alleviate suffering in whatever way we pray. In Quaker Faith and Practice, 21.06, below, the Personal Journey chapter, looks at “our anxieties and fears” and how we can stay Quakerly. It’s an Epistle of Junior Yearly Meeting, 1991, so aimed at our then youngsters.  But it carries messages which do seem to relate to some of today’s quandaries. Junior Yearly Meeting gave us the opportunity to step back and look at our lives from a different perspective. As Quakers we are often preoccupied with global issues and as young people we are only too often preoccupied with the pressures of work. We had the space to stop, to listen and to think about ourselves… Through our discussions we recognised our anxieties and fears. We realised that we are individuals and that we are alone but, as part of a loving community, to be alone does not necessarily mean to be lonely. We discovered that it is acceptable to have confused feelings, to be different, to do things our own way. We should not feel guilty when we are wrong, and appreciate that there must be room for mistakes. There are people who want us to be exactly as we are. The idea of ‘Ubuntu’ is already around in our minds as we prepare for September’s World Gathering. It is never more needed than when we remember those with the most extremely diverse views from our own. Nancyon behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Caroline Pybus, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall)