Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 21st April 2024

Your heart is a polished mirror. Clear the dust that has collected on the surface; it is destined to reflect the light. I heard this lovely Sufi saying recently and Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 21st April 2024

Your heart is a polished mirror. Clear the dust that has collected on the surface; it is destined to reflect the light.

I heard this lovely Sufi saying recently and realised this is what I am trying to achieve when I come to Meeting on a Sunday. You notice I write Meeting and not Meeting for Worship.

The two dictionary definitions of the word “worship” I came upon are: “the practice of showing respect for God or a god, by saying prayers, singing with others, etc; a ceremony for this.” And “the feeling for (or to show) expression of reverence and adoration for a deity”.

I don’t think either of those really fit with either my intention or my experience. I think I would best describe my faith as non-theistic in that, whilst I believe strongly in a divine source or consciousness, I would not be comfortable with calling this God or a god. And although I am in awe of the power of deep silence and contemplation, I do not consider myself a worshipper. I do come to Meeting with the hope that I can clear the dust that life has a tendency to deposit, so that I can go out renewed and more ready to face the world with a slightly shinier heart. In order for this to happen I feel a need to connect with the divine light and love my faith embodies which I believe is there for us at all times, but which seems more reachable in the presence of others who are looking for the same, whatever the difference in terminology.

How rich it is that we can join together for mutual expression of our individual interpretations of Quaker belief, of religion and spirituality. Acceptance of our differing paths is our strength.

Judy Lee

on behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Tim Pitt-Payne, Caroline Pybus, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall)