Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 5th May 2024

Dear Friends, We know, with varying degrees of acceptance into awareness, our own weaknesses, and there is a tendency to think that others – who seem, on the surface, to Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 5th May 2024

Dear Friends,

We know, with varying degrees of acceptance into awareness, our own weaknesses, and there is a tendency to think that others – who seem, on the surface, to be very sure and confident – do not struggle in the way we do. But many of those who appear to cope and be strong and tireless are indeed very different behind their masks. We are all wounded; we all feel inadequate and ashamed; we all struggle. But this is part of the human condition; it draws us together, helps us to find our connectedness.
June Ellis, 1986 QF&P 21.14

Trouble of soul can teach us things that raptures never could – not only patience and perseverance, but humility and sympathy with others.
Edward Grubb, 1933 QF&P 21.12

Everyone will experience sorrow at some point in their lives. For some, it is a daily struggle. Sharing it with others can often be – or seem –  inappropriate, so we often keep it to ourselves. This may also be something we learnt to do within our childhood environment, or within our particular culture. It can be quite a burden to carry.

I recently took a risk and wrote to Friends, in a weekly message, about my potential ADHD diagnosis. I had responses from several Lewes Friends, resulting in deep sharing, comfort, and a sense of knowing each other in a very real and genuine way. All were people who “appear to cope and be strong and tireless”. It was a risk I felt was worth taking, as I believe that Quakers spend their lives trying to listen, understand and not judge.

Being open about my struggles has given me a greater sense of connection….and a stronger acceptance of who I am. Indeed, a risk worth taking.

Veryan Greenwood

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