Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 23rd June 2024

Dear Friends, I have been thinking much about simplicity. Having recently retired from the practice of law after half a century what struck me was its absence in that field. Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 23rd June 2024

Dear Friends,

I have been thinking much about simplicity. Having recently retired from the practice of law after half a century what struck me was its absence in that field.

Over those decades thousands of new laws have been passed each year; the number of solicitors has risen from about 20,000 to over 150,000. I have practised in many areas from criminal to company law, but general practice is no longer feasible. We have super-specialization, and no doubt AI will thrive in these circumstances.

These developments in the field of law are no doubt mirrored in many areas of life today. All of them threaten the human and the divine in all of us. There is bound to be a reaction, but what form it will take no-one can know. In the meantime, and in my retirement I shall aim for simplicity, and I am trying to take the following on board!

Faith and Practice 20.27

The heart of Quaker ethics is summed up in the word ‘simplicity’. Simplicity is forgetfulness of self and remembrance of our humble status as waiting servers of God. Outwardly, simplicity is shunning superfluities of dress, speech, behaviour, and possessions, which tend to obscure our vision of reality. Inwardly, simplicity is spiritual detachment from the things of this world as part of the effort to fulfil the first commandment: to love God with all of the heart and mind and strength.

The testimony of outward simplicity began as a protest against the extravagance and snobbery on which marked English society in the 1600s. In whatever forms this protest is maintained today, it must still be seen as a testimony against involvement with things which tend to dilute our energies and scatter our thoughts, reducing us to lives of triviality and mediocrity.

Simplicity does not mean drabness and narrowness but is essentially positive, being the capacity for selectivity in one who holds attention on the goal. Thus simplicity is an appreciation of all that is helpful towards living as children of the Living God.

Alan Thompson

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