Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 17th July 2022
Dear Friends The strength of my faith varies. At times, I feel that I am flowing in tune with the universe, at others I feel gratingly off my guiding rails … Message from the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team (PaCET) for Sunday Meeting 17th July 2022
The strength of my faith varies. At times, I feel that I am flowing in tune with the universe, at others I feel gratingly off my guiding rails and out of sorts. Being immersed in the busyness of life is a sure-fire way to move me away from my spiritual ease. The higher the stress levels, the harder it is to reach the stillness and listen for guidance.
I recognised years ago that a commitment to regular spiritual practice is essential for me, and yet it remains hard to prioritise. For me, applying for membership of Quakers was a promise to myself with this intent.
Attempting to write this letter has helped me realise that, at this time, I have been feeling adrift from my connection to the universe. I went for a walk around my garden. I saw all the weeds and brambles that have taken advantage of my gardening lapse and that are messily entangling the plants that I have previously tended with care. It reminded me of a lovely saying
“Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds”
It’s time for me to take up the gardening again, both physically and mentally. I’m grateful for this letter-writing responsibility, for taking me away from the day-to-day busyness and helping me to prioritise again.
Quaker Faith and Practise 26.08, is one of my favourites.
About two years ago on an April morning I felt ill at ease and unhappy. Life was difficult and the burden of the war weighed upon me. I climbed the steep path at the entrance of one of our public parks and stood beneath some cherry trees that fringe the crest of the bank. A fresh wind blew dark clouds across the green-blue sky. The white blossom shone and glistened in the sunlight. As I stood relaxed and still, I had the illusion that I was enveloped in light. I had the feeling that the light and I were one. Time and space slipped from me. All awareness of details vanished. A sense of unity with the world entered into me. I was tranquillised and steadied by the beauty, the stability of Nature. I do not suppose that I learnt anything that was new to me during this experience. But I believe I was taught something and that something happened in me. I returned to my work tranquil, and strengthened in faith and hope by my experience.
Howard Collier, 1943
On behalf of the Pastoral Care and Eldership Team; Bob Harwood, David Hitchin, Chris Lawson, Theresa Samms and Nancy Wall