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Friends Digest, Vol 89, Issue 1

Posted by admin on Jul 15, 2011 in Meeting Events, Meeting News, Our Friends, Our Practices

Today’s Topics:

1. Announcements for July 16 and 17 (with belated announcements
for July 10)

As a reminder, Swananoa Valley Friends Meeting has invited us to a pot luck picnic at their meeting house on July 16 at 4 p.m. This is a follow up of our invitation to them last summer.

Directions to Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting

Beginning on Interstate I-40:
EXIT no.64 (to Rte. 9/Black Mountain/Montreat); travel NORTH (toward railroad tracks& town) on Broadway Avenue (Rte 9) to intersection with State Street (Rte 70); then RIGHT onto State Street (Rte 70). Travel ~ 4 blocks, then RIGHT onto Scotland Street for one block, then LEFT onto Center Street for ~ one block, which leads to the parking lot of
Swannanoa Valley Friends Meetinghouse

Paulette Meier will play music from her cd’s. She was artist in residence
at Pendle Hill. We played one of her chants at Meeting for Business in
April. She also will provide music suited for children, who are especially
invited to attend. Friends from Celo heard some of her music at SAYMA and have asked to be included. Additional information about Paulette and her music can be found at http://www.lessonsongs.com/

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Pat Johnson says:

Hoping you can announce my trip to Tanzania and for those who are interested in following my adventures, please give my blog address as
http://tanzaniajourney-pjohnson.blogspot.com Thanks for your help. Take care.

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Ministry and counsel will discuss eldering and calls your attention to the
following:

ELDERING

“Elders are primarily concerned with the spiritual life of the group as a
whole and of its individual members…” (London Yearly Meeting, Governance #854)

“They [the elders] see to it that peace, love, unity, harmony and sound
doctrine are preserved in the church of Christ.” (Berkley’s Apology)

Among early Friends an “elder” was someone “well grown in truth” or as we might say today, spiritually mature.
Later, the role of the elder was often contrasted with that of the
minister. The latter was one recognized for his or her gifts of vocal
ministry and the role was often prophetic and public. The elders were
charged with nurturing the spirit of the community and the individuals
within it Their role was often more private and concerned with the process of the Meeting. Modern Quakers think that we are all elders, just as we are all ministers. Unfortunately, the term “eldering” has come to mean
“chastising” or “correcting” someone.

TIPS ON ELDERING

1. Remember: the most powerful form of eldering is by example.

2. Be sensitive to the gifts of others; help them to name them and offer support in their attempt to develop them.

3. Consider your own motivation. Are you trying to demonstrate that you are “more Quakerly than thou” or do you have a genuine concern for the individual and community?

4. Since it is easy to deceive ourselves about our motivation two people should elder together when possible. When it is not possible consult with others before eldering This is especially important if the eldering might be construed as criticism.

5 Engage the other person in a dialogue. Ask clarifying questions. It is as important to be a good listener as it is to be a clear communicator. A good test of our eldering is this: Do we genuinely want to understand and hear the other person?s perspective or do we just want to express our own?

6. . Be as specific as possible. General feedback such as “that was a
beautiful message” or “that was inappropriate” is not very helpful.
“Your message inspires me to be less judgmental” or “your humming during meeting for worship makes it hard for me to center” are more helpful.

7., Be direct and truthful. However, remember that “Let the truth be thy shield” is not a license to beat people over the head with it.

8. Be courageous in confronting conflict. Little problems tend to grow
bigger if neglected and may alienate people from the meeting.

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