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The way

Posted by admin on Mar 31, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend shared his feelings about “faith”.

Among our Christian siblings there is a popular bumper-sticker aphorism: “Let Go, Let G*D.” The renowned contemporary philosopher Forrest Gump put it somewhat more elegantly: “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.” We Quakers have our own way of expressing that concept: “Way opens.”

This Friend said that when he prays, he often pray for things that he wants. He said he has no expectation that they will come to pass because he prays for them; he prays for what he wants because that is what he wants. The nature of his faith is the belief that whatever does happen, happens because that is the Way.

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Welcome to our newest member

Posted by admin on Mar 30, 2009 in Meeting Events

Last week after rise of Meeting, we welcomed our newest member, Jen Rhode, with a shared meal and fellowship.

Jen transferred her membership from Athens, GA Meeting. She is already familiar to the community, as a regular attender and having served as our Recording Clerk for more than a year now. Last year she presented a forum on hunger in America and the work of the Manna Food Bank to relieve hunger in our area that was very well attended.

Her welcoming was very well attended. We enjoyed a variety of fare, including baked spaghetti and a fruit cocktail cake that soaked up whipped cream like a sponge. The Meeting gave Jen an arrangement of herb seedlings from Sandymush Herb Nursery as a welcoming gift.

Welcome Jennifer!

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Expectations can block the way

Posted by admin on Mar 23, 2009 in Meeting News

Quakerism began in part as a spiritual critique of the established religion: a very fresh approach to the spirit. Early Friends were not entirely sure what was expected of them. After a period of questioning and pulling at the seams of the new religion, forms developed. The pitfalls those early Quakers encountered are still with us today: way will not open if we place too many expectations on ourselves as we speak the truth.

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An old Friend back at home

Posted by admin on Mar 20, 2009 in Meeting News

George Oldham, a long-time attender and former clerk of Asheville Friends Meeting, has returned to his home at Carolina Village after successful surgery on his spine. Well-wishers are encouraged to send cards or emails, and continue to hold George and his family in the Light.

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Those who suffer from upheavals

Posted by admin on Mar 19, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend rose to ask that we hold in the light those people whose lives are impacted by great changes taking place around them.

She acknowledged that our Meeting has a practice of holding folks in the light in the closing minutes of the worship, and that she was at first uncertain that her concerns should be spoken during worship rather than at the appointed time. But she felt led to believe that these concerns had risen to the level of vocal ministry.

She asked that Friends hold the people of El Salvador in the light as they approach their first election since their civil war that the opposition party was likely to win. She pointed out that, unfortunately, wars do not end very neatly. The violence subsides slowly n as folks struggle to manage the peace and lay down their hostilities.

She asked too that Friends remeber the victims of Hurricane Katrina, who are still living in the tragedy. Many are still homeless, and many more will never be able to return to their homes. They, and the people of El Salvador, need to learn how to support each other by: (1) listening to each other; (2) accepting the gentle arm of divinity; and (3) standing shoulder to shoulder accepting the reality of their situation, and moving on.

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I ended up a Quakertarian

Posted by admin on Mar 18, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend spoke of his “crooked spiritual path”, beginning in a small Methodist church.

In his youth, he tried from the start to be a pious little boy. He recalled one of the few occasions when his parents were not attending church, but he went on his own. When it came time to take communion, he found that he wasn’t at all comfortable with the notion of drinking blood and eating flesh.

He recalled camping out with friends, and considering the great questions of existence: the vastness of the universe, what are we here for, and what is all this sex stuff. His church dealt not at all with these questions.

Then his family moved, and he developed a relationship with a Unitarian neighbor. They had long conversations about those momentous questions of existence. He credits this neighbor with expanding his thinking about the world. To this day, he said, he thinks of himself as a Quakertarian.

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Our friends, the Unitarians

Posted by admin on Mar 17, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend spoke of his lengthy experience with Unitarians.

He said that he had always thought well of the Unitarians. He described Quakers and Unitarians as traveling the same highway, but on different edges. His late wife was very close to Unitarianism, but eventually settled down with the Quakers. He recalled numerous individual Unitarians who had enhanced their during that time.

The presence of Unitarians in the pantheon of religions gives this Friend a greater feeling security in the face of strict fundamentalism which puts him in the position of having to translate their pronouncements. There is no friction on the boundaries where we Quakers differ from Unitarians.

The Friend expressed his certainty that Quakers and Unitarians will stand shoulder to shoulder as we face common challenges. Wherever we go, he said, we will wish the Unitarians well.

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Is G*D a mathematician?

Posted by admin on Mar 16, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend posed this question, and offered these thoughts:

Why are so many scientific “facts” expressed in mathematical terms? For instance, we can describe the arc of a thrown ball as a perfect parabola. Actually, it can’t be. There will be all sorts of minor effects to factor in such as air pressure, the rotation of the earth, and wind. Nonetheless, the ideal is expressed as a mathematical function. Why should that be?

Is mathematics, somehow, part of the structure of the universe, or do we only pay attention to phenomena that can be expressed mathematically? Mathematics itself poses its own deep mystery. Is it real or do we just make it up? One “invents” a mousetrap but “discovers” a theorem. If humanity should perish, would the Pythagorean theorem still be true?

The last theorem I proved before I dropped out of math was: “In any module any descending chain of left-handed ideals is infinite.” Really? Are we merely awaiting for some discovery which this mathematics is used to describe, or is it all castles in the air?

The Friend acknowledged that his message was a little unusual, but suggested it was worthwhile to spend at least a little time pondering the deep mysteries of this magnificent universe we live in.

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A place of refuge, a place of strength

Posted by admin on Mar 16, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend rose to speak of her leading to be a witness, and of the strength and support she draws from the traditions of Friends and from the gathered meeting for worship.

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Manna Food Bank says “Thanks!”

Posted by admin on Mar 15, 2009 in Meeting News

We received a phone message from Manna Food Bank the other day, thanking us profusely for our recent contribution of food items.

Please remember that our Manna food drive is an ongoing effort. Bring an item or two to Meeting and drop them in the box in the foyer, anytime!

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