All age worship - 5 April 2020
Friends from 72 households - perhaps 100 in total - met by Zoom for All-age worship on 5 April 2020. It was particularly moving - many said that they appreciated the chance to meet, even if only virtually.
The plan for the worship is attached. Photos of our drawings are below, interleaved with two poems read during the worship, and the quote from Quaker Faith and Practice read at the end.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
Will death be another dungeon
With chains and a rack and some bars,
Or will the heavy cell door open
To the perfume of night and the stars?
Our days can be gentle torture
When we crave what we cannot own,
Hoarding our scraps of mould,
Afraid of being alone.
But the oak and the lark know better
They follow the will of the seed
Their beauty is being themselves
Their nature is their creed.
And if we listen to our nature
Our skull becomes the sky
The wind becomes our medium
And an answer whispers by.
Saying "Death in life is the dungeon
And the cell door is our heart-
Open it up to the night
See the stars begin to part."
... My inward sufferings were heavy; but I could find none to open my condition to but the Lord alone, unto whom I cried night and day... And the Lord answered that it was needful I should have a sense of all conditions, how else should I speak to all conditions; and in this I saw the infinite love of God. I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. And in that also I saw the infinite love of God; and I had great openings.
George Fox's Journal, 1647, Quaker Faith and Practice, 19.03