The Heart of Worship

With the restrictions placed on places of worship during the COVID-19 crisis the question arises as to what is the heart of worship? What is essential for you to be able to worship? Different faiths and traditions have a variety of practices, some of which stress a sacred place, or a priesthood, or a liturgy […]

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Screens and masks

During a Zoom meeting this week someone commented on the virtual background I had chosen. It prompted me to think about what we show and what we hide. Some choose not to use video during these meetings and instead an initial,  name or symbol appears on the screen to represent them.  Those who join by […]

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Meeting

For most of my life meetings have been a regular and sometimes frequent entry in my diary. Generally I enjoyed meetings, though I often heard others complaining about the number or length of meetings they had to attend. There were of course some which left me feeling drained or frustrated or even angry. But most were […]

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Metaphors for Pandemic

  A friend sent me a link to an article by Praxis which offered a metaphor for responding to the coronavirus pandemic. It suggests there are three stages. The first is that we are in a blizzard. We cannot go out and cannot see anything. What we have to do is shelter. The second is […]

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“Silence is Violence”

The protester at the Black Lives Matter demonstration held a placard which read, “Silence is Violence.” The meaning, given the context, is clear. In the case of injustice against black people those who stay silent concur with the violence shown against them.  For Quakers the suggestion that ‘silence is violence’ is a fundamental challenge. We […]

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Creating spirit

Last Sunday, Pentecost, I was sharing with Friends in St Albans in an online meeting for worship.  There were several contributions about the healing stories of Jesus. There was a rejection of anything ‘supernatural’ about the stories, but a recognition of the wonderful things that happen. The stories became linked to the theme of connectedness. […]

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My first online meeting for worship. 

  I have not felt motivated to join in online worship but a sense of duty prompted me to try. So I shared in a zoom Meeting for Worship on Sunday and the experience was unexpectedly revealing. I was ‘with’ forty or so Friends from a nearby Meeting, most of whom I knew, plus a […]

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A new normal or just new?

  These are not normal times. We may never return to the ‘old normal’, but have to prepare for the ‘new normal’. Someone has written recently that this is reminiscent of the experience of the early disciples of Jesus, in the period between Easter and Pentecost. Just as we are now in that same period […]

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Everyone or experts – who should decide?

In a conversation with some Friends I became aware of a tension which seemed familiar. I thought about it as the difference between representation and function. There was a fear of things becoming ‘top down’. A worry that those making decisions were not hearing the views of the people on the ground. I thought this […]

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Shielded

I have been troubled this week thinking about the psychological effects of shielding.  In the present context, shielding of the vulnerable is meant to be protection against the Coronavirus and the risk of death. I may not be in the category of most vulnerable but the advice to over seventies is to stay at home. […]

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