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During the pandemic restrictions in 2020 and 2021, thoughts for the week appeared on our website and on Facebook. The full list can be found here.
The Memorial Meeting for Michael Yates was held on 5th September 2021. Please contact us if you would like access to the recording.
Saturday 1st May 2021, Quaker Meeting House, Settle, Yorkshire, and worldwide on Zoom.
As numbers and travelling were limited by Covid precautions, 11 Settle Friends in the Meeting House were joined by around 75 on Zoom. Those on Zoom included several of Barbara’s family, past pupils, friends and colleagues. These spanned Barbara’s work in China, Ghana, South Asia and London as well as many local Friends from Yorkshire. The Memorial Meeting was preceded a period of reflection on Barbara’s life in photographs. Ministry was profound and heart-felt.
Settle Quakers give an insight into Quakerism, and also some inspiration for Quaker Week 2020, in their own words. These quotations are arranged in a dated format for daily reading.
Friday 2nd October.
“What being a Quaker means to me. For me, being a Quaker is my life, every day. Being part of a community who believe that, ‘there is that of God (the divine) in everyone,’ encourages me to seek it in those where I find it well hidden and rejoice in connection when it is found in others or myself. The practice of quiet discernment is nourishing, but also helps me to be still and present at work or in potentially difficult situations. Visit https://www.quaker.org.uk if you’d like to know more.” …Leah
Saturday, 3rd October.
“Why am I a Quaker? Christianity is a way of life, a lifelong journey. Quakerism gives me a heart and mind prepared for the next steps of that journey. Quakers support me on that journey.” …John
Sunday, 4th October
“The Quaker testimonies to Simplicity, truth, Equality, Peace and Sustainability are important guides for how I try to live my life.” …Sheila
“Searching for an uncomplicated form of worship led me to discover Quaker testimonies* which can be simple forms of many other things. With peaceful good wishes.” …Christopher
*(Simplicity, Truth, Equality, Peace, Sustainability)
Monday, 5th October
“Quakers is the community where I feel most at home.” …Lois
Tuesday, 6th October
“When I first went to Quakers I was moved by the respectful, non-judgemental, loving, caring community and found the simple, silent worship a spiritual, special experience as everyone listened or waited for their god without fuss or ritual. It felt like coming home – to a home I had never previously realised that I had been seeking.” …Sue
Wednesday, 7th October
“1) Quakers are open to discussion on spiritual matters at depth, not avoiding controversy nor requiring an ‘answer’ but encouraging each other in their search for greater understanding; I find this open collective approach most supportive.
2) Meeting for Worship is a time to gather and listen deeply for guidance both personally and communally. At best it has helped me know which choice to take; it has supported me through great sorrow and shared immense joy; I feel more grounded through regular attendance even in fallow times. Hopefully, my presence helps others too.” …Christine
Thursday, 8th October
“Apart from the fact that I was born into a long-standing Quaker family, I am still a Quaker because I try to live my faith rather than preach it or be told what to believe. I think most of the New Testament is trying to tell us that.” …Alison
Friday, 9th October,
“Why am I a Quaker? Short answer: Because I was born into a Quaker family.
Longer answer: From an early age I questioned what was taught as Religious Education at school and it was a relief to have 6 weeks of Quakerism (300 years old) instead of the Bible (2000+ years old). Christian Faith & Practice was at least dealing with fairly recent times and Advices & Queries was just that. Quakerism is evolutionary, just as real life is. History contradicted the apparent rigidity of other Christian sects (Catholic cathedrals had become Protestant ones, Luther had questioned Catholicism). The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library vindicated this questioning, and strengthened my wish for evidence-led belief rather than dogma. Quakerism is a broad church and caters for such individualism.” …Chris
Saturday, 10th October
“On the social side, I am a Quaker and attend meetings regularly because I like the people it leads me to associate with.
On the philosophical side, I adhere to Quakerism because at its most fundamental it invites me, and each of us, to interrogate and to trust our own experience rather than rely on off-the-peg dictates provided by putative authorities, and it accepts “I don’t know” as a valid answer to fundamental questions, without advancing dogmatic assertions.
On the religious side, our silent meetings for worship assist me to do so even though I have not the least idea of who or what it is that I worship.” …Laurel.
Sunday, 11th October
“Why I am a quaker? I like the chance to sit in silence with other people and all of us waiting and supporting each other to feel the presence of the spirit and then taking action either individually or together on the promptings of truth and love that can arise from the experience.” …Marian
“I came to Quakers at a very difficult time in my life. I found acceptance and unspoken support. Just going to Meeting, just turning up, I could take time away from a turbulent world and find some peace. A time for me.
After a while I wanted to find out more, so I have taken part in events and learning opportunities and come to an appreciation that Quakerism is to be lived. That is the challenge. That’s it’s gift.” …Richard.