Elders' Work with Ministers

by Susan Smith

Embodying meeting's caring about his/her spiritual state

Conveying meeting's desire for faithful exercise of his/her gift

Affirming faithfulness in his/her ministry, specifically and in general

Listening to and reflecting on his/her spiritual joys and trials

Praying for and with minister

·      When meeting privately together

·      During minister's ministry

·      At other times, as prompted by the Lord

Encouragement of right spiritual state of minister

·      Lifting up from discouragement or fear

·      Guarding against pride and presumed self-sufficiency

·      Directing focus to Jesus Christ

Suggesting personal practices that could be helpful to present spiritual condition & work

·      Scripture reading - when, what

·      Prayer - when, how

·      Other reading - specific suggestions based on intimate knowledge of minister and of relevant literature

·      People to talk to - for minister's help or the other person's benefit

·      Lifestyle changes - more sleep, fewer committees, edifying recreation, etc.

Supporting minister in discernment of his/her own effectiveness and difficulties in exercise of his/her gift, and of ways to improve

Suggesting new or changed approaches to his/her ministry that the minister does not think of - for a particular situation and in general

Supporting both the minister's understanding of the meeting's traditionally held beliefs and his/her careful discernment about their Truthfulness

Helping resolve harmful differences between minister and other Friend(s)

And in everything, conveying Christ's love

Written 3/28/2010

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Quote that speaks to me

Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies

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They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.  
Death cannot kill what never dies.  
Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their friendship.
If absence be not death, neither is theirs.  
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.  
For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent.
In this Divine Glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
 - William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude, 1702.

Note: This passage was quoted by J.K.Rowling as the epigraph of her novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Braithwaite on Outreach

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Men & Women with a Message of Power

It is as a "religion of life" that Quakerism will be presented in the future and is being presented now.

Its distinguishing note will be its resolve to bring all this human life of ours under the transforming power of spiritual life.  It will stand out against all divisions and compartments that separate the sacred from the secular, the sanctuary from the outward world of nature, the sacrament from the days' common work, the clergy from the laity. 

It will tell of a Christian experience that makes all life sacred and all days holy, all nature a sanctuary, all work a sacrament, and gives to every man and woman in the body fit place and service.  Its concern will be to multiply men and women who will have a message of power because they are themselves the children of light.  It will claim the whole of man's life, and the whole of life, individual, social, national international, for the dominion of the will of God.

William C. Braithwaite and Henry T. Hodgkin, The Message and Mission of Quakerism (Philadelphia, Winston, 1912), 25-26.

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