Middletown Monthly Meeting of Friends

435 Middletown Road

Lima, Pennsylvania

 

Dear Friends,

This letter is written in support of our dear Friend, Peter Blood-Patterson who has worked for years bringing God's glory to many people, not only in our Yearly Meeting but in other parts of the world as well. He has done this most notably as a music maker and song leader, preparing hearts to rejoice in the spirit, in sessions led with his wife Annie. But Peter also brings God's word to others through his gifts as a teacher. For over 20 years Peter has exercised these gifts as retreat leader, workshop leader, and teacher of Quakerism 101 and 201.

Our Meeting knows that Peter has a special love for teaching. It seems to mean more to him than his singing, touching a place in his heart that is a reservoir of strength and peace.  We understand him when he says he feels used by God in these situations, happy to be sharing with his students in the class or workshop as a small but important part of God's journey with our people here on earth.

In his classes he allows participants to explore their own material, apprehending that meaning that suits them. But he also challenges that individual awareness with his own insights grounded in a thorough knowledge of Quaker theology and history, many times bringing a new clarity to the student's experience. In his teaching involving Meeting life Peter strives to bring participants to a deeper awareness of the spiritual quality of their shared Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Business, drawing upon the nourishment provided by Middletown's worshiping community.

Peter has been a caring presence in our Meeting for over ten years. We have heard God's voice through him in our Meeting for Worship and we have felt his strength and concern in our Meeting for Business. He and his family, Annie, Nate, and Ian, continue to play important roles in our Meeting community. We are pleased to support him in this ministry of teaching, knowing that God's presence guides him in loving faithfulness.


With thankfulness for God's grace,

 

Rich Ailes , Clerk

Middletown Monthly Meeting

Lima, PA

 

11th Month, 21, 2004

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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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