Monday, May 24, 2010


Yesterday, our Quaker meeting and a Quaker Church across the Columbia met again, this time at our Meeting House. In April, we met at the Friends Church in Camas, Washington.

The meeting was part of a movement in the larger Quaker community. After dividing in the 1830s over doctrine (or lack of it in the case of traditional, unprogramed Friends), some of us are exploring ways to come together again.

It's an inspiring dance of beauty and the occasional misstep.

Yesterday, Christian churches celebrated Pentecost. Friends in our meeting likely wouldn't have noted it (we consider all days as holy). But the pastor of the Camas Friends Church, a wise young man, told the story of Pentecost.

How appropriate for our gathering of different Quaker voices made one by the spirit!

In the silence of worship, I was led to my own "text" and rose to speak of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken." Frost famously writes of two roads diverging and how, by taking one, his choice has "made all the difference."

He writes of his choice and the difference:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence

Frost purposely does not describe or judge the difference that the choice has made. He leaves us to judge our own choices.

I suggested a companion poem about two roads converging, and how that too can make all the difference. And we, Quaker pilgrims on a now merged journey, may not sigh about it, but rejoice in it "ages and ages hence."

In a discussion that followed our worship, some of us shared that we had feared what might become of exploring our views and beliefs. So far, our fears have proven groundless. Instead, we have found much to embrace in the light of the spirit.

For all Quakers, of course, the embracing of the spirit comes in the silence. In seeking the "leading" in the "Light" beyond words where there is nothing to fear.

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