Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome


on September 1, 2013

I went to a Quaker meeting today.  But not just the normal Meeting for Worship.  I went to the gloriously-titled Meeting for Worship for Business, where the local Quaker Meeting does its church business (I was going to say ‘does its business’ and then realised that sounded like they were doing a poo, which was not the case at all).  This is possibly the most genius thing I have ever been to.

(I’ll admit I am slightly embarrassed by my enthusiasm for everything to do with Quakers.  I’m still in the honeymoon phase of a new discovery and it’s quite likely that at some point, when it’s more normal, and I’m used to the personalities and the little irritations and the things which don’t quite work, I’ll look back at my naive enthusiasm with the same affectionate embarrassment that I now look back at my 18-year-old self.  But perhaps it’s just joy at feeling this excited about something – which hasn’t happened for a while).

So, MfWfB, as I am abbreviating it.  It’s church business, but done in a similar manner to a normal Quaker meeting.  There’s silence at the start.  Then one of the Clerks introduces the meeting and the first subject for discussion.  There are two of them and their job is to record the sense of the meeting in minutes.  There’s no voting and not even always consensus.  Sometimes they record that a decision could not be reached and the issue is passed over to the next meeting.  Sometimes they will record that most people were happy with a decision and some people had reservations, and Friends will agree to the minute because it represents the sense of the meeting.  Everyone gets an opportunity to speak.  Everyone is listened to.  You can see the Quaker belief that everyone is equal being put into action.  It’s a ridiculous idea and I have no idea how anything gets done.  And yet it’s an impressive thing to witness and participate in.

Yes, participating.  I’ve been attending the Quaker meeting for about 3 months, and I’ve taken Big Girl and Small Girl, and I like the Quakers and I think I’d like to stay, but I don’t quite feel that I can call myself a Quaker.  I don’t feel that I know enough or belong enough yet to do that.  I’m considering looking into applying for membership.  However, at my first MfWfB, I stand up and speak about two separate issues, and my opinion is listened to, and seems to shape the decision that is made.  How could I not love an organisation like this?  I do, at one point, have to restrain myself from interrupting to make sarcastic comments, which is quite a departure from my usual style.

And I think perhaps Quakerism is good for me.


One response to “Meeting

  1. clare richardson says:

    Good stuff! 🙂 That does sound pretty cool.


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