26 June 2007

Responding to Comments

One of the things I miss about mailing lists (as opposed to blogs) is the ability to respond to a comment when the response is ripe. I'm going to try the experiment of responding to comments in blog posts instead of or in addition to responding to comments in situ.

In Listening in Tongues, I mentioned my ongoing struggle to balance my individual worship with my corporate role as Meeting closer. At the last Worship & Ministry meeting, I asked the committee members to share their thoughts on the role of the closer. We did a round of worship sharing on closing Meeting. One of the things that I cherish about this committee is the quality of depth and tenderness that Friends bring to our work together. In our sharing, we seemed to approach the truth of what we are called to do when we close Meeting.

One of the things that has stuck with me is that the closer is essentially clerking worship. We are not just there to discern when worship has ended, but also to tend it while it happens. We are also responsible for handling any emergencies that might arise (health emergencies, disruptive individuals, problems with the sound system for the hearing impaired). The closer is the designated driver, there to keep the Meeting safe in its journeys. The closer is in worship, too, but mindful of her responsibilities to the Meeting as a whole.

When I closed this last Sunday, we ended "late" again, but right on God's time by my spiritual watch.

In Children in Meeting, Honey asked how my boys did in worship and what they said afterwards.

Both boys did well in worship and seemed to enjoy it. They got restless a few times, but they seemed to sink into the peace and love in the room. My youngest told me that he liked worship, that it felt good. My 11-year-old didn't say much, but he's a deep thinker and will share his opinion in the fullness of time.

After Meeting, the clerk came over to my younger son and told him how nice it was to see him in worship. They talked about worship for a few minutes, with my son sharing his opinion of a few of the messages. I appreciated the clerk taking the time to welcome a child to worship and his willingness to talk with him so naturally about my son's worship experience.


RichardM said...


I haven't put any comments on your blog in a while so perhaps you thought I'd stopped reading them. I haven't. I still think you are one of most sensible and constructive voices out there. But I've been very busy lately and my time on the blogosphere has dropped off dramatically. Anyway, I'm still a faithful reader please continue to be a faithful blogger and weighty Friend.

Honey said...

thats great, thanks for answering. Mine are still way too young, they barely cope with the children's meeting. (two and three years old) but I'm lookign forward to them asking questions and wanting to do more. A lovely thought was raised today in children's meeting, to have an 'all ages meeting' one day. A Friend had experianced these in another meeting house and shared her experiances wih us. In one of these meetings they covered the floor with paper and pens were placed on the table. All the children were invited for the full hour and as well as being able to speak to minister anyone could draw or write whatever they felt like on the paper. Of course most of the younger children spent a plesant hour scribbling. It just sounded so lovely and welcoming as a one off idea. I wondered what were your thoughts on that?