World Quaker Day
Sunday 2nd October 2022
Friends (Quakers) are not known for designating any day more special than another. Certainly, in the Meetings I know there is no difference in worship whether it is Christmas, Easter or any other religious festival. So in a sense having a World Quaker Day goes against that tradition.
Perhaps Friends have realised that sometimes we need a focus. This can perhaps be seen in the emergence of Advice and Queries (a set of 42 thoughts and questions). One will be often quoted in a Meeting.
Quaker Meetings at least in Britain are described as ‘waiting in silence’. Waiting in silence unless you are moved to express something.
The theme this year is ‘Becoming the Quakers the World Needs’. This provides a focus for Friends. I wonder whether the theme needs the word ‘Quakers’ would it be enough to say ‘Becoming the Humans the World Needs’ ? What do we bring as Quakers different to what we bring as Humans?
Although our emphasis is on ‘silent waiting’ to receive from the Spirit, the Spirit at times has helped us out by sending messengers to us such as Adam, Abraham, Jesus, Muhammed, and Guru Nanak, I am sure there are women among them. None of them is present in our Meetings but the life force that was within them is present in those of us here.
Fox would ask us, “What canst thou say?”
‘The World’ could be replaced with ‘Becoming the Quaker I need’ thinking of caring for ourselves, it could be replaced with ‘my family’, ‘my friends’, ‘my neighbours’ ‘those where I live’.
The World can often feel too big that its meaning gets lost or we don't think what we have done is significant enough because it hasn’t touched the world. The world could be those right near us who need to know love, to be listened to, to be heard. And how do I know, because I need those things.