Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Rejoice with me, Friends and readers - my application for membership was considered at last weekend's Area Meeting, and I am now a member instead of an attender! :D

The main thing that was stopping me from applying is that, being more or less bedridden, I couldn't fulfil the recommendation that I attend other Meetings to see how other places did things. However, the two Friends allocated to visit me, to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into (!), pointed out that reading a range of blogs, and investigating online worship, gives me as much of an idea of the spectrum of Friends as I would get from physically visiting other Meetings - and probably more!

I certainly feel I have gained a little knowledge of how things stand internationally, which I don't think I would have got outside of the online community. This is the positive side of the cyber revolution, and one I wish got more coverage. It's time the media realised that not all websites are porn sites :)

As I already have a copy of Quaker Faith and Practice, the elder asked me to think about another book I could be given from the Meeting. After discussion, we agreed that I will be getting the set of seven '12 Quakers and...' booklets, bound into one volume by a bookbinder Friend. Each contains twelve Quakers' writings on a different testimony. I am really looking forward to reading them!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Seeking perfection

"Perfection is not required of us; but that we walk cheerfully in the right direction, seeking to live sustainably on our earth.”

(BYM Epistle 2008)

I've just been reading up on Britain Yearly Meeting on the UK Quaker website (the latest issue of Quaker News is now up online). The quotation above sums up what I have been thinking about for a long time.

When I was a teenager, I spent so much time turning myself inside out trying to be 'a good witness'. I felt that, having been 'born again', I should be perfect - after all, God had forgiven my sins, and made me whole again, so why was it so hard to stay that way?

It took me years to realise that I had it the wrong way round. I didn't have to be perfect to get close to God. All I had to do was allow myself to get closer to God, to spend more time listening and less time apologising. The more I did that, the easier and more natural it was to do the things I was desperate to do - control my temper, live more simply, see that of God in everyone.

I know now that I will never attain perfection. I also know now that God loves me regardless :)

(This ties in so much with my journey towards the Society, and I will write that second half of the account soon. It's much clearer in my mind now, as my membership visitors came this week, and that journey was one of the things we discussed. I will finish it soon!)