Last weekend I was invited to speak to Abington (Pa.) Meeting’s First-day school (n.b. proper FJ stylesheet) to talk about vocal ministry in worship. I haven’t been to worship at that meeting for eons and can’t speak to the condition of its ministry, but I do know that vocal ministry can be something of a mystery for unprogrammed Friends. Many of us are “convinced,” coming to the Society as adults and often have a nagging feeling we’re play-acting at being Friends, but I’ve met many life-long Quakers who also wonder about it.
Perhaps as a response to these feelings, we sometimes get rather pedantic that whatever way we’ve first encountered is the Quaker way. The current fashion of vocal ministry in the Philadelphia area is for short messages, often about world events, often confessional in nature. What I wanted to leave Abington with was the radically different ways unprogrammed Friends have worshipped over time and how some of our practices outside worship were developed to help nurture Spirit-led ministry.
(written this a.m. but only posted to limited circles, cut and pasted when I saw the mix-up)
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