Due to the Atlantic School of Theology’s use of our Meeting room on December 1st, Halifax Monthly Meeting will not be held. We will resume our Worship at the regular time on December 8th as well as hold our Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business following refreshments.
“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” Henry van Dyke
Visiting in the Ministry Workshop, Fredericton, New Brunswick
(hosted by the Fredericton Worship Group of New Brunswick, November 8-10th, 2013)
Thirteen Friends gathered under the hospitality of the Fredericton Worship Group of New Brunswick, at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
One facilitator for the workshop was Deborah Fisch. She travels with a minute from Iowa Yearly Meeting, Conservative, and is the co-ordinator of Friends General Conference Traveling Ministry Program. Her companion and co-facilitator was Stephanie Deakin, from Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting, working under the guidance of CYM’s Education and Outreach Committee of Quaker Education Program Co-ordinator.
We gathered on Friday with a dinner, a Worship and an opening session to find out each other’s reasons for attending and our goals for the weekend. We began to discuss ‘what is ministry’ and ‘what is visitation’.
Interesting ongoing discussion centered around ‘What does Love ask of us’ (what the phrase even means); T-ruth vs t-ruth through continuing revelation and what kinds of opportunities of the spirit can arise through visitation, either to our home meetings or by going on a visitation.
Saturday’s sessions were exceedingly interesting and engaging. After beginning with a nice, not short Worship, we dove in. New to me was the idea of “Listening in Tongues” We have heard about speaking in tongues, that is, if we cannot find words to express our spiritual journey, then the language of tongues can take us out of the realm of the verbal and into the realm of speaking spiritually. Just reading the above statement is an exercise in Listening in Tongues in that many of us find this a repulsive idea due to the things we think we know about certain groups who use this as a regular practice. However, we do it every time we engage with each other. When someone uses vocabulary we are uncomfortable with, if we are listening with love, then we translate the words into sounds that we become comfortable with. This is the Listening in Tongues experience. We grant each other the room to speak from the heart without trying to make is palatable to others before we speak, rendering it so neutral as to be lifeless.
That was the first ten minutes.
We discussed the many aspects of ministry, service, risk taking, the willingness to be wrong, intentions of the heart. We discovered that while we all thought we knew what Ministry is, we were all surprised by each other’s descriptions. We were reminded that Quakers did away with the Laity, not the Ministry.
In the afternoon, again after a Worship session, we broke into four smaller discussion groups. Each of us sat at the table where the question most interested us. Of course, we all trotted back to the center and shared. Each sharing was followed by Ministry from Deborah and then a group discussion.
Themes kept repeating and resonating: find spirit in our actions; look for the T-ruth (spirit) versus t-ruth (ego led); ministry gives and receives; we are given gifts – they are equal and important; continue to trust each other.
Practical aspects of traveling in Ministry or as a Companion were covered as well as a discussion about receiving visitors in our home meetings. We closed with worship and then hit the pub.
Sunday Friends gathered for a deep worship hour and a Go-Round on what each of us had been thinking of but had not been led to share during the hour. Coffee and then my companions and I headed back to Nova Scotia.
I was very glad I attended this workshop. I had had last minute grumpies and almost canceled. I found that I was ministered to very well in my individual concerns. I had very loving conversations with some seasoned Friends and they were true gifts of the spirit. I feel better and refreshed in my spiritual journey with the Beloved Community. As Deborah Fisch said several times, “How cool is that?”
Laureen van Lierop
Check out this initiative, led by the Chrysalis House Association with project coordinator Bruce Dienes: Engaging Men & Boys in Ending Violence against Women & Girls
Urgent Support Rally
A Rally to Oppose the Unjust Deportation of a Salvadoran Canadian Father
When: 12:00pm – 12:30pm, Tuesday, October 29th
Where: Victoria Park, Halifax
Why: Jose Figueroa is currently in sanctuary in a church in Langley, BC. He needs your support to stop the government (CBSA) from entering the church and deporting him. Jose also has an appeal hearing on October 29th. He needs as many people as possible to stand in solidarity with him then!
Sixteen years ago, Jose was admitted to Canada as a refugee from El Salvador. At that time he was fleeing threats and persecution for his earlier involvement as an FMLN student leader. Since then, he has had three children – all Canadian born. But the government has decided to deport Jose because it thinks that he is a threat to public safety (for the same reason that he was accepted as a refugee!). Jose’s wife and children will be allowed to stay in Canada, but without their father. This is outrageous!!!
Please join We Are Jose, the national campaign to stop Jose’s unjust deportation. (on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Are-Jose/130762186993781; or https://www.facebook.com/groups/629000230486212/
And please spread the word!!
To learn more about Jose’s case see
A large group of Friends met after Meeting for Worship at the home of Marie Welton, bringing a variety of main dishes and desserts. Sylvia Mangalam led us in a singing grace. Our bodies were nurtured by the delicious food, and our spirits were nurtured by the good fellowship. Betty Peterson brought her daughter with her, Lisle Fuson, who was visiting from Maine. Many thanks to Marie Welton for hosting us on this holiday occasion.
Larry Haiven and Dr. Ismail Zayid will speak this Sunday. Larry Haiven is a co-founder of the Halifax-based organization Canadians, Arabs and Jews for a Just Peace and an active national and local member of Independent Jewish Voices. He’s also a professor at St. Mary’s University. Dr. Ismail Zayid MD (retired) is a Palestinian by birth. All Friends and friends of friends are welcome.
Mark David, Consultant at the Atlantic Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs in Halifax has accepted an invitation to speak to Friends on Sunday, March 3rd at noon, at the Atlantic School of Theology Library, following Meeting for Worship.
Mark David will speak on Israel’s position vis-a-vis the conflict with the Palestinians.
There will be no Meeting for Worship or Meeting for Worship for Business today, due to the snow storm.
Today there will be no Meeting for Worship or Meeting for Worship for Business.
The Spirituality Discussion Group met on Sunday, January 27 following Meeting for Worship.
Six Friends gave our views on the meaning of various religious identifications: Christian, non-Christian, Universalist, Quaker. Some of us affirmed our identity as Christians, others recognized that the term had negative connotations from history and because it is attached to certain particular Christian sects. The term Mystic expressed an aspect of the Quaker approach. The conversation led us in many directions – from the words of Jesus, to the writings of Northrup Frye, Rudolph Steiner, and Elias Hicks, and back to our own spiritual experiences. The next meeting of the Discussion Group is scheduled for Sunday, February 10, following Meeting for Worship. The topic: Faith and Trust.
Meetings for Worship
Sundays 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Atlantic School of Theology Library
Lower Level, at the back of the building down the hill.
640 Francklyn Street
Please use the car port entrance.
Meetings are fragrance-free.
Child care available.