Every 1st Sunday of the month an online Breakfast meeting gathers at 09:00am to consider and discuss a topic supported by some readings from inside and outside Quaker insight.
To obtain a link to the Breakfast meeting contact the Clerk of Stoke Newington Meeting: contact the clerk.
March 2022 – The dilemmas of the pacifist stand
Friends are not naïve enough to believe that such an appeal ‘to that of God’ in a dictator or in a nation which for psychological or other reasons is in an aggressive mood will necessarily be successful in converting the tyrant or preventing aggression.
Christ was crucified; Gandhi was assassinated. Yet they did not fail. Nor did they leave behind them the hatred, devastation and bitterness that war, successful or unsuccessful, does leave. What can be claimed, moreover, is that this method of opposing evil is one of which no person, no group, no nation need be ashamed, as we may and should be ashamed of the inhumanities of war that are perpetrated in our name and with our support.
Kathleen Lonsdale, QFP 24.28
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
February 2022 – Creating a Space
A 90 second video from Winterwatch. It’s one of their ‘mindful moments’, where there is no music or commentary, just the sights and sounds of nature.
AN INVITATION TO A BRAVE SPACE
Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space”
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world.
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow. We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know. We will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
It will be our brave space together,
We will work on it side by side.
by Micky Scottbey Jones
Advices and Queries 18
How can we make the meeting a community in which each person is accepted and nurtured, and strangers are welcome? Seek to know one another in the things which are eternal, bear the burden of each other’s failings and pray for one another. As we enter with tender sympathy into the joys and sorrows of each other’s lives, ready to give help and to receive it, our meeting can be a channel for God’s love and forgiveness.
January 2022 – Clearing the way
The New Year is a good time to reflect on who we are, what we feel called to do, and what gets in the way. Lets explore the nature of the clutter that distracts from our life’s purpose and consider how to create space in our minds and hearts as well as in our living rooms.
December 2021 – Verses
This month we will be sharing our favourite verses while enjoying breakfast together. You are invited to bring a verse from Advice and Query (or a short reading from elsewhere) and say a bit about why it is special for you.
Centring Down with Compassion using Advices and Queries 3:
Do you try to set aside times of quiet for openness to the Holy Spirit? All of us need to find a way into silence which allows us to deepen our awareness of the divine and to find the inward source of our strength. Seek to know an inward stillness, even amid the activities of daily life. Do you encourage in yourself and in others a habit of dependence on God’s guidance for each day? Hold yourself and others in the Light, knowing that all are cherished by God.
November 2021 – Advices and Queries 2
Centring Down with Compassion using Advices and Queries 2:
Bring the whole of your life under the ordering of the spirit of Christ. Are you open to the healing power of God’s love? Cherish that of God within you, so that this love may grow in you and guide you. Let your worship and your daily life enrich each other. Treasure your experience of God, however it comes to you. Remember that Christianity is not a notion but a way.
“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” –
There is a story told by Janet Scott of a little girl who asked if God was real. ‘Yes’, she was answered, ‘God is real’, to which she responded, ‘But is he real like the daisies or real like I love you?’
If God were ‘real like the daisies’, a fixed, absolute, objective Truth, theology would have to be about discovering the truth about Truth, peeling it off layer by layer till we reach the QED: an activity analogous to science. But if God is ‘real like I love you’, God is ‘the human form divine’, living and reigning in the human imagination.
October 2021 – Advices and Queries 1
Centring Down with Compassion using Advices and Queries 1:
Take heed dear friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your heart
Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
Alternatives to Violence Project
Triggers as in hair-trigger. Triggers produce uncomfortable, hard to contain, strong emotions.
Triggers would have us over or under-react, behave more aggressively or passively, more angrily or timidly /fearfully than the situation calls for.
How do you deal with your Triggers?
Acceptance and Letting Go, Thich Nhat Hanh
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others . You need to accept yourself.”
“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
Every spiritual life entails a succession of difficulties because every ordinary life also involves a succession of difficulties, what Buddha describes as the inevitable sufferings of existence. In a spiritually informed life, however, these inevitable difficulties can be the source of awakening, of deepening wisdom, patience, balance and compassion, without this perspective, we simply bear our sufferings like an ox or a foot soldier under a heavy load.
Quaker Faith and Practice 2.23
Prayer is experienced as deeper than words or busy thoughts. ‘Be still and cool in thy own mind and spirit from thy own thoughts’, said Fox. It is marked by a kind of relaxed readiness, a ‘letting-go’ of the problems and perplexities with which the mind is occupied, and a waiting in ‘love and truth’: the truth about oneself, the truth about the world, deeper than the half-truths we see when we are busy in it about our own planning and scheming, the love in which we are held when we think of others more deeply than our ordinary relations with them, the love that at root holds us to the world. Prayer is not words or acts, but reaching down to love: holding our fellows in love, offering ourselves in love; and being held by, being caught up in love. It is communion, an opening of the door, an entry from the beyond. This is the point where secular language fails, for this cannot be spoken about at all: it can only be known.
Harold Loukes, 1967
Yearly Meeting 2011
“The environmental crisis is enmeshed with global economic injustice and we must face our responsibility as one of the nations which has unfairly benefited at others’ expense, to redress inequalities which, in William Penn’s words, are ‘wretched and blasphemous.’”
‘HAVE YOU ANY THING TO DECLARE ?’
is a vital challenge to which every one of us is personally called to respond and is also a challenge that every meeting should consider of primary importance. It should lead us to define, with such clarity as we can reach, precisely what it is that Friends of this generation have to say that is not, as we believe, being said effectively by others.
Edgar G Dunstan, 1956 QF&P 28.07
To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any one.
We live in a rationalist society that has shed the security of dogmas it found it could not accept, and now finds itself afraid of its own freedom. Some look for an external authority, as they did of old; but in this situation there are many who cannot just go backwards. They ask for an authority they can accept without the loss of their own integrity: they ask to be talked to in a language they can understand… With these people our point of departure is not a mighty proclamation of Truth, but the humble invitation to sit down together and share what we have found, in the spirit of Woolman setting out on his Indian journey, ‘that I might feel and understand their life, and the spirit they live in, if haply I might receive some instruction from them.’ We approach them without pressure to accept a statement, or with proselytising zeal, but with ‘love as the first motion’.
Harold Loukes, 1955 QF&P 28.08