Unity of faith

So many Friends
So many places
A time of worship, God is there
We worship together

People have such diverse opinions
Yet we can disagree and worship together
God does not ask one to leave his mind at the door
His grace is greater than our ignorance

We meet, expecting worship
Hoping to share in God’s grace
Our Lord is faithful,
His Grace is greater than all our needs

God is faithful in all things
Those who seek will find
We are not strong enough to approach the throne in heaven
God meets us where we are, taking some heaven to earth

The world is represented in the throne room
Every culture, every type
In the world, we argue and fight
In the presence of God, we worship together

There are moments when we put aside our prejudice
The moment when we are one people who say: “We believe in one God…”

Of course, it would not be Yearly meeting sessions without cooperate worship. Shared worship is who we are. We were greatly blessed to have many people carrying traveling minutes, there was a woman from Atlanta Friends Meeting (FGC), and she brought with her several friends who were members of monthly meetings in Burundi, Africa, and are now active in Atlanta Monthly Meeting. It brings a smile to my face to think of very-Christ-centered… Biblically minded Africans worshiping in an FGC meeting, and even a larger one to realize that their ministry is embraced and encouraged. As an Orthodox Friend, I ‘expect’ that these Hicksites will be godless people who left Christianity (the bias is likely unfair, though it is true that many outspoken members of FGC hope that Friends can transcend their ‘narrow’ Christian origins.) I know, there is much we debate about, some of these things we, or most of us, consider essential — but, our guests, like our own members hoped to be faithful. In the end, our Faith in God allowed us to join together in worship.

I believe God is greater than our bias and our human limitations. There are many times that I am convinced that Christ’s saving grace is working with in us… in spite of ourselves — there are even times I wonder if we are worth saving, but through all this Christ remains faithful.


3 comments on “Unity of faith

  1. Chris says:

    As an FGC Friend, I have to let you know that I appreciated reading this post. I have several friends in the Atlanta meeting, some of whom are happy to carry a Christian identity as a primary element of their Quakerism. It’s worth mentioning as well – there is some real and growing momentum among some FGC Friends (in particular Young Adults) to better understand early Friends, which means pretty deeply re-exploring Christianity. For many, that has mean re-claiming that Christian identity. A good example of this: Quakeryouth.org (an FGC website) just posted a Quaker history skit written by a young adult from IMYM which was performed at this year’s FGC Gathering – language around it sounds pretty Christian. It’s also an example of some real momentum towards cross-branch work from this same group of Friends.

    • We have a similar movement, leading to… shall we say, a neo-conservative bias in some of your younger members. There is some mistrust of it, and reactions against it — but it very much is there. We are encouraged somewhat by the elderly friends. When I attend ‘traditional’ worship services, often many of the faces are younger than my own.

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