Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Valiant Sixteen - Part 9

Spiritual Friendships
“We can be such a gift to each other if we can sit with each other and pray for each other and accompany each other, even from really far away.”  Noah M, Putney Monthly Meeting (New England Yearly Meeting)
Even with the support of one’s faith community and a traveling companion, traveling in the ministry can be lonely work.  Many of the Friends I interviewed spoke of the importance of spiritual friendships and being in touch with others who are doing similar work.  In addition to talking about their own experiences, ministers said that they appreciated how spiritual friends could point them toward spiritual practices or passages in early Friends’ journals or in the Bible.  

I found that I felt incredibly nurtured by the conversations we had about traveling in the ministry.  It was so good to talk to others who have had experiences that are similar to mine and to share and compare stories.  Even though we were from different places and, sometimes, different branches of Friends, there were so many similarities
Several of these ministers longed for a spiritual accountability group, where ministers and elders would share their experiences of traveling in the ministry and be able to encourage each other and hold each other accountable.  These descriptions reminded me of early Friends’ Second Day Morning Meeting, where ministers would come together to worship and provide each other with support and guidance.*   

After meeting with all of these ministers, either in person, by email, or over the phone, I wish there was some way to get them all together, so that we could all worship and share our experiences directly with each other.

*“By 1763, ministers either resident or visiting in London met regularly on Second Day (Monday) mornings for worship, mutual support, encouragement, and, occasionally, chastisement.”  Margery Post Abbott and Peggy Senger Parsons, Walk Worthy of Your Calling, p. 258.

[From the research paper I wrote for the School of the Spirit on the spiritual nurture of young Friends traveling in the ministry.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.