Bethesda Friends Meeting

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BYM Annual Sessions Workshop Proposals Deadline

  • March 04, 2022

Friday, March 4, is deadline for workshop proposals for Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Annual Session 2022. The theme of the August 1 to 7 annual session is “Considering the Wildflowers: Rooted in History, Growing Toward Spirit.” As background here is a quote from Howard Thurman in Meditations of the Heart:

“The seed of the jack pine will not be given up by the cone unless the cone itself is subjected to sustained and concentrated heat. The forest fire sweeps all before it and there remain but the charred reminders of a former growth and a former beauty. It is then in the midst of the ashes that the secret of the cone is exposed. The tender seed finds the stirring of life deep within itself - and what is deepest in the seed reaches out to what is deepest in life - the result? A tender shoot, gentle roots, until at last there stands straight against the sky the majestic glory of the jack pine.”

350 years is an achievement for any faith community, but especially so for one that actively encourages each practitioner to form their own personal relationship with the divine. If more organized faiths are well-tended gardens, then Quakerism is a meadow full of wildflowers. A riotously diverse but tightly interwoven ecosystem that is unified by its desire to turn towards the Spirit. Each bloom, whether plain or dazzling, can spread the seeds of their ministry across the ground and change our appearance, refreshing and enriching us to continue on into the future.

Even as we listen for and seek out continuing revelation as plants do the sun, we remain rooted in our past. We are enriched and invigorated by past Friends’ labors and spirit-led ministries, just as new growth feeds upon the old as it returns to the earth. Our history is rich with moments where we fully opened ourselves to the messages of the Spirit, but also with times where we did not. Times we were not ready or willing to do what we were asked. Places where the soil is packed so hard that only those already established can grow there.

Each of us plays an active role in the continual regeneration of our community, in the tending of our fields. When the diversity of our meadow is in decline, when the soil is packed too hard, we all bear the responsibility to reinvigorate it; to nurture the seeds of ministry that challenge us to turn away from the easy progression towards monoculture; to find the compacted earth and break it open so new growth can take root.

Queries: 1. In what ways do the seeds sown in our meadow by our forbearers guide us today? 2. Do we welcome seeds sown by those new to our community that begin to change our awareness and the landscape? 3. Are we able to acknowledge the impatience of those who have been excluded? Can we move ahead together and change? Here is how to submit workshop proposals on this theme and other subjects of Quaker concern.

Bethesda Friends Meeting

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30152, Bethesda MD 20824

Our Meetinghouse is on the campus of the Sidwell Friends Lower School at the intersection of Edgemoor Lane and Beverly Road in Bethesda, Maryland

We are a member organization of the Religious Society of Friends
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