Nuggets from Messages at Durham Friends Meeting in August, 2016

AUGUST 7: DOUG BENNETT: “I’m with Stupid”:  I try to remember that Jesus’s Disciples regularly had difficulty learning what Jesus taught.  I take comfort and guidance in their showing that spiritual learning is hard, and not well or easily captured in any Creed.

AUGUST 14: DOUG GWYN: George Fox’s last words: “All is well.  The Seed reigns over all.” And “I’m glad I was here.”  The Seed is the eternal dimension hidden within each of us, hidden within time and place.  While we live, we exist in particular places and times.  When we die, we no longer exist, we’re in the eternal.  The point is to start living eternity now, which is the kingdom of heaven on earth.

AUGUST 21: NANCY MARSTALLER: To stay open to the Holy Spirit, it’s important to have an open heart, to keep listening to others’ stories, for the messages they bring in various ways, even if the language is not our usual or not to our liking. We need to stay open to Spirit’s promptings to share our own stories and act as Spirit moves.  As Stephen Grellet said: I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.

AUGUST 28: DOUG GWYN: We exclude others through either/or thinking, like racism or sexism.  To build a civil society, we must work toward both/and, across our various identities and differences.  Life in community, especially religious community, goes still further, to neither/nor.  In community, we become real persons to one another, no longer this or that identity or difference.  And such communities are leavening agents, helping the wider society grow beyond either/or, at least to both/and.