Sunday, December 30, 2007

Chattanooga Friends Meeting

I visited Chattanooga Friends Meeting this morning and that felt good to my Spirit. I enjoyed the beautiful, stone Meetinghouse, perched up on a hill as we drove up on this rainy First Day. Poodledoc, Jr decided to accompany me. About 20 or so folks showed up today and we sat in silence for 55 minutes. There were several messages shared. One was about "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" which I took to heart, as I haven't been happy with how judgemental I've been towards my family that I'm visiting here in Chattanooga. So that gently eased me back from the judgemental mode.

Another person spoke of how last night they had received three calls from the local county jail. The first two times, they let it ring, since the caller ID told them the call was originating in the jail. They thought it might be a scam. But on the third call, they answered the phone. A woman they did not know was asking them to accept charges on a call. I guess she sounded sincere or they were led to accept the charges. The woman told them she was in jail for bouncing some checks. She asked if they could arrange a call through to her family. Because of the nature of the technology, it would have to be a conference (three way) call. The people had never done this with their phone and after several failed attempts and disconnections, they were able to connect the woman with her son and it sounded like this was just what God needed to have done. It sounded like this was a re-connection to family. Some hope. I felt very moved and hopeful as I heard this story.

The last five minutes were spent coming out of worshipful silence into a short period where we could speak about a person or persons we would like to ask to be held in the Light. After rise of Meeting and after I awoke Poodledoc,Jr from his slumbers, there were refreshments and then they were going to head into the "Second Hour" which is apparently a weekly discussion on a given topic. This week's discussion focused on their Meeting: what happened in 2007 and where they'd like to see things go in 2008. We didn't stay for this part, but it's something that might be interesting for my Meeting to try, although we are a larger Meeting. After saying good byes, I left the stone Meetinghouse feeling calmer than I'd felt in a few days. Thank you, Friends.


Suzy said...

Meeting is remarkable for bringing about that calm. I love it. Are you going to go to the Jan. 19 retreat about finding that of God in difficult people? I'm looking forward to it.

gartenfische said...

What an amazing story about the phone call. Wow.

I have to ease myself back from being judgmental when I spend a lot of time with family, too. It's good to get these reminders when we need them.