I have not reported on all
that occurred during this years sessions of New England Yearly
Meeting. There is, of course, no way that one person could do that
anyway. There are two major omissions that I would like to
acknowledge. The first was a performance on Tuesday evening of a
contemporary oratorio, The Fire and the Hammer. This was the first
performance of this work in North America. I found the performance
very moving. The words are taken in large part from Fox's Journal
and Letters, as well as some letters by Margaret Fell. The piece
covers the time from Fox's youth to his vision of a great people to
be gathered. I got a sense of how difficult a period this was for
George Fox and the strength he must have possessed to do what he did
while the Quaker movement was just beginning to take shape. I was
also impressed by how well the chorus and the soloists came together
since they had less than a week to rehearse together before their
The second was the Bible Half Hours by
Maggie Edmundson, pastor of Winthrop Center Friends Church, in Maine.
The presentations were informative, entertaining and nourishing.
She explored Scriptures and found in it the voice of the Earth, and
the voice of God calling us to live in unity with the earth. I am
not going to try to provide a digest of the talks. I understand that
recordings of the talks have been made and will be available from the
Yearly Meeting office. I encourage Friends who are interested to
take advantage of the recordings.
When we met on Thursday morning, we had
completed most of our business. We approved our epistle
. We heard reports from the
visitors to the various youth and young adult yearly meetings. We
heard the report on sessions and our numbers. The youths joined us
and read their epistles to us. Then we adjourned and had lunch and
took our leave of each other.
During sessions, and as I reflect on
the experience afterwards, Psalm 133 keeps coming back to me.
1 How good
and pleasant it is
when God’s people live
together in unity!
2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
on the collar of his robe.
3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the
LORD bestows his blessing,
This was the theme for NEYM Sessions
some years ago, but it is so fitting. The image of the oil on the
head is the annointing of Aaron to be priest. The unity and love we
experienced at these sessions felt like an annointing. It showed us
what is possible and why it is important to keep working the
difficult issues and to pray about them. It showed us that we can
stay in the place of brokenness and not fear it, because healing will
come. It showed us that we can trust in the Lord because the Lord
can work miracles. This blessing and annointing that we received is
not just a reward for work already done. It is a preparation and a
commission for the work we have yet to do.
Labels: NEYM, Sessions 2011