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God has showed you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? —Micah 6:8
Dear Friends Everywhere,
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends gathered August 7-12, 2010 in Smithfield Rhode Island for our 350th annual session. To observe this Jubilee year, our session was substantially simplified. We met for open-ended Meetings to Hear God’s Call. We traveled together: We remembered our ancestors and those Friends who have recently died. We felt each others’ pain and despair. Struggling to hear each other, we hurt each other, too. We heard the tension of seeking a right balance between our corporate community and our leadings as individuals. We heard calls to grieve for the ongoing war, injustice, abuse of the planet, greed and callousness which afflict our world. We heard tender expressions of our love for one another and the strength of our spiritual community.
This year we were richly blessed by the support, clarity, and ministry of our Young Friends and Young Adult Friends. We affirm that our commitment and work with our youth is strong and rewarding. They fill our hearts with gratitude and hope.
We were blessed by the ministry of music. We heard calls to cultivate the gifts of vision, ministry and service which are poured out among us, and to accept our community responsibility to see that they be exercised in fresh life.
We are challenged to break free from fear and old habits, from the arrogance and materialism of our culture. Our patient, forgiving, ever-present Guide will show us the way.
Though we may stumble, though our hearts be distracted by our own notions, though at times our trust fails and our strength falters, the Holy One never abandons us, but still and always works among us with light, joy, and mysterious power, waiting for us to turn and embrace our Shepherd.
Our life is love and peace and tenderness, and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand, if there has been any slip or fall; and waiting till the Lord gives sense and repentance, if sense and repentance in any be wanting. —Isaac Penington