Simon Grant's quaker links

Concern about Quaker concerns and business

I have recently considered the matter of business within Quaker Meetings from a number of angles, and shared this with various Friends, some of them in the Quakers and Business Group. In the face of a situation where so many Friends feel that service on committees is an onerous and unwelcome duty, it remains my firm belief that service to Quaker life and work should be a joy, particularly if it is hard work. In the same way, loving parents sharing the hard work of bringing up children brings them joy, and draws them closer in the Spirit of love and of truth.

Similarly, if Friends were to care lovingly for the business and concerns that arise amongst them, and if at all possible, rearrange that business so that it is able to be carried forward by Friends who share a loving concern for that business, then that business itself, instead of being an onerous and unwelcome duty, could become the opportunity for joyful unity. The fact of joyful sharing of work on shared concerns would surely be a strong attraction for others to join us.

The question I am addressing here is, what are the principles on which this rediscovery to joyful service could be built? I sense there are some things which are missing from the current Religious Society of Friends. While some of these things may be part of the historical heritage of Quakerism, some of those may have been forgotten or abandoned, and some, perhaps, may never have been clearly set out. Here is a tentative list of the principles which, I hope, if adopted, could lead to joyful service. It is not clear in every case which are currently practised and which not.

My invitation is to Friends who may share this concern to join with me in making a more cogent, carefully-worded list which could better serve the purpose of giving advice to Friends, to Meetings, and to groups who wish to grow into a more joyful sharing of concerns and business.

Suggested principles of a way forward - to discuss

written 2002-12-24 and maintained by Simon Grant