In celebration of Quaker Week, here is a collection of offerings from the Friends of Brant Broughton on their feelings about being a Quaker.
My Quakerism comes from the truth that there is 'that of God' in everyone, even including myself. This is infinitely precious. Trying to find, share, and live out the consequences of this fact is the central focus of living.
Friends were counselled in a Swarthmoor lecture, I believe, to learn to " live prayerfully"- meaning to me, trying to direct my life focusing on our innate values and trying to put them into practice
We all need to learn to pray-this is at the heart of my Quakerism. As George Fox found, turning to our Inner selves and listening to God's leadings is the way to living 'in the light'.. Its primarily our personal insights and Witness.
We are each are distinct souls. We find and share spiritual peace through listening prayerfully to 'that of God' in ourselves, and responding to that of God in others. This gives us fullness of life.
It's who we are that matters. What we do may be a consequence.
This search is life-long, constantly revealing the workings of the Spirit in everything.
I am so aware in our digital age that '....the Spirit giveth life'.
Being a Quaker has been to me like having a rock on which to base myself and has been so for the last fifty-seven years or so. It has given me a datum against which to measure myself and my place in the World; I don't know what else could have done that. I don't know who else could have been so quietly supportive, yes and so kindly critical, over that time. Being a Quaker does not define me but it does give me context.
How does being a Quaker shape my life?
I am a Quaker because the way I see the world and the way it seems best for me to be are expressed in writings and deeds of Quakers as recorded over the last 350 years and as they are apparent in the behaviour and words of fellow modern Quakers. When I say “best” I do not mean more right according to the judgement of another person or body, but the way in which I feel I am approaching where I am most at one with the world and most whole.
So being a Quaker does not in itself shape how I live but I am a Quaker because I want to live in a certain way and being a Quaker helps me to do that. I feel at home and encouraged as part of that community. I want to help that community thrive and be present in it. Quakers run the Society of which we are part. That involves work, but the work is just part of being in and of that community. We can worship and learn together in our meetings and when we gather at places like Swarthmore Hall and Woodbrooke, the Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham.
Meeting for Worship happens each Sunday and, before Covid-19, sometimes on other days of the week as well. Sunday is not more significant than any other day as all days, hours and minutes are sacred. Meeting for Worship just happens to be arranged for Sundays because that customarily has been a day when Friends have not been at work and have been able to meet. Meeting for Worship offers the discipline of stopping and listening in fellowship with others, seeking the will of God and how to reflect that in my life. I don’t know what I mean by that as I do not know what God is but I know I need to give time to notice and be with something which holds me and is my breath (The Spirit) and to seeing simultaneously my smallness in the world and my importance as a possible conduit for good. I don’t do much good, but I could do even less if I did not have Meeting for Worship and the fellowship of Friends.
John Woolman instructed the nurse at his side when dying to “Rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks”, adding a little later “This is sometimes hard to come at”. I am always heartened when I read that.
From John Gwatkin's Library...
As editor of this website, I feel we are extremely lucky to benefit from having access to an extensive library of Quaker and other materials from the personal library of John Gwatkin, long-time Quaker at Brant Broughton. I have asked him to consider bringing various books to our attention here on an occasional basis so watch this space-more coming soon! Meanwhile, John has asked if the entire text from the book below could be shared here on our website and, with the permission and encouragement of the publishers, I attach a button link to a pdf of the whole of the manuscript, including the original introduction from John which was not included in the printed text.
WHAT HAVE THE QUAKERS EVER DONE FOR US?
– a short introduction to Quaker achievements
Written originally as a response to Richard Dawkins’s allegation that “religion has had nothing to do with social improvement” this booklet finds a unique way of presenting Quakerism to both newcomers and experienced Friends alike. It covers achievements in pacifism, peace making, relief work, equality, democracy, human rights, human relationships and reform, education, science and the industrial revolution. The reader is left wanting to know more about the remarkable Friends who had such a powerful influence on the way we live and think today.
“A very good piece of outreach. It makes me proud to be a Friend.” John Punshon.
Copies can be obtained price £2 plus 50p postage from John Gwatkin, c/o Quaker Meeting House,
1-3 Meeting House Lane, Brant Broughton, LN5 0SH.
Click below to be taken to the whole book as a PDF file.
Newark Food Bank
1st July 2020
Due to the ongoing issues of Health and Safety at this time, we are still suspending the collection of items for the Food Bank until further notice to protect the people involved in the collection and distribution of those items.
there are still things we can all do.
Have a look at this article in The Guardian:
The money raised will go straight to the
Trussell Trust for the Food Bank.
NO COLLECTIONS AT THE MEETING HOUSE
Please donate at your local food store or send a monetary donation straight to the Trussell Trust.
We are in contact with the Newark Food Bank who send us a regular update about the items that are most urgently needed each week to add to your regular shop.
Please do not donate FRESH food items.
Also, check that your donation is well inside its use-by-date.
Out of date food cannot be distributed.
PLEASE DO NOT DONATE ITEMS CONTAINING ALCOHOL – THANK YOU
Updated: 1st July 2020
Particular shortage of items in red letters.
All tinned vegetables
Biscuits (e.g. digestive, custard cream/ginger nut)
Chocolate biscuit bars (Kit-Kat, etc.)
Tea bags (40s or 80s please)
(NOT 240/260/280s Thanks!)
Tinned or microwavable sponge puddings
Tinned or cartoned custard
Tinned Rice Pudding
Tinned Ham or Chicken (not corned beef)
Tinned Meat (served cold)
Instant Packet Pasta Meals
Instant mashed potato
Sugar (500g bags please)
Jam (Not homemade, sorry!)
Long life fruit juice (not squash)
Long life UHT milk( Not evaporated or condensed)
Butter is okay in sealed tubs.
Fresh food can’t be distributed.
Washing up liquid
Liquid hand soap
Toothpaste and brushes
Nappies (Size 6)
At the moment they have plenty of coffee,
baked beans and pasta.
Link straight to the July 2020 Shopping List
More information about the Newark Food Bank,
can be found on the following link: