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‘Being an Elder’ - A weekend at Woodbrooke for new elders - preview

11th-13th November 2005

A large group of newly appointed elders met at Woodbrooke for this weekend, many of us with some doubts about our suitability for the task
  • In this we were encouraged by Beatrice Saxon Snell's story (in Quaker Faith & Practice 12
  • 08)
  • When she went to an experienced Friend to explain why she didn't feel qualified to become an elder, she was simply told 'My dear, we have to take what we can get
  • '

    We weren't offered any instructions on 'how to be an elder'
  • Instead, we explored some of the issues affecting the life of our very different Meeting communities
  • This raised questions about our expectations from Meeting, and reminded us that it doesn't just offer a haven of stillness on a Sunday morning
  • More deeply, a Quaker Meeting offers the potential for a community that encourages and challenges us to grow in relationship with God, and to live out that relationship in the whole of our lives
  • There was a concern that many of our Meetings are not good at sharing this possibility with newcomers, or even with people who have been members or attenders for many years

  • Craig Barnett, Balby MM

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