the friend online
28 August 2009


In the care of the Meeting? - preview

Laurie Michaelis suggests that we have a duty of care to Friends who are not in steady relationships

I rejoice in Yearly Meeting’s decision about same-sex marriages
  • And I am glad that Yearly Meeting achieved such a quality of community, spiritual discernment, mutual sensitivity and support
  • Of course, each step towards greater equality and inclusion – towards a more conscious life in the Spirit – brings into relief other areas where consciousness has still to develop

  • During Yearly Meeting many of us were concerned that the focus on the marriage process could be painful for Friends for whom committed relationship seems unavailable
  • It was a relief when Harvey Gillman gave voice to this concern in ministry
  • But are we idealising a traditional form of relationship that simply does not work for many people? Testimonies ‘to the grace of God as shown in the life of’ deceased Friends often speak of model marriages and welcoming homes
  • Messier paths are treated more as a cause for sympathy than celebration

  • Laurie Michaelis

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    chrissie hinde, 27 August
    I love what you write here. Like you I was really moved by Yearly Meeting’s decision about same-sex marriages. but I'm also uncomfortable about the way society sees marriage as a 'gold standard'. When Dolly Parton was asked (a long while back) whether Gay people should be allowed to marry, she replied: "Hell yes! why shouldn't they suffer like the rest of us!' I love her response because it sums up what I think. Yes let's have equality for same sex couples, but lets also be real about coupledom not being some kind of elevated, greater state of being. I've always found being part of a couple a tough challenge, and think marriages are no more divine than for example a chance meeting at a bus stop with a stranger where you fine yourself having a wonderful moment of connection. Spontaneous and unexpected. I admire people who chose to be single, despite huge pressures to pair off. I can't think of anything more suffocating than a society where everyone is in a couple!


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