Foundation not garnish...
Quakers hold and make decisions at their Business Meetings – more formally called ‘Meetings for Worship for Business’, sometimes called ‘Meetings for Worship with a concern for Business’.
But whatever you call it is the foundation not a garnish or decoration like the flowers on the clerks’ table above.
While it may seem sensible to hurry through the worship bit to get to the ‘real agenda’, I’ve found that a mistake.
A longer period of silence and stillness, even in a secular meeting can help everyone settle, allow egos to be released at least a bit and for people to separate themselves from the stresses of the day, of getting to the meeting place, or whatever else may have happened in their lives.
It helps them to refocus on the community, on the people around them as individuals, and to refocus on that spark of G-D, Light, Spirit, or Whatever-you-want-to-call-it. All of which will help deepen the worship and create the grounded and centred stillness out of which the Spirit moves.
Time for worship...
I remind those I’m training or mentoring as clerks that there is always enough time to do what is needed. Even if that time isn’t today!
Another meeting can be called if people are passionate about an item or subject – and that is not a clerking failure. That doesn’t mean that reminding people they should only speak once, to be brief, not repeat previous statements etc. don’t have a place, and of course to remind them that what they say in a business meeting should be considered – just as they would consider their ministry in any Meeting for Worship.
I never want to repeat myself too much on this blog – so did a quick search for ‘worship’ before starting this post. Out of the 202 current posts, 67 include the word ‘Worship’ so I’ve linked some below if you’re interested in reading previous thoughts.
The Quaker Speak video is one I use while mentoring – as it covers that perennial question: