697 Teach us, O Beloved, to honor each day that we may have a heart of wisdom.
Day 697 Friday, February 11, 2022
Teach us, O Beloved, to honor each day that we may have a heart of wisdom.
Our daily reflection is written by Mary and Ed FitzGerald who will concelebrate for us on Sunday. This is one small piece of the celebration. In a word - Delightful.
Who has lived with integrity?
Who will reflect the Light?
Who can bear the radiant beams of Love?
Who has reverenced the Counselor,
and opened their hearts to the
Spirit of Truth?
Teach us, O Beloved, to honor each day
that we may have a heart
- Psalm 90
In 2015, Pope Francis wrote a book called Walking With Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church.
We took the liberty of thinking a better title might be Walking TOGETHER with Jesus – A New Way of BEING Church.
While some of us are more interested in the synod than others, we see that Emmaus, as a small intentional faith community, is a new way of being church. Two thousand years ago, Jesus said, "Follow me." What if the 21st-century Church actually heeded that call?
What would the world look like if the Church were truly on the move? Simply put, very different. But these ponderings beg one more critical question:
What exactly should the Church be moving toward? In trying to answer this question we turned towards a different community of believers.
Ed has for many years now had a fondness for and an attraction towards the Quakers’ simplicity of worship so he found a video of Arthur Larrabee, a Quaker teacher, explaining what the Quakers believe. It is more of a guideline for how to live our lives or, we could say, a guideline for what the church should be moving towards rather than a set of beliefs. We would like to suggest that these guidelines are more in tune with how we want to live as a small intentional faith community than the beliefs listed in the Nicene Creed are.
1. There is a living, dynamic, spiritual presence at work in the world which is both within us and outside of us.
Quakers use many names to describe this spiritual presence. Among the names we use are God, spirit, the light, the inward light, the inner light, Christ, truth, love.
2. There is that of God in everyone.
This statement of belief is similar to the first statement, and Quakers will talk about there being that of God in everyone, and it is the belief that the creator has endowed each person with a measure of the divine essence, and that as a consequence, all of life is sacred and interconnected.
3. Each person is capable of the direct and unmediated experience of God.
Our belief leads us into a form of worship that does not rely on clergy or liturgy or creed. Rather, we come together in the silence. We sometimes refer to our worship as “waiting worship.” Waiting to hear—listen for—the still, small voice within, and listening for that of God—the still, small voice—speaking to us.
4. Our understanding and experience of God is nurtured and enlarged in community.
When we come together in community, each of us brings our own manifestation of the divine energy. When we come together in community, we experience and embrace our diversity; we experience a much larger understanding and vision of God.
5. The Bible is an important spiritual resource, and the life and teachings of Jesus are relevant for us today.
For many of us, the Bible is an inspired record of humankind’s interaction with God through the ages. Quakers find that the truth and the teachings found in the Bible are an inspiration for daily living and also an inspiration for our worship together.
6. The revelation of God’s truth is continuing and ongoing.
Quakers are very clear that the revelation of God’s truth did not end with the writing of the Bible. We believe that God has continued to reveal God’s truth and make God’s will and energy, truth—known to humankind down through the ages, down to the present day.
7. We welcome truth from whatever source it may come.
We find that our experience of worship and our experience of the Divine is enriched by welcoming truth from different sources. We welcome spiritual truth from different sources.
8. Our inward experience of God transforms us and leads us into outward expressions of faithful living, witness, and action.
Individually and collectively, we witness to God’s presence in our lives by the way we live our lives and the way we model God’s truth in the world. One of the consequences of listening for the inward voice and being led into outward expressions of faithful living and witness and action are Quaker testimonies. Testimonies that are well known today are testimonies of simplicity and peace and integrity, community, equality and stewardship.
9. Modeling God’s presence in our lives is more important than espousing beliefs.
Quakers believe that the way we live our lives is of much more importance than what we say. There’s an old Quaker expression, “Let your life speak” and that’s very much a part of Quakerism: the understanding that the way we model God’s truth in our lives is to let our lives speak it.
Question for our Shared Homily: How could living by these precepts help us to, as Psalm 90 says, live with integrity? To reflect the light? To bear the radiant beams of love?
Join us on Saturday, Feb 12, 11am - 12:30pm PST for an interfaith vigil to remember the 80th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066 signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt that led to the mass incarceration of 120,000 mostly Japanese Americans. This shameful part of American History must be remembered to ensure the survivors stories are not forgotten, and this injustice is repaired.
During Black History Month, while we remember this legacy in the Japanese American community, we will also be calling for solidarity with: Reparations for African Americans and Stop AAPI Hate. Let us acknowledge that U.S. imperialism globally, xenophobia, and systemic racism have all been common threads that weave our struggles together, historically and today.
We invite people of all faiths, cultures, and traditions to join us!
· Jeff Matsuoka, San Francisco Bay Area Day of Remembrance Committee
· Chizu Omori, Tsuru for Solidarity, incarcerated for 3 1/2 years during World War II
· Tara U., Berkeley Buddhist Temple, grandparents were incarcerated during World War II
· Rev. Marjorie Wilkes Matthews, Plymouth United Church of Christ
· Prof. Russell Jeung, Stop AAPI Hate and Professor at SFSU
· Chanton Bun, Asian Law Caucus - Advancing Justice, served 23 years in incarceration
· Joyce Xi, daughter of Chinese scientist unjustly targeted by the FBI
Songs, cultural offerings, and prayers by:
· Ito Yosakoi
· Rev. Harry Bridge, Buddhist Church or Oakland
· Rev. Theon Johnson, Downs Memorial United Methodist Church
· Elijah Chhum, Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants
· Minister Cherri Murphy, Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy