Thursday, April 12, 2007

Clearness Committee for Membership

Last night was my clearness committee for membership. Penelope and Kate (a wonderful young mother who I am looking forward to becoming better friends with) were there (a young woman, actually a teen, was also to be on the committee but we were not able to contact her about the time and the meeting had already been postponed several times over the last month for various reasons so we felt the need to proceed).
Penelope said she'd been unable to find my letter to Ministry and Council so asked me to tell Kate a little about my process. I told her about my experiences with Friends Meeting over the last decade and about the reasons I had not been ready to commit prior to recently. I shared with her about my "calling" when I was in Chicago a year or so ago; about my feeling of agitation and discontent that I couldn't describe or even really identify. I said that intuitively I reached out to my spiritually aware women/mother friends and that it was at that point that I began organizing the Motherhood and Spirituality Retreats. I talked about needing to commit to a specific path and the Quaker (liberal) path is the one that speaks to my condition. I also talked a little about my frustration that the Quaker path is marked with little signs but that, for the most part, one is on one's own to find meaning out of experience.
I said that I want to become an "official" member of NFM because I want to learn to serve-to submit. I've always been vocal and very outspoken but that I need to learn to humble myself, to speak when directed, to submit my will to God's and symbolically to my spiritual community.
I want to go deeper into our faith and practice; I want to be accountable to others who will nurture and challenge me to bring out my spiritual gifts and help me develop my potential.
As we were drawing our meeting to a close, Penelope said that when Caroline brought my letter before Ministry and Council, the committee unanimously said "approved" when she finished reading it but they felt I should have the opportunity for a clearness committee for my own sake. I'm grateful to have been allowed the chance to express my process, my desires and expectations for myself and from the community.

We're leaving to walk to the bus so we can go to the science center this afternoon (generally, I find, that a trip which would take 20 minutes in a car takes 2 hours or so via bus with the walking to the bus stop). I'll post more about this tomorrow.

1 comment:

naturalmom said...

I'm so glad they gave you a clearness committee. Our meeting has them for everyone who requests membership, regardless of how well we feel we already know them. I just had mine a couple of months ago. (I've been a regular attender for 3 1/2 years.) It was *such* a nurturing experience; I loved it. I'm glad yours was good for you as well. From one new "official" member to another: Congratulations!