Rooted in Grand Rapids – Our Quaker Meeting as a Garden

Over the past few weeks our Meeting has experienced various leadings to more deeply consider our place and role in the broader Grand Rapids community. How does the Grand Rapids Friends Meeting bring light and blessings beyond the walls of our meeting place?

These leadings have emerged as vocal ministry from Meeting members during worship as well as during planning and business sessions. In fact, our two Seeker’s Meetings this spring (March 29 and May 31) are both devoted to group discernment and discussion as we seek the Light in terms of our way forward.

The Grand Rapids Meeting has been a presence in the larger community for over 50 years. Throughout those years our members and the Meeting itself engaged various outreaches, projects, and ministries that helped transform lives, touch hearts, and bring about positive social change.

Now, we are sensing as a Meeting that it’s time to ask again how can we serve others? How can we bring healing? How can we be bearers of light and love?

Our Meeting is small. Our resources are finite. Prudence and discernment will be required as we seek the way forward.

At this past Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, I compared our Meeting to a garden.

We are the plants within the garden and together we cultivate our Quaker soil and each other. Our primary responsibilities are to see that our members grow and thrive. The fruit we produce is used to feed each other.

But doesn’t our Meeting produce more than enough fruit that we can fed others, outside our Meeting as well? I’m convinced that our garden yields more bounty that we might realize.

There’s much merit to organic gardening and our Meeting’s discernment and way forward must be organic too, reflecting who we are and our particular skills, talents, and wisdom. We need to avoid artificial efforts and find the fruits that Spirit has encouraged and nourished among us. Those are the gifts we should share with those beyond our Meeting.

I hope you can join us as we discern together.