Thank You Atlanta Friends Meeting
Spiritually I feel well taken care of at Atlanta Friends Meeting. Atlanta Friends Meeting minuted their spiritual support for our house, and we are reminded of that support daily. I wish that every monthly meeting that I walk into would be as welcoming as Atlanta was for us QVSers. Because they were waiting for our arrival, there was an expectation that Atlanta would take care of us. They want to help us deepen our spiritual life while understanding that we are busy in our daily intentional living. I wonder what it would look like for every newcomer to feel as welcomed as we were. What if we were all waiting to welcome every newcomer and try remember to welcome them for the next three or four weeks?
Last week, I joined Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business where the meeting reflected on “how they foster a spirit of community among those in the Meeting?” After a time of reflection, we then struggled with the nominating committee not being able to fill the meetings slate of committees, during which I was reminded of my great welcoming. Because I was welcomed so well but was also not being asked to do anything, I was reminded of how important it is that we understand that because someone is new to one meeting does not mean they are new to Quakerism. My experience has been that a “new” attender is thought of as needing time before becoming part of the meeting, but sometimes that isolates someone who has experience on committees. For some six months might be the time they need to adjust while for others it might be years before they understand why they should join a committee. We need a space to deepen our faith through the practice of committee work. My deepest faith experiences are ones of small group work shining on the larger community. My small group work, QVS, seems to be light to the greater Atlanta Friends Meeting community. They have new work to support and help transform.
Thank you Atlanta Friends Meeting for supporting me as I grow in my faith and vocation.
-Rebecca Sullivan, 2012-13 Atlanta Fellow