July 24, 2007

Gospel order and traveling to Iowa (again!)

As I continue to work on at least one more post related to FGC's 2007 Gathering, I interrupt that thread so I can prepare to head to Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)'s annual sessions.

This year, though, it seemed that the closer the trip became, the more doubt was cast on whether or not I was truly clear to travel.

First, a minor health concern emerged for my partner (it's since cleared up). Then, a week before I was to leave for Iowa, a significant concern arose for the monthly meeting that perhaps would have implications for its Ministry & Counsel Committee, on which I serve and which is meeting later this week.

I am not in a place to go into detail about what the concern is but I may return to that question after the minutes are made available. What I'm grateful for, though, is the clearness that came when I was sitting in Meeting for Worship, opening myself for Guidance as to how to respond to the emerging concerns for the meeting and for M&C, and whether or not I would be released to travel.

Here's part of an email I sent to my care-and-accountability committee:

I wanted you to know that I am in fact headed to Iowa this week and leave in just a short while today. Clearness to travel for Iowa Conservative's sessions came primarily during early worship this past First Day, when I found myself reflecting on what Gospel Order means: re-ordering our lives around God, God's will, and God's Love.

And I began considering what that looks like for me at this point in time, especially when considering what M&C has on its plate and what [the meeting] was going to be considering at its business session that afternoon.

As I was beginning to settle into the initial clearness that heading to Iowa's annual sessions would help me return to God-at-the-Center, Paul L rose and offered vocal ministry about "re-Orienting" ourselves: turning ourselves in such a way that Jerusalem, the City of God, would become the internal compass by which/toward which we would steer.

Since then, the clearness to travel has only felt more true.
I had been hoping to speak with Paul at the rise of worship, to let him know how the ministry he offered spoke to my condition... but the "rise of worship," which includes introductions, took much longer than usual, and a Friend had summoned me out of the meetingroom before I had the chance to approach Paul.

So it goes.

And perhaps I will be able to write a bit about IYM(C) after I return, God willing.


P.S. It is not lost on me that a good many posts have come and gone within the Quaker blogosphere that I have not commented on, let alone read! Though the Gathering has ended, my responsibilities to FGC have not. I hope to have time in August to have a major push for catching up!

P.P.S. I recently found my long-lost copy of Sandra Cronk's pamphlet, Gospel Order. Certainly NOT a coincidence!


Anonymous said...

Sondra Cronk's pamphlet on Gospel Order has been very helpful to me. I am grateful for that one. Thanks for your post. Andrew

Mark Wutka said...

I am so happy that you are able to go! I hope you will be as blessed and refreshed by it as I was by NCYM-C. Please relay my greetings to Deborah Fisch and Callie Marsh. I'm looking forward to reading about your visit when you return!
Also, that Sandra Cronk pamphlet is lovely.
With love,