December 29, 2007

A portable faith community

Our beliefs and practices travel with us as we go on vacations and travel to both new and familiar places. But as I was growing up, I never once saw my parents look into attending Shabbat services while they were away.

Somehow, Quakerism has instilled in me an understanding that I can call on Quakers at any time, in any place--and not just for worship but for pastoral care and support as well. And so that is why I called on Summit-Chatham Meeting when my sweetie developed significant pain while we have been traveling. We've camped out at my folks' place for a while, and when I realized that I needed care and attention, it was easy for me to look up the local Quakers, make a call, and explain what was going on.

Within four hours, I met with two women who simply sat with me, worshipped with me, and heard me out.

Given the situation--and yes, I'm intentionally being vague in order to respect certain privacies--it's likely I'll see or talk with these Friends again soon.

Or at the very least, perhaps Way will open for me to worship with Summit-Chatham Meeting tomorrow.


P.S. Prayers are welcome. It's been a long haul...


Peterson Toscano said...

Liz, I shall pray.
I know what you mean. I have found Friends all over the place to be so supportive and present. Even if we do not have personal history, our Quaker history seems to bind us and we find those who will sit with us and us while on the road.

cubbie said...

i'm so glad you have that where you are. it's so important.

when things are going cockeyed for my friends over on livejournal, i tend to leave comments that say, "*hand squeeze*"-- which means just that there may not be words, but i'm sending whatever support i can from where i am. so... *hand squeeze*


Anonymous said...

Liz, I hope your husband is better now.

Robin M. said...

Liz, I hope she's feeling better soon. You will both be in our prayers.

I have treasured the opportunity to worship with Friends in many places. In fact, I first met Martin Kelley in person when our family traveled to NJ for a funeral, and we needed an afternoon outing. Martin and Julie graciously invited us over for our kids to play with their son and to chat and to worship a little together.

Best wishes for a happy New Year!


Allison said...

I meant to visit another Quaker Meeting while on vacation, but the ones in Winchester, VA were confusing because they said "on some occasions" they held meeting at a different meetinghouse, and they never called me back to tell me which one they were going to. Since I was at the liberty of the non-Quaker friend I was visiting, I didn't want to drag him around to two different places. Oh well. Word of advice to other Meetinghouses: Schedules and calendars are good if you want to be accessible!

Laura said...

I'm sorry to hear about your partner and hope she is better soon. I am holding her in the Light. And I'm grateful that Friends were there when you needed them, and that you knew you should reach out to them.