Our New England gathering of Quaker meetings has a long recent history of what is called a popcorn meeting during adult worship. We gather in silence and after just a few moments, an adult Friend stands up with a message, then another, and another, and another, and another, and another with less and less space between messages. It got so bad last year that the teenagers left the meeting in protest then crafted a beautifully worded minute calling the adults to a deeper more centered worship.
Today’s worship was noticeably different–much quieter and thoughtful. No messages about pets for a change. At least four Friends pondered questions about if there is even a God. Good questions, but they reveal the spiritual dilemma (bankruptcy?) of many modern liberal Quakers who believe in almost anything and nothing in particular. The teens look at us confused–what do Quakers believe?
A few folks gave messages of a personal nature (self-centered sort of musings in a public worship space) which inspired one of my fellow Hartford Quakers, David Zevin to compose this haiku. (Read it aloud for the best results)
Haiku on Personal Messages
I I I I I
me me me me me me me
I I I I I