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Quaker Life – March/April 2014

Gathered in Community

Growth in ministry requires us to deepen our shared life with other people. Much of the authority to serve others that Jesus gives us comes from the quality of the relationships that we develop over time. Do people know that they can trust me? Have I established a track record of fairness, honesty, wisdom and compassion? When people interact with me, do they see Christ’s reflection? These are some of the challenging questions that we must continually ask ourselves as we seek to participate in Jesus’ work of reconciliation and peace.

No amount of process and procedure can create this kind of relationship. It is only through our openness to the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can live together in genuine community. In this Spirit-filled community, we find the strength to embrace the fullness and variety of ministry into which Christ invites us.

Where do you find support for your ministry — spiritually, emotionally, financially and practically? What does it mean to be part of a fellowship in which we find friendship, inspiration and a collegial community of fellow workers with a variety of gifts and callings? Do the patterns, focus and procedures of your local congregation facilitate this work of equipping each person for ministry? How can our communities become centered with a shared experience of Jesus, who calls us into his ministry of reconciliation?

Micah Bales – Web & Communications Specialist, Friends United Meeting

Gathered in Community: Growing in Ministry – By Dorlan Bales

“The heart’s response to the Spirit’s call is the decision to follow Jesus. That choice and continuing recommitment to Christian discipleship takes place in the context of a spiritual community.”

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Gospel Re-Ordering – By Chuck Orwiler

“Jesus was eminently practical. He taught the Kingdom way. He lived what he taught. He told his followers to go do the same. ‘Learn from me,’ said Jesus, and, ‘Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man.'”

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The Growing Edge of Ministry – By Scott Wagoner

“Intentionality is one area where the Church falls short today. There just aren’t enough Christ followers purposely engaging in the discipleship of others.”

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I Want To Learn Peace – By Pete Serete

“All of the communities within this vast refugee camp have now embraced AVP, and the impact of this ministry continues to grow and transform lives.”

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Speaking About Christ Among Friends – By Rita Willett

“As we hunger for the love of our Creator and thirst for the spiritual nourishment of his Spirit, we become propelled into service with a great outpouring of joy.”
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Gentle Giants – By David O. Williams

“Longevity, adversity and community are three essentials for the healthy growth and development of Giant Sequoias. Three essentials for the healthy growth and development of spiritual giants as well.”
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A Hidden Gift – By Sarah Katreen Hoggatt

“It’s because of those times spent with God, centering down into God’s presence, feeling Love embrace me, that I’m able to sit with others in their time of need.”

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Other Articles In This Issue:

Staff Columns

Out of My Mind – Colin Saxton
Meanderings & Musings – Annie Glen
Amazing Grace – Eden Grace
Spreading the Word – Micah Bales

News and Updates

FUM News in Brief
Sarah Thompson appointed CPT Executive Director
Everence and Praxis Mutual Funds revamp environmental screening policy

Other Articles

The Joy of Everyday Ministry – Diane Andrews
Queries for Missional Communities – Colin Saxton
Ask Tom: How did early Friends develop and grow as ministers? – Thomas Hamm
We Are All In This Together – By Noel Krughoff – FUM representative to FCNL
Think Outside The Bus – Diane Raflo-Andrews
Passages: Quaker Obituaries