Leading a Scattered People
All organizations go through seasons. During the spring there is a sense of renewal and vibrant growth occurs. Spring turns to summer and more and more activities progress. As pastor of Dublin Friends Meeting in Dublin, Indiana, I have noticed that the meeting is in the season of late autumn. They are prepared for winter, yet the congregation believes they still are to be an influence in the community and in the world. The activity has lessened, but not stopped. Though many leaves have fallen and scattered, Dublin Friends knew they needed someone to lead and guide them to be a scattered people—scattered to be of influence in the lives that surround them.
Like leaves on a tree we grow, bloom and mature. As autumn arrives, the winds of the Spirit scatter Friends into the world to influence, sustain and nurture new growth. Some of us will be gathered together to provide nutrients in a garden that has been seeded for the spring. Others will be placed in a compost pile to be purposely recycled at a later day. And some might lie moldering on the forest floor, surrendering constituent nutrients and fiber in the underbrush. Yet, none of us believe we are to stay still.
In this season though few in number, we continue to be alive and vital to the spiritual growth of a new generation. It is too easy to be distracted by what limits us — our age, our number, etc. Our season may be autumn and we may be scattered. But that does not matter. We are placed in an area where we are to be vital and nutritious to a world that seems to be hungry for Christ.
Leading this scattered people is a blessing to me, and I am honored to be called their pastor. As we prepare for winter, I see this community preparing for new growth. What our garden will look like in the spring is not apparent as yet. But this I know: the Master Gardner is tilling the soil, planting the seed and providing the nutrients through the scattered leaves of Dublin Friends. The whole process is beautiful to behold.
Annie Glen – Communications Editor, Friends United Meeting
Where Does Quaker Leadership Come From? – By Dorlan Bales
“Rather than look primarily to tradition, hierarchy, reason, or interpretations of inspired writings, Quakers put our highest confidence in the Holy Spirit.”
Abraham and Isaac: A Pacifist Story? – By William H. Mueller
“The main message of the book of Genesis is the goodness of God’s creation and our responsibility to avoid the causes of violence among people.”
Friends helping Friends in Jamaica – By Melissa Partin
“Let God use you — the end result could lead to salvation for others and reconciliation of you to God as you live out your purpose in him.”
Private Quaker, Public Quaker – Part 1 – By Norval Reese
“Quakerism is in rough shape, but I think the Religious Society of Friends has turnaround potential.”
Finding my Joy in the City – By Hannah Williams
“Through this experience I realized that with Christ there is hope!”
Silent Night, 1914 – By Charles David Kleymeyer
“I was still seeing and hearing those young men rising out of the trenches dug into that perilous frozen field. Nothing could tear my thoughts from this…”
Other Articles In This Issue:
Meanderings & Musings – Annie Glen
Amazing Grace – Eden Grace
FUM News and Updates
Ask Tom: Have Quaker ideas of what it means to be a leader changed over the years?
Passages: Quaker Obituaries