Third Day Evening
The yearly meeting for ministry & oversight met this afternoon. The clerk read the scripture Acts 13:47-49 and 52. The major item of business was the discussion of the provisional queries adopted last year. One of the quarterly meetings answered the official queries, and the other quarterly meeting answered the provisional queries. The query answers included references to the simplicity of the gospel, that those who speak point us to Christ Jesus, and that "reference to scripture in ministry is common among us."
A second item of business was the CORE report. This committee, officially the Committee on Renewal and Encouragement, was formed about ten years ago to replace the earlier Spiritual Action Committee. It organized a FWCC regional gathering at Stillwater and was then inactive through the remainder of the year. The committee recommended that it be laid down - which the yearly meeting reluctantly agreed to do.
Salem QM's meeting for ministry and oversight had asked for guidance on whether they should cease to meet as a QM. However, their members felt that the use of the provisional queries might be an impetus for their continuance.
In the evening, a meeting for worship was held at Stillwater. Eight Friends sat on the facing benches - five ministers and three elders. Two of the ministers on the facing benches spoke in ministry, along with four others. One of the ministers on the facing benches speaks with an interesting variation of the traditional "sing-song" ministry which was universal among Friends in the nineteenth century. In her ministry, God speaks with first person pronouns in song. At the end of the meeting, one of the ministers on the facing bench appeared in supplication; among her words were the excellent request for guidance: "Give us the wisdom to keep quiet when we are thinking our own thoughts." How excellent!
As has been stated elsewhere, the ministry here includes some variations of the old "sing-song" ministry which was experienced by all Friends a century ago. Today, one of our elder ministers speaks that way. Several other ministers speak in a moderate sing-song, in which sentences are broken down into phrases. Ministry with a conversational flow is common among the new members, especially those who are refugees from liberal meetings.