Quaker Revival in West Philadelphia, 12/6/12
So I went to the Quaker Revival in West Philadelphia on 12/6/12. I missed potluck and the very beginning of the service, because I went there right from the annual joint meeting of the Advisory Council and Board of Directors for the organization where I work, after which I had to help clean up. Micah Bales and Robin Mohr have written about it already and reported accurately, in my opinion. I have something personal to add. Really, it was a semi-programed meeting for worship, with rollicking music just at the start, and a few Friends asked to be prepared to bring a message to share as vocal ministry. There was a good crowd in the parlor (where the organizers were sitting) and the living room of the home where we met. I was waiting for someone to break through the ceiling and lower a pallet down with someone on it who couldn’t get through the crowd. Because I got there late, and for a variety of other circumstances, I ended up standing in the back, in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. At first, I was slumping against the door frame, a bit tired, and wondering if I should mind being in the next room or not, two rooms away. Then I was transformed in the twinkling of an eye. I thought I could stand like a steward at the ready waiting for a call to help. And that helped! I stood with better posture, with my hands clasped behind my back, and felt better both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I was authentically in “waiting” worship, in the classic phrase of Friends. After a while, my biceps fell asleep, which was a first for me. It felt odd to have my arms flop forward when I reached for something. No pins and needles, just floppy! I found the vocal ministry generally rich and speaking deeply, and sometimes “to my condition” directly and sometimes less so. I do think the messages are still working their way through me, too, over a week later. Overall, the revival meeting was somewhat similar to convergent Friends events Robin and I have participated in. So while she and I may have been a bit jaded, in the sense that this wasn’t spectacularly new and eye-opening (see her post), yet I felt like it was a time of spiritual refreshment and good worship together as a group. The revival meeting closed promptly at 9 pm, which was helpful to us as we had our 9th and 5th graders with us, and it was a school night. It meant we didn’t spend as long socializing at the end as we might have liked, but we did give a ride home to a Friend who had been at one of the original convergent events with Wess and Emily Daniels after Pacific Yearly Meeting in the mid-2000s. PS Micah quotes from Philipians in his 2nd post after the event. That was the book I was reading ahead of the event, thinking there might be a message for me to give! It didn't quite rise to that level, but it's reassuring to know it was on another Friend's heart as well.