Invitation To Worship, One in Christ

                   JESUS CHRIST HAS COME
  "Through Christ we all have the right to come to the Father in one spirit" 
   Ephesians 2:18 

                  An invitation to learn about and
           Experience authentic Quaker Christianity 
             at 2 local Friends   (Quaker) Meetings

                 In the Middleton Friends Meeting House
                           Friday at 7 PM, October 13,
Middleton Meeting house  44866 Crestview Rd., Columbiana 44408
                               (1/8 mile west of state route 7, at Middleton crossroad)
                 In the Salem Friends Meeting House           
                        Saturday, at 4 PM October 14th,
10/14 at 4 PM Salem Meeting house 338 east 6th street, Salem 44460

You are invited to meet us and learn how we "worship in spirit and in truth." John1:17
"And so I find it well to come 
For deeper rest to this still room;
For here the habit of the soul 
Feels less the outer world's control,
And from the silence, multiplied
By these still forms on every side,
The world that time and sense have known
Falls off and leaves us God alone."
   -John Greenleaf Whittier-

    "But the Lord is in His holy temple, let all the world keep silence before Him"
               Habakkuk 3:1


Hear Ye Him

       The new sign in front of our Meeting House!

Even when animal or grain sacrifice was expected, God spoke through His prophets of how we are to prepare ourselves to approach Him. "Obedience is better than sacrifice and submission than offering the fat of lambs" 1 Samuel 15:22
There is a deep place within each person, where our spirit can go to "hear Him." Know Him or experience Him  are also references we use to describe a reverent worship in the Name of Jesus.

Let us speak and live what we profess to believe. How can we with all our weakness and failures be true children of God? The Scriptures have recorded how humankind has turned away from their creator and followed their own ways. They also point us to a Savior, who will guide us into a better way……"…..This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him." Math 17:5

Ezekiel prophesied thousands of years ago, however, what he was given to say might be a picture of  us even in our time. 
"So they come to you in crowds as if they were ready to listen. They sit in front of you as if they are my people and they hear your words, but they do not obey them, with their mouths they tell me they love me, but their hearts desire their selfish profits. To your people you are nothing more than a singer who sings love songs and has a beautiful voice and plays a musical instrument well. They hear your words but they will not obey them." Ezekiel 33: 31-33

"My flock wandered all over the mountains & on every high hill. they were scattered all over the face of the earth & not one searched for them." 34:6

"This is what the Lord God says: I myself will search for my sheep & take care of them as a shepherd takes care of his scattered flock when it is found. I will save them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy & dark day."  34:11-12

"Ask and it will be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." Matt 7:7

"That they would seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he be not far from every one of us." Act 17:27

Middleton Friends welcome others to join us as we seek Him (Christ Jesus).


Go In The Name Of Jesus

"Blessed are those who go in the name of the Lord. There is salvation in no other name under heaven." Acts 4:12

Psalm 23:3 "He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

I understand that the Greek root for the word "Name" is essence of, or in the spirit of.

"Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, the Truth and the Life, - no man comes to the Father, but by me." John14:6

The second weekend of last month we were blessed with a visit from Kim Palmer. Kim traveled from his home in California, in faithfulness to a calling to visit each meeting in Ohio Yearly Meeting. This faithfulness is an example of Matthew 28:19, "So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age."


What Are You Waiting For?

What are you waiting for?

For what purpose do we sit silently with closed eyes & bowed heads? Do we wait for time to pass that we might get to the next thing on our agenda? Do we wait for someone in the room to speak? The prophets of old would step aside to wait for the Word of God to guide them. Jesus himself spent what time He could alone in the quiet to be with God. Jesus told us to learn to recognize His voice. We are told that that voice does not come in wind or fire, but as a still small voice. Is it the strength of the Lord, that peace beyond understanding, for which you wait? 
"I will stand upon my watch, and sit upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. The Lord answered me, and said, write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."
Habakkuk 2:1-3

Last week, during our combined meeting at Salem, about 18 students from Malone College worshiped with us. The worship seemed to be covered with a Holy covering.


Sounds of Silence

"It is God who works in you, both to will & to do of his good pleasure."Philippians 2:13… "Do this because we live in an important time. It is now time for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost finished, and the day is almost here. So we should stop doing things that belong to darkness and take up the weapons used for fighting in the light. Let us live in a right way, like people who belong to the day. We should not have wild parties or get drunk. There should be no sexual sins of any kind, no fighting or jealousy. But clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus, and forget about satisfying your sinful self." Romans 13:11-14
Our meetings for worship have been blessed these past few weeks. We gather upstairs, in the southeast room of our meetinghouse. There is an electric  warming heater that gives the room that extra cozy feeling, as the snow & cold prevail outside. Last month we enjoyed a brief visit by interested Friends from Vermont, Meg & Judith. Meg is particularly interested in the worship of Conservative Friends. She raises sheep on her farm in Vermont. It was our special pleasure to meet & fellowship with these Christ lovers from New England.
Today I was reminded of a story Harvey Newlin used to tell us. He was a Conservative Friend in North Carolina. On his way to meeting he would see a neighbor sitting on his front porch. Harvey would invite the man to meeting. The neighbor refused, until one day he told Harvey he would accompany him. So the man sat in the silent meeting with Friends at……. After Meeting Harvey asked the neighbor how he liked meeting. The man replied brusquely, "Didn't like it." Harvey asked what about it he didn't like. The visitor replied, "I thought of every wrong thing I ever done." So, Harvey concluded his story with the comment that he thought the Lord had done some useful work within the visitor.
Our waiting worship may seem more difficult. Each member has responsibility for the life of our worship. How we live & relate to our Heavenly Father each day as well as how we submit to the Holy Spirit during worship is what keeps the lamp burning in our hearts as we worship.
We celebrated the life of our beloved Mary Eva Guindon (Meg) Stanley this past month. She was 86. A recognized overseer, she will be remembered as one of our kindest, most compassionate members, always holding up her faith in Christ Jesus & His way of righteousness.


80th Celebration

We celebrated Lois' (our clerk) 80th birthday after meeting on First Day. Her son Mark decorated the downstairs dining area. It was a total surprise for her & great fun for all of us.

Salem Quarterly Meeting was held last Seventh Day. It was a blessed meeting. I have written below the gifts of ministry that were shared during worship.
Open thy heart to the shaft of Light that dispels hurt, fear, shame. May we be entirely open, laying all things before Him. Our Lord does & will speak directly to each one of us.
 Why does it matter how we live here on earth? Didn't Christ Jesus do all the work for us? God is pure, He will always be pure. If it is our desire to one day become united with God, as individuals & as a people we must become free from sin. Jesus did not say He came to free us from punishment, but to "save us from sin. "Silver mixed with tin is not pure. It is made pure by washing 7 times in a fire. This is much like our hands which need to be washed often to be kept clean. It is also the way that our God works within us as we submit ourselves to the cross of Christ, by putting aside own wills to abide in His. Some things are uncomfortable to have removed. As His Church we need to let some things go in order to purify, for God's pleasure, rather than what is pleasing in our own eyes. 
The Apostle Paul wrote, "All things are allowed, but all things are not expedient." A prophet of old time took a path that he was not shown. Even though he had clear messages from God as to what was right. In his state of self-will he could not see the sword  of death drawn to take his life. In this same way we do not immediately see the angel of death in the times we choose our own paths. 


Salem & Quote

Last First Day (Sunday) a few of us from Salem Quarter gathered for worship at the Salem Meeting house for the fourth First Day combined worship. The gathered group was smaller than usual, but the worship covered by the God of Peace. (Photo taken during announcements following worship)

We have been reading the letters & memoranda of Elwood Dean in our pre-meeting sessions. I will copy a section of a letter he wrote following the Ohio Yearly Meeting of 1887.
…"The trials of our day are so great. The spirit that has been permitted to set in upon us is a delusive one. It's plausibility, it's adaptiveness to our carnal propensities, in seeking some easier way to the kingdom; its glitter and show are captivating, and will, perhaps try the foundations of everyone. But, there is an ark of safety: 'The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.' Dear friend, does not the day call for suffering? 'Fill ye up, therefore, your measure of the cup of suffering for His body's sake, which is the Church' If we suffer (with Christ) we shall also reign with Him.' "…