Intentions for the Betterment of Honolulu Friends Meeting
From “The Cloud of Unknowing” translated by Carmen Acevedo Butcher
The definition of “intention” as translated from the Middle English used by the anonymous author of this writing is literally “to stretch toward something”. The anonymous monk who wrote “The Cloud of Unknowing” in the first half of the fourteenth century “shows us how we can stretch our minds toward God in contemplation and grow spiritually, becoming people who “make peace” (James 3:18).”
These intentions for the betterment of Honolulu Friends Meeting and the queries provided are intended “to stretch us toward God” in our individual lives and in the life of our spiritual community.
We want a Quaker Meeting that honors the belief that there is that of God in each of us and, therefore, each person is treated with courtesy, respect and honor. Do I come to Meeting with the intention of joining my Light with the Light of others? Do I demonstrate love, respect, and appreciation of others by actively listening and honoring those with opposing views?
We want to attend a Quaker Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business where all present are seeking a way forward led by the Spirit among us to find the sense of the Meeting. In order for such a meeting to run smoothly we want to serve on committees of the Meeting as we are led by the Spirit along with others who are also led by the Spirit working together in a spirit of cooperation and shared concerns. Do I show respect to the Clerk of Meeting and the Recording Clerk by holding them in the Light while they seek to determine and give expression to the sense of the Meeting?
Do I accept that other Friends are also seeking Divine guidance as much as I and refrain from responding to a message until I allow the Light to guide my intentions? Do I serve on committees when asked only after my strength and light are shown to me by the Spirit?
Do I share that strength and light as a participating member carrying my share of responsibility? When I participate in meetings do I express my views openly with love and respect for others and for the group as a whole? Do I suspend predetermined agendas and outcomes by letting the Spirit lead the way?
Most of all we want to belong to a spiritual home where we are safe emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually to continue to seek the leading of the Light for our lives, so that we might serve others with loving kindness and live a life centered in the Divine Light.
In my daily life do I seek the leading of the Light for my life? Do I allow the Spirit to express Itself through me as compassion and kindness towards others? Do I bring peace to the Meeting?
We understand that we will all fall short of these ideals at times, but we will continue to work together in a spirit of love and compassion, holding each other in the Light, to allow God’s Grace to move among us. When I fall short of these ideals do I forgive others and myself and remember to return to the Spirit?