Explaining what happens during “unprogrammed” Quaker worship—sitting in silence for an hour—is a challenge. British Friend Ben Pink Dandelion does a good job, though, in the most recent episode of QuakerSpeak, “The Difference Between Quaker Meeting and Other Services.” I especially resonate with his idea about what can happen in the silence: “…we’ve found over the centuries that we have a very strong sense of presence that comes through absence. We can say that absence leads to a sense of presence.” Hear what else Ben Pink Dandelion has to say about how this practice allows space for us to explore our spirituality.
“Afterthoughts” are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, comments overheard, maybe even bumper stickers.