Worship June 28, 2020

Hymn- Jesus Loves Me

Announcements

We have a special guest on the blog and on WALH radio this morning–Miriam Speaight! Miriam is a member of Springfield Friends Meeting, and she is set to be recorded as a Minister of the Gospel at Wilmington Yearly Meeting sessions in July. In a word, Miriam is awesome. If you would like to hear her sermon, as opposed to reading it, tune into WALH radio for the Quaker Hour at 10 am or 3 pm.

If you feel led to continue contributing financially to Ada Chapel during this time that we are not meeting, please mail offerings to our treasurer at 2418 Wilson Rd. Wilmington, OH 45177.

Wilmington Yearly Meeting has decided not to hold this summer’s yearly meeting sessions in person, but to hold them via Zoom. Yearly meeting sessions are July 23-26, 2020. As we receive more information about the schedule, we will announce it.

Drum roll please……Ada Chapel is going to restart in-person worship, starting on Sunday, July 5! Here is what you need to know about re-opening:

1.) Friends should not feel pressured to return to meeting if they are not comfortable doing so. Worship will continue to be posted every week on the Ada Chapel blog for Friends who wish to continue worshiping at home.

2.) If you are not feeling well on any given Sunday morning, please stay home. We want to protect those among us who are high-risk.

3.) Masks will not be required, but if you have been wearing one regularly, wearing it to worship is encouraged.

4.) There will be hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes set up throughout the meetinghouse so that Friends can sanitize their hands, and so that we can wipe down common surfaces, such as hand rails, pews, and hymnals.

5.) Friends must spread out in the pews. Sitting in family units is fine, but leave some space between your family and the next family.

6.) Friends must be respectful of other Friends’ space. Congregating after worship, hugging, shaking hands, close talking, etc. is discouraged.

Prayer Requests

Our country. All those who are in harm’s way. Ross and Violeta. All of those who are sick, or who have loved ones who are sick. Healthcare workers, first responders, and all those who continue to potentially expose themselves to infection. Our neighborhood and our community. The family and friends of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks. Wilmington Yearly Meeting. Our leaders in all levels of government. People in the recovery community. Parents, children, the elderly, and others who are isolated. Everyone who is feeling discouraged. All of those who have lost jobs, or who are struggling financially during this time. The young people of WYM who won’t get to go to camp this summer. Those who are grieving. Those who are feeling anxious about the spikes in COVID 19 infections.

Hymn-There is a Balm in Gilead

Meditative Moment (Followed by silent worship)

Wilmington Yearly Meeting Revised Queries #6: Believing my body is a temple for God, do I strive for a healthy mind and body?

Sermon

JOHN 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. RSV

First Corinthians 12:7-11: 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit…NIV

We all have gifts of the spirit.   We all have the same gifts of the same spirit as the writer of this passage states.  It’s just that some of the gifts become more prominent because of life experiences.  For example, I was the third and last child born into my family.  I have an older brother and sister.  Some children in this position might try to get noticed by being annoying, talkative, loud, mischievous.  But I was shy.  So I became observant, quiet, rather invisible.  I didn’t want to be noticed or stand out.  This made for an awkward teenager, but I made it through.  My skills of quietude and observation became an asset.  Friends and strangers were drawn to my ability to listen deeply.  I was drawn into the Quaker community because of their emphasis on listening to the spirit.  I certainly felt revived by the centered silence of Quaker worship and the connection to our Friend Jesus that it brought.  I married a Quaker and joined the Society of Friends.  But I continued my spiritual exploration outside of the community.  Let’s face it, Quakers, like lots of old time denominations, can appear rather ..dusty?   We can get too proud of ourselves, our history, our good deeds.  To be sure, there is plenty to be proud of.  But Quakers are supposed to be responsive to the “Fresh Winds of the Spirit”, the active voice and presence of God in the world today.  

So I studied other ways to “center down” as Friends say.  And I allowed myself to be “led by the Spirit” as Friends also say. It took me through many modalities of meditation and creative thought and ways of healing.  All this while leading an ordinary life of wife, mother, business person. In the end,  I came full circle and found myself saying things like “Why, this is what Jesus was talking about when he said, “12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” NIV

Now recently, I was delighted to discover that this gift of healing was part of the experience of George Fox, the visionary who started this whole Quaker faith back in the 1600s.  There is, or was, a book that George wrote called “The Book of Miracles”.  Just like The Journal of George Fox, it was a record, by time and location, of the many miracles or healings which occurred through George Fox himself or a few of his followers, by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Yet the only part which survives to this day is the index, which was discovered in the Library of Congress in the 1940s. Apparently his followers were so fearful of being accused of witchcraft, that they destroyed all copies of this book. Yes, miracles and healing sort of lost favor in the Christian world. And to be sure, one might not get the result one was hoping for. And also there came the charlatans, those who put on a dramatic show to impress and deceive for profit. Just the same, I felt “at home” when I discovered that George had been attuned to this healing power and was called upon to use it often, with humility and integrity. 

Now, I do believe that there is an “attunement process” to this gift of healing. A process by which our spiritual self is aligned in such a way as to be open to the healing power (what we call the Holy Spirit) and can come through our bodies and flow to another person or situation and affect it for the better. I believe this attunement process happened to the disciples in the upper room described in Acts 2:1-12.“ 1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” This seems to be an effort by the writer to describe what I imagine was an indescribable experience. But it doesn’t necessarily have to happen in this particular way.  Every person’s experience is different. 

Now, to be sure, there are a few people whose “gift of healing” comes rather organically.  I am thinking of a Quaker Healer named John Calvi.  He is part of a Quaker Meeting in Putney Vermont, whose members have recognized his gift and support him in his healing work.  He is a massage therapist who developed his gift through his massage therapy and working with AIDS patients and trauma patients.  He has worked with people who have experienced the effects of the extreme trauma of war, which we are now aware, are way more than physical wounds. Bodily wounds are very often connected to psychological and spiritual wounds. He began to notice, through his work, what he describes as “energy exchanges”. It is a physical feeling where he knows something mystical has happened between himself and his patient. (One is reminded of the time Jesus was in a crowd and he felt the power go out from him. Mark 5:30 “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” The woman who had bled for 12 years had touched his robe and was healed.) Those “energy exchanges” were John Calvi’s attunement process. And of course, in time, both John Calvi and the patient are able to report whatever changes occurred.  

For myself, it was an attunement from my teacher, Susan, through the Life Force Energy, the Universal Christ Within, that I received and then began to use and amazing things happened as a result. I remember driving home in a state of perfect clarity. Colors were brighter and more vibrant. Love was all around.  I have come to understand that when I give someone a “treatment”, applying my hands to the body, I am merely a vessel, through which this beautiful energy comes through and “wakes up” that Life Force Energy in the person, and then the person is able to heal themselves. I am not the healer, they are the healer.  Because that is how our bodies are designed. We are designed to rush white blood cells to an injury to fight infection.  All disease (DIS-EASE) is an imbalance of the bodily systems. Even cancer. Cancer cells are normal cells that have gone rogue. They go crazy, mindlessly multiplying themselves to a dangerous outcome.  Autoimmune diseases are over anxious cells that keep trying so hard to do their job, they end up doing more harm than good. Sound familiar? Think of how Jesus cautioned us, in Matthew 6:27, “27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” NIV

My point here is to say that we all have healing as one of our gifts. It’s part of our physical body.  We just have to align ourselves with that Divine Energy we know as the Holy Spirit and ask that it come through us to empower our bodies to heal. And I am not saying that there is no need for a doctor’s expertise. Certainly, avail yourself of the medicines and treatments available to you. But we can give the extra help, through physical touch, through empowered prayer, to increase the Life Force Energy, the God Within, the Light Within, to help in a better outcome. 

People like to hear stories and of course that is the way the healing stories of Jesus and the apostles were passed down. So I will tell you one. It is not one about a physical healing at all. But it is personal. My husband and I have had an Agricultural Equipment business for lots of years. One time, we needed to pick up a tractor in Michigan and deliver it to a customer in Xenia, OH. We drove the empty truck and trailer up to Michigan, loaded the tractor onto the trailer and headed home. The sun was setting.  My husband turned on the headlights. They flickered. Then they were on. Then they were off. We exited the interstate and as he was trying to figure out the situation, I began to bring in the Life Force Energy to do whatever was for the highest good. I sang songs, This Little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine and Give me oil in my lamp keep it burning burning burning. It was getting dark. Finally my husband got back in the truck and said we had to get to an exit where there was more help. We started out…and the lights came on. They stayed on. I kept singing. They kept staying on, all the way to Xenia, OH where we delivered the tractor in the middle of the night. And they stayed on as we drove home to Wilmington. When we came around the bend, and I could see our house and barn, I said “We made it home!” That’s when the lights went out. We turned into our driveway in darkness. Note to self: it ain’t over til it’s over. Have some patience and then give thanks.

So we all are healers of our own bodies, our own situations. We all can become healers of many persons and situations of DIS-EASE.  We can become attuned to the healing power of Christ within and intentionally direct it to those people and situations that are not in balance, that are experiencing DIS-EASE or trauma. The whole world needs this God Energy. We are each wonderfully made in the image of God, with many gifts.  Healing is part of the great design. Let’s use it for the highest good.  

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. RSV

Loving God, You are the healing power of Love.  May I be a vessel, a pathway, an instrument of that Love power of healing.  Many people need to be healed, may it be so, for their highest good.  Many relationships need healing, may it be so, for their highest good.  Our beloved earth needs healing, may it be so, for the highest good. Through the life of Jesus, who brought heaven and earth together and through his life and resurrection proved to us the certainty of life everlasting. Amen

Hymn-Prayer of Saint Francis

Ada Chapel Prayer

Father, we thank thee for the night; and for the blessed morning light. For rest and food, and loving care; and all that makes the world so fair. Help us do the things we should; to be to others kind and good. In all we do, and all we say; to grow more loving every day. Amen

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