Making Space for Faith

In our achievement-oriented culture, how do we make time to just be? For Stephanie Crumley-Effinger, our Quaker foremothers and forefathers have the answer.

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Jon Watts

Jon Watts launched and directed the QuakerSpeak project for its first 6 seasons. Keep up to date with Jon’s work at his website.

8 thoughts on “Making Space for Faith

  1. This is, in my humble j(?) opinion, one of the bet videos you’ve ever produced. I played it twice and felt deeply calmed and comforted. I forwarded it to the attenders at the Grants Pass (OR) Worship Group.

    Some of your films are so Christocentric or so theistic, I have trouble seeing the vision of the true universality of Friends, but this one IS universal and thus, very uuplifting.

  2. A Native Elder I knew once said, “We are all human beings, not human doings”. His message, as I remember, was to BE with the spirit so we can BE what The Creator wants us to be.

  3. Maybe I’m just extra-unproductive!

    My custom is to spend an hour first thing in the morning being in The Presence. (It helps that I just naturally get up really, really early!) I ask about halfway through the hour that my loved ones each, by name, “receive everything they need” (and I include myself in that request). I purposely don’t get more specific in my requests, because God knows much better than I do what my loved ones (including me) need. I try to give God all the room God needs, to work in our lives. I use that same prayer for the problem-people in my life. I may feel someone needs a good spanking, but I try to leave God all the room God needs, with enemies as well as loved ones.

    I realize I’m using “the G-word” a lot. Feel free to replace it with whatever word works for you. The main thrust of what I’m trying to share is that I try to make room for Whatever-You-Want-to-Call-It to work its miracles and mischief in its own way, and in its own time. It’s a policy I didn’t come to easily, but that’s where I am now.

    I also do some thanking, both before my prayer for others and after. I have a lot to be thankful for. Among the things I am grateful for is that when I heard a Voice suggesting I stop praying for a year, in order to heal from the mental illness that manifested in hallucinations, I got better. It was actually more like 3 or 4 years before the hallucinations stopped entirely, but I had no difficulty making the choice to recommit to not praying. So nowadays, when I do pray regularly, it is very much with a thankful heart. I recently added it up: it’s been more than ten years since I’ve hallucinated. (How much more than ten is a number I’d count in days!!) I have reason to be thankful, and I certainly have reason to trust that Inner Voice.

  4. This was SO wonderful! Stephanie E-C is one of the beautiful and calm souls at ESR. I almost went there for seminary and was so struck by her grace and peacefulness when I was visiting. How fabulous to know that her mind races just like mine when she tries to find quiet–you would NEVER guess that when you meet her! This was just lovely, and so nice to see an ESR person here 🙂 Thanks, Jon and crew!

  5. I have paused the video…”One of the gifts of…Quakers – when we can remember it – is the invitation to be and not solely to do, and have our doing arise from faithful being rather than from just our really good ideas.”
    Perfect message for me at the most perfect time…exactly what I needed to hear. I have grown away from my sitting practice – and many other habits that I had cultivated as well – with a move across the country. I have been telling myself that being in new surroundings, and learning the new pathways to new places for feeding, caretaking and nourishing myself, have made maintaining and/or re-establishing my old habits difficult.
    I forget that sitting with God – or that which is of me and larger than me at the same time – with beauty, and “being,” is really at the crux of the matter. All of my “doing” can arise from my “faithfulness of being.”
    Thank you. Much gratitude for all the videos – but especially for this one. I marvel at the many pieces that came together for this moment: locating the speaker, filming the speaker, the speaker’s message , editing the film, and me waking up on this morning, at this time, needing to hear this message, right now, and here it is.
    I am a Lucky Duck.

  6. Friend speaks my mind. And my heart. And my body. And my ministry. Thank you, Stephanie, for such gentle clarity and strength. It’s not easy being a human. These practices help. They are in fact the ground of our being, as you say. It is crucial to slow down, show up, turn inward, and be with. Abiding, available, awake.

  7. I liked the simple, straightforward message of the video ‘take time to just be’ – and I found the comments very helpful. I am a Quaker in the UK and currently doing the course ‘Equipping for Ministry’ (a 2-year course of Britain Yearly Meeting). One of our tutors recommended the video.

  8. I am minded of a most wonderful quote from my wife years ago. we were in a church and the preacher was preaching from the old hymn Sweet Hour of Prayer and he asked, what could you ever think of to talk to God for a whole hour? To which my wife responded. What makes you think that you need to do all the talking.

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