World Quaker Day Sunday

    Winchester Friends Church
World Quaker Day          October 6, 2019          9:15 AM  
Let all nations hear the word by sound or writing.  Spare no place, spare not tongue nor pen, but be obedient to the Lord God and go through the world and be valiant for the Truth upon earth; tread and trample all that is contrary under…. Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one.
Sing and rejoice, ye Children of the Day and of the Light, for the Lord is at work in this thick night of darkness that may be felt:  and Truth doth flourish as the rose, and the lilies do grow among the thorns….  And never heed the tempests nor the storms, floods nor rains, for the Seed Christ is over all and doth reign.  And so, be of good faith and valiant for the Truth.
–Friends’ founder George Fox, 1656 and 1663
World Quaker Day
Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) invites every Quaker meeting and church from around the world to celebrate World Quaker Day on the first Sunday of October.  As the sun rises in each area of the world, we want to remember that Quakers are worshiping through every time zone, celebrating our deep connections across cultures and Quaker traditions.  We are united in love and can accompany each other on this special day that draws us together.  As we worship, let us hold each other in prayer and thanksgiving, and let our hymns of praise resound across the world.  The theme “Sustainability: Planting Seeds of Renewal for the World We Love” draws us into our shared experience of earth care and the spiritual imperative to sustain life on earth.
Meeting for Worship
Prelude                                                                                                                                     Deborah Lilly
Welcome, Introductions, Announcements                                                                         Ron Ferguson
October Birthdays & Anniversaries  (offering to Whites Res. & Family Services)                                
Call to Worship                                                                                                                                                
Hymn #560                                  For the Beauty of the Earth                                         Kathy Simmons
Hymnbook Choir                                        How Great Thou Art                         Brian Lilly, Deborah Lilly
Offertory Prayer                                                                                                                       Ron Ferguson
Offertory                                                                                                                                    Deborah Lilly
The Stewardship & Finance Committee designates each Monthly Meeting Sunday as Stewardship Sunday.  Please study last month’s treasurer’s
 report (available from ushers) and prayerfully consider your part in the ministries to which God has called our church.
Hymn #379                          Take My Life and Let It Be                                                 Kathy Simmons
State of Society Report 2018-2019                                                                           Ministry & Oversight
Friends Faith & Practice advises the M&O to prepare a report on the Meeting’s spiritual life at the close of each church year.  This report was presented to those who attended July’s Monthly Meeting for Business.  As in the past two years, M&O sensed God’s leading to offer it — along with the members’ personal insights — during worship on World Quaker Day for broader hearing and reflection.
See State of Society Report below.
Unprogrammed Worship is time allowed for Friends’ practice of non-symbolic holy communion.  In focused reverence, we experience God’s perfect expression of reconciling love in Jesus’ sacrificial living, dying, and resurrection.  Through the Holy Spirit, the written Word, and Christ’s Body the Church, we acknowledge Jesus’ presence with us as the Bread of Life for our souls’ nourishment, growth, and vitality.  If God leads you to speak out of the silence, please request a microphone so all can hear your ministry.
Testimonies of Praise, Concerns for Prayer                                                                                         
Closing Prayer                                                                                                                                          
Postlude                                                                                                                            Deborah Lilly
following a brief time of fellowship, please join us for
Sunday School        10:30 AM
There is a class waiting to welcome you for study of the scriptures! 
Monthly Meeting for Business  11:20 AM
All Friends are urged to attend to hear reports on the church’s ministries and to help discern God’s leading for any resource decisions that need to be made.
Informal Potluck Lunch   approx. 12:30 PM
Everyone is welcome to enjoy a simple lunch together in the dining hall downstairs.

 2018-2019 State of Society Report

from Winchester Friends Ministry and Oversight

The 2018 State of Society report for Winchester Friends asked the Ministry and Oversight Committee to “envision the future God desires for Winchester Friends.”  As we think about the State of Society for 2019, we realize that the vision articulated for the future God desires for us has not changed. What has changed is the growing sense that this vision will not happen without the committed effort of each one of us, starting with the Ministry and Oversight members.  As a committee, we are seeking how to make visible the future God desires for this faith community, and we are asking ourselves what it means to be a faithful church in this time and place.  

 We remain committed to the understanding of what the church should be as drawn from scripture:  We desire our church to be “devoted to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread together, and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).  We intend our fellowship to be one that “lifts up Christ” (John 12:32) – not in crucifixion, but in adoration, faithful devotion and humility – trusting that through that effort the Spirit of Christ will draw others to himself.  We seek to be a faith community that heeds Micah’s call “to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8), much as our Quaker predecessors have done for nearly four centuries.  We want to be followers of Jesus and a church intent upon seeking the good of others rather than only ourselves (I Corinthians 10:24). 

We desire to be a faithful people dedicated to the vison given to us in the New Testament of caring for others; waiting upon/hoping in the Lord; feeding the hungry, giving water those who thirst, clothing the naked, welcoming the stranger, caring for the sick, visiting the imprisoned (Matthew 25:35-40); being the good news we are called to proclaim; overcoming evil with good; fixing our eyes on Jesus; living at peace with everyone and being holy (Romans 12:3-21); looking after orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27); and gathering in Christ’s presence with increasing, not decreasing frequency(Hebrews 10:25).  We desire, seek and pray to be a healthy church focused on strong discipleship, community-changing outreach, deep relationships, and passionate, authentic worship. 

The committee continues to seek tangible ways to live out these aspects of the spiritual life listed in last year’s State of Society report:

  • Being intentional about lifting up Christ through verbal and authentic lived witness
  • Welcoming new Christians, being examples and teachers, and growing in Christlikeness
  • Carrying a deep concern for the ministry of our church to youth and families with young children
  • Being a church concerned about being like Jesus, and daily living out the Friends’ testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship, and service.
  • Being a faith community careful of our choices and behavior so as not to harm the witness or ministry of other Christians
  • Remaining open to the spirit’s leading regarding redemptive connection to the wider family of Friends

The Ministry and Oversight takes personally this vision of God’s desires for our church.  This vision requires purposeful living, purposeful searching, planning and prayer for it to be a reality. We again commit to being God’s people who will not grow weary in doing good, who will seek the graces of patience, persistence and faithfulness from Paul’s promise in Galatians 6:9 so that “at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Lord, keep us faithful.


Winchester Friends Church
World Quaker Day                October 7, 2018             

I told them I knew whence all wars arose, even from the lusts (according to James 4:1-3), and that I lived in the virtue of that life and

power that took away the occasion of all wars….
–Friends founder George Fox, 1651, declining English Commonwealth recruiters’ offer of favorable treatment if he would join their army as an officer
The Spirit of Christ by which we are guided is not changeable, so as once to command us [away] from a thing as evil, but then move us unto it; and we certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the Spirit of Christ which leads us into all Truth will never move us to fight and war against any person with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of the world.
–Society of Friends’ declaration to King Charles II, 1660
State of Society Report 2017-2018                                                                          Ministry & Oversight
Our Faith & Practice instructs the M&O to prepare a report on the Meeting’s spiritual life at the close of each church year.  This report was presented to those present at July’s Monthly Meeting for Business.  As was done on World Quaker Day 2017, the M&O sensed God’s leading to offer it during worship for broader hearing and reflection.
                                                             Peace Prayer Balloon Release                                                                                                                
Photos below
World Quaker Day 2018-

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

–Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, printed on the cards borne by the balloons launched today “in hope and longing for a world made new by Christ’s love”