From Jo Jordan, Australia Yearly Meeting
These were Jo’s words when she introduced the unprogrammed worship organised by Asia West Pacific Section
As a child I attended a Christian church with my parents every Sunday. But as I reached my
teenage years I began to question my parents’ faith, and the language of their church which
seemed unconnected and irrelevant to my own experience. However, I maintained an interest in
religion and spirituality and I was impressed by the book “Quaker by Convincement” by Geoffrey
Hubbard. At the time I thought, if I ever did believe in God, I would be a Quaker.
Some years later, after I had married and given birth to our ﬁrst child, my ﬁrm belief that
everyone should be responsible and take control of their own life was put to the test. I didn’t
seem to be in control of anything at all, certainly not my baby’s waking or sleeping, her crying or
her laughing. At ﬁrst I felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising my child, but after a few
months, a bond grew between us and we enjoyed being together.
When Ruth was seven months old, I received the tragic news that a young friend had been
killed in a horse riding accident. Finding it hard to believe the news, I just sat down on a chair in
a state of shock. Then there came to me words, as if spoken by someone right beside me. The
words were: “Life is a precious gift”, followed by a feeling of peace and calm.
The following Sunday, and that was 40 years ago, I attended Adelaide local meeting for the ﬁrst
time. In that meeting for worship I found a profound sense of belonging, and a sense of coming
home. That sense has grown with time.
One of our members, Max Raupach, says in “This we can say”, the Australian book of Quaker
practice, ” I have come to realize that this marvellous light is present in speech and in silence.
The light dances in both places, if we let go enough to see it. As it dances in silence, it dances in
the noise of life itself. It is all around, here, now.”
Friends, we will now move into a time of silent worship. If you feel moved to give ministry, we
ask that you stand and a mic will be brought to you. This Meeting for worship will come to an
end when I shake the hand of the Friend sitting beside me.