One of the things that is true about Freedom Friends, and most Quaker meetings is that Visitors always change a meeting for Worship. In a MegaChurch or even the Catholic Mass, what happens up front is not much changed by who is sitting int he pews on any Sunday. This is not true with us. This morning we were rich in visitors. Vail and Izzy welcomed friends Jim and Marilyn from the Portland area. And Joe Synder and Pepper attended.

 Pepper is a Canine Friend. She is not our first Canine visitor nor likely to be our last. Her Friend and Master Joe is a animal caretaker and healer. Pepper is a working dog. She helps Joe.

She is a fine Quaker. She parked herself under a bench, just under my feet, actually. She rested attentively. She was more able to be physically still than most of the human Friends in the room. Joe says she usually sleeps when she is not working but that she always has one ear cocked to hear her name called. She is always ready and excited to work.  She is, I believe as God made her to be. She is also the genetic product of a few millenia of cooperation with humanity.  She is a very healthy and centered pup. There seems to be nothing neurotic about her.

She is not the shepherd, but she knows his voice. She knows her work. She is happiest when she is about her work, although she is pretty content just to hang with the Shepherd. She had to be trained to her work, although it agrees with her nature.

She has a lot to teach us.


It was lovely to visit this morning and share in worship with you all at Freedom Friends.

Thank you Marylyn,
I just fixed the post and got your name right! We enjoyed having you as well. I e-mailed Wess Daniels and told him that we had seen you.

I don't want you to think that Pepper was more welcome than you. Pepper just had more of a theological lesson thing going on this morning.

We hope to see you again soon.

I am a convinced Friend who worships in an Evangelical Friends Meeting. But I am a Friend because I became convinced that it is important for me to listen for (and to) God. I often dropped in to visit unprogrammed meetings during my work related travels. In most of those meetings, my presence was noted. In some I was treated as a suspect, In others I was welcomed and asked to share my spiritual history after rise of meeting. A couple of the meetings were so large that my presence did not disrupt the usual flow of call and response. I don't really know whether my presence helped or hindered those who were seeking the Light. I do know however that I never left without some edifying infusion of The Light myself. That flame sustained me with several pleasant hours of solitary contemplation in motel rooms far from family and f(F)riends.
I consider my dog Hrothgar to be my elder.
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