Chapter 2 » 2.75

Meeting for worship

Children in meeting

We had two daughters who were the only children to attend on Sundays. That they continued to come with us, and still retain affectionate memories of that, is due entirely to the loving care given by Friends in teaching them and making them feel part of the meeting. We need to instruct our children in the widest sense, so that they can use the knowledge we pass on, both in relation to the Bible and to our Quaker heritage… We do our children (not only those biologically ours) a disservice if we do not pass on to them our concerns, beliefs and ideas. It is a mistake to imagine that children taught nothing positive will then be able to evaluate everything for themselves. But we teach them what we have experienced, in the knowledge that they will incorporate it and use it in their own way, accepting or rejecting it for a world that is of their making, not ours. In the life of the Quaker meeting there is a tradition of equality and respect for individuals that I have found to be of pure gold in value. It is expressed in love and affection between the generations. I know that my daughters, now young adults, have truly felt part of the family of the meeting because they have respected and been respected in an atmosphere that is unusual even among Christian churches. When elderly Friends have died, they too have wept because they have valued the companionship of people who saw them as individuals in their own right and gave them a true sense of belonging.

Jean Brown, 1984

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