On worshiping with Santidad Friends in Sorata



I am surrounded by cries of repentance and whispered prayers. Most of the women have gone up to the front of the church to pray, where they kneel and voice their entreaties to God. Those who remain in the pews have turned around to kneel and place their heads on the seats, from where I hear tears and cries of anguish and repentance. The young girls near me are following their mothers’ practice. A large number of the men have also gone to the front, creating rows of kneeling petitioners two and three deep. The communal prayers have joined together into a sea of voices, so loud that the noises of the small children playing in the yard are hardly discernible. Towards the end of the prayer time, a woman stands and faces us, testifying with deep emotion to her past sins and her prayers for God’s help.
I will never be a Santidad Friend. Yet when I go into their church, I enter a deep river of faith that washes their tradition and mine, a New England Friend from an unprogrammed meeting. I see their shared ministry, as various men and women take the microphone in the planned portion of the service. I hear their direct relationship with God as they pray, using the informal form of you,  “Tu, Señor”, and as they whisper their deepest fears and hopes. I appreciate their observance of the Quaker testimonies of peace, equality, integrity and simplicity, including the absence of jewelry worn on Sunday.

So as the prayer continues, I close my eyes and worship, tall and silent in my seat. I imagine below my feet a stream of energy connecting me to the rocky mountains in whose lap I sit, those mountains whose mines have brought grief and anguish, yet also economic survival, to many in these mountains. I imagine that my body has turned into a tree, whose green leafy branches extend above me. I have tuned into the vast positive energy of God’s love. I feel this energy encircling us all and extending to Quakers everywhere, then to the whole world. Earth’s energy below, connecting to energy of air above, the energy in which all living things grow and are bound together in a world that is God.

your comment

Thank you, dear Friend. I am so glad that we can discuss difference without judgement.

For the fountain of faith

For the fountain of faith comes from the root. The root is deep and wordless. Thank you for your openness and connectedness.

Minga Claggett-borne

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