Ministry at meeting, [which was deeply silent at times] on Sunday 27th July very much settled on conflict, poignant reactions of sadness but also optimism, about the current situation in Gaza but also a reading from Quaker Faith & Practice*, a section of 24.10 [Section 24 starts with our peace testimony and many other statements and questions on peace, conflict & reconciliation] asking us to look to our own lives:
"We urge all ... to have the courage to face up to the mess humans are making of our world and to have the faith and diligence to cleanse it and restore the order intended by God.
We must start with our own hearts and minds. Wars will stop only when each of us is convinced that war is never the way.
The places to begin acquiring the skills and maturity and generosity to avoid or to resolve conflicts are in our own homes, our personal relationships, our schools, our workplaces, and wherever decisions are made.
We must relinquish the desire to own other people, to have power over them, and to force our views on to them. We must own up to our own negative side and not look for scapegoats to blame, punish, or exclude. We must resist the urge towards waste and the accumulation of possessions.
Conflicts are inevitable and must not be repressed or ignored but worked through painfully and carefully. We must develop the skills of being sensitive to oppression and grievances, sharing power in decision-making, creating consensus, and making reparation.
In speaking out, we acknowledge that we ourselves are as limited and as erring as anyone else. When put to the test, we each may fall short."
* The book of Christian discipline of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain