Spoken messages in Quaker meeting
by miriam berg

Quakers hold their meetings for worship in silence, which is occasionally punctuated by messages from the individuals present. It is generally understood that one does not give a message unless you are divinely led to do so, whether you conceive of God as an external being, as some kind of ethereal force, as something within each person called by Quakers the "inner light", or as nothing. According to Isaac Penington, one of the early Friends in the 1650s, one gives a message only:
.....according as the Spirit requires, teaches, and gives utterance. But if the Spirit do not require to speak, nor give to utter, then each is to sit quietly in his place (in his heavenly place I mean) feeling his own measure, feeding thereupon, and receiving therefrom the gifts of the Spirit. (From an essay on Worship by Isaac Penington)
Over my years of attending Quaker meetings i have occasionally been led to give a message, and often i wrote down what i remembered after the meeting was over, usually after i got home. These published below are those i have memories of or recorded recollections of, that seemed particularly inspiring or important and worth recollecting or repeating. One may say that messages are supposed to represent the highest good or most important ideas each of us who speaks can formulate on that occasion. But many of our meetings are completely silent, which does not diminish their importance or divine meaning to those of us who are present.
Here is the list of messages i have been able to recall.

OLDER MESSAGES (Before 1982)
What Would I Pray For? (2/18/79)
Absurdity (c.1979)
Easter Message (4/15/79)
Be Like God (6/27/79; addendum on 7/29/2012)
Suffering (July 8, 1979)
Publicans and Sinners (December 2, 1979)
Meeting For Worship (December 9, 1979)
Christmas Message (12/23/79)
Winter Query (2/17/80)
Pessimy Revisited (March, 1980)
Leadings (5/25/80)
Response to Near-War (6/8/80)
On Caring (8/3/80)
Lady (8/5/80)
A Vision (8/7/80)
A Song of Thanks (8/10/80)
Joy (undated, but probably fall, 1980)
Women and God (9/1/80)
On Being Bitten By a Dog (9/28/80)
We Are God's Hands (1/25/81)

Our Mother (On Mother's Day, May, 1982)
Her Will (signed mb; 7/25/1982)
No Taxes For War (April 10, 1983)
The Lamentations of Yeshua (March, 1997)
Visionary Pragmatism (5/25/1997)
Love Which Remains (Kristina Perry on 11/2/1997)
The Queries (5/24/98)
Quakers and Police (10/11/98)
Choirs of Angels (Christmas day, 1999)
Speaking and Entering (12/23/01)
What Does God Required of Us (12/22/02)
What Can I Do More (12/25/02)
God's Will For the Meeting (12/29/02)
Nuclear Power (January, 2003)
The Sight of Venus (Christmas, 2003)
The Teaching of Epictetus (1/25/04)
Christmas in Ancient Israel (December, 2005)
Life is Worth Living (12/25/05)
Trust (December, 2008)
Christmas and Miriam (December, 2010)
Fasting Against War (Fall, 2010)
Hurrah For Ben Franklin (January 17th, 2011)
Message to President Obama (April 6th, 2011)
On Membership (January, 2012)
Messages From God (June 3, 2012)
I Have Everything Which I Need (7/24/2012)
To Drive or Not to Drive (August 26, 2012)
Resentment and Trust (2/10/13) The IRS and Me (4/21/13)