The mind of Christ : Bill Taber on Meeting for Business

by William P. Taber

Other authorsMichael Lawrence Birkel (Editor), Chel Avery (Editor), Mary Helgesen Gabel (Cover artist)
Pamphlet, April 2010



Call number

CP 406 c1


Wallingford, PA : Pendle Hill Publications, 2010.




Meeting for Business is one of Quakerism's greatest treasures -- but it can also be absolutely dire when it doesn't go well. Michael Birkel has here edited the notes that Bill Taber [1927-2005] had made on how it can work at its best. Bill Taber was a most centered and experienced Friend and this is his most valuable advice on Business meetings passed on to future generations of clerks and those who gather for Meeting for business.--Publisher's description.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kaulsu
Pendle Hill Pamphlet #406

Many of us are familiar with Taber's [Four Dours to Meeting for Worship], his Pendle Hill Pamphlet on the rather Ignacian approach to worship. This pamphlet comes from handwritten notes Bill kept on talks he had given "in many places over many years." Michael Birkel put
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them together into a cohesive whole with only minor editing for cohesion.

Among other things, Taber talks about "5 Gut Feelings" about Quakerism and Business Meeting. I will paraphrase here:

1. Joy in being together, the joy of community, the joy of being with other people who have experienced to one degree or another, that which you have experienced of the Spirit.
2. Joy at being with God, the Source of all good. The joy of entering into those beginning moments of worship, of centering our attention on "the Inward Teacher."
3. Asssurance that we are help in God's loving hands. If that is too anthropomophic, assurance that we are entering into a stream--the "Stream of Quaker Process." We do not create this stream: it is always there. This is synonymous with "being in the Mind of Christ." We are assured that our being open to the Spirit in expectation of being transformed is not a vain one.
4. Trust in the process and in our communion that God is at work in our individual lives.
5. Excitement about "the unexpected, the unpredictable." "The excitement of a Holy Expectancy."

Taber outlines some practical suggestions for us:
• Wait until we have crossed a threshold, which makes gospel order possible [wait until we have experienced the 5 gut feelings].
• Stay sensitive to that underlying, nonverbal unity and be willing to slow down or even stop it that unity grows thin.
• Do not say too much. Let God work in meeting--no rushing to decisions. It takes time.
• The clerk can set the tone or the example by silence and prayer or inspirational words.
• Be sensitive to the quiet ones, remembering that those less hasty to speak may be more centered in the Stream.
• Write one minute at a time, as each decision is made, and read it back to the meeting before moving on.
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LibraryThing member QuakerReviews
This is an essential and eloquent guide for understanding the deeps of Quaker worship and guidance by the Spirit. This wise Friend spoke from a lifetime of Quaker experience, originally with Conservative Friends and later with both liberal Friends and Quaker churches as well, on the covered meeting
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for business, a meeting held in the presence of and guided by the Holy Spirit. He writes at length on how Friends can prepare for such meetings, what we do in them, and how it feels. In addressing entering worship at the beginning of meeting for business, it also serves as an eloquent guide on Quaker worship.
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Call number

CP 406 c1


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