As I said at the time …

I’ve heard there was a time when elders would hand tracts to Friends entering Meeting for Worship. I suppose it was like the ushers in many congregations who distribute bulletins listing the order of hymns and sermon title, as well as announcements. Let me confess I’ve been tempted to randomly distribute some of our weekly mail that way, just to see what pops up.

Tracts and pamphlets do seem quaint in an Internet era, but a lot of Quaker teaching has been passed down in those small pages. Are there new ways of doing this without “spamming” the message? Maybe relying solely on the written word is too limited. Perhaps the actors and visual artists in Friendly circles will step up to the challenge. Audiotape? DVD? Web streaming? Well, the newsletter as a PDF download is one step in that direction.

All the same, in this frenzied season, there’s something comforting in opening next year’s Plain-style calendar – the one from the Tract Association of Friends. And who would have guessed how helpful it is, thanks to the numbered rather than named months, in dealing with the computer protocol at the office? Maybe some things are simply timeless, even when looking toward a Happy New Year at the end of frenzied holiday celebrations. So here we are, turning the page, and in some ways, just starting all over again.


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