1 00:00:07,040 --> 00:03:59,979 [Music] 2 00:03:56,900 --> 00:03:59,979 [Applause] 3 00:04:01,660 --> 00:04:54,730 [Music] 4 00:04:54,890 --> 00:05:09,750 good morning it is morning right I'm not 5 00:05:00,990 --> 00:05:11,610 dreaming this right it's Friday and some 6 00:05:09,750 --> 00:05:14,760 of you might be feeling a bit 7 00:05:11,610 --> 00:05:21,750 overwhelmed by all that is General 8 00:05:14,760 --> 00:05:31,140 Assembly I guess this is what I get for 9 00:05:21,750 --> 00:05:33,870 trying to be cute it's Friday and I was 10 00:05:31,140 --> 00:05:37,380 trying to be cute I knew that was I knew 11 00:05:33,870 --> 00:05:40,260 that was a mistake and some of you might 12 00:05:37,380 --> 00:05:44,250 be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all that 13 00:05:40,260 --> 00:05:47,160 is General Assembly so in the planning 14 00:05:44,250 --> 00:05:50,640 for this service we thought it might be 15 00:05:47,160 --> 00:05:59,460 a good thing to strip things down and go 16 00:05:50,640 --> 00:06:05,630 plane go plane is a Quaker time how many 17 00:05:59,460 --> 00:06:08,250 of you spent time with the Quakers I 18 00:06:05,630 --> 00:06:13,410 spent three and a half years with them 19 00:06:08,250 --> 00:06:16,080 when I was in seminary of all of all the 20 00:06:13,410 --> 00:06:19,500 things one learns when one spends a 21 00:06:16,080 --> 00:06:24,990 significant time with the Quakers is how 22 00:06:19,500 --> 00:06:28,290 to be still and listen listen to the 23 00:06:24,990 --> 00:06:32,370 still small voice of the divine that is 24 00:06:28,290 --> 00:06:36,960 inside listen to the still small voice 25 00:06:32,370 --> 00:06:39,840 of the divine in others and the way to 26 00:06:36,960 --> 00:06:43,530 hear the voice of the divine in others 27 00:06:39,840 --> 00:06:48,420 and in yourself you have to hear their 28 00:06:43,530 --> 00:06:51,720 stories that's what today is going to be 29 00:06:48,420 --> 00:06:57,819 about stories 30 00:06:51,720 --> 00:07:01,060 listening to and sharing stories first 31 00:06:57,819 --> 00:07:03,389 though to get us in the rhythm we're 32 00:07:01,060 --> 00:07:06,550 going to move into silence 33 00:07:03,389 --> 00:07:13,360 well Manson much silence as we can get 34 00:07:06,550 --> 00:07:18,370 in a room this big fear not this is a 35 00:07:13,360 --> 00:07:21,970 good silence and after a time we will 36 00:07:18,370 --> 00:07:24,150 sing the plain him shall we gather at 37 00:07:21,970 --> 00:07:24,150 the river 38 00:09:36,980 --> 00:09:52,390 [Music] 39 00:09:49,280 --> 00:09:52,390 [Applause] 40 00:09:52,850 --> 00:13:00,509 [Music] 41 00:12:57,829 --> 00:13:03,899 how many of you like me sang that song 42 00:13:00,509 --> 00:13:06,300 when you were growing up yeah my mother 43 00:13:03,899 --> 00:13:09,870 used to sing it all the time when she 44 00:13:06,300 --> 00:13:18,930 was baking bread and baking pies so I 45 00:13:09,870 --> 00:13:21,230 associate this song later how many of 46 00:13:18,930 --> 00:13:26,819 you know the story of that him 47 00:13:21,230 --> 00:13:28,829 anybody I didn't know the story of the 48 00:13:26,819 --> 00:13:35,069 him until we started working on the 49 00:13:28,829 --> 00:13:40,550 artists it was written in 1864 when I 50 00:13:35,069 --> 00:13:44,389 first read this I immediately said oh 51 00:13:40,550 --> 00:13:47,970 this is a civil war song so did I 52 00:13:44,389 --> 00:13:52,220 because of course the Civil War affected 53 00:13:47,970 --> 00:13:55,110 us hem nuri in so many different ways 54 00:13:52,220 --> 00:13:58,800 but we came to find out that Robert 55 00:13:55,110 --> 00:14:01,649 Lowry the composer of the hymn was a 56 00:13:58,800 --> 00:14:05,009 minister at Hanson Place Baptist Church 57 00:14:01,649 --> 00:14:09,360 in New York City and never served in the 58 00:14:05,009 --> 00:14:12,300 military yet at the time that Lowry 59 00:14:09,360 --> 00:14:16,800 wrote to him New York was experiencing 60 00:14:12,300 --> 00:14:20,220 an epidemic of what neither of us have 61 00:14:16,800 --> 00:14:22,529 been able to figure out and many people 62 00:14:20,220 --> 00:14:27,360 that Reverend Lowery knew were suffering 63 00:14:22,529 --> 00:14:29,339 through grief Reverend Lowery said that 64 00:14:27,360 --> 00:14:33,179 the question of whether he would see 65 00:14:29,339 --> 00:14:38,279 those who had crossed over again kept 66 00:14:33,179 --> 00:14:41,579 coming to him so so much so that he was 67 00:14:38,279 --> 00:14:47,519 moved to write the sit at the organ and 68 00:14:41,579 --> 00:14:53,069 once there the words flowed there's 69 00:14:47,519 --> 00:14:57,709 always a story oh yes there are so many 70 00:14:53,069 --> 00:15:01,209 different types of stories myth fable 71 00:14:57,709 --> 00:15:06,129 parable Erik allegory 72 00:15:01,209 --> 00:15:09,279 it can become confusing but if there's 73 00:15:06,129 --> 00:15:14,459 only one thing to remember it's that 74 00:15:09,279 --> 00:15:20,100 stories do three things build worlds 75 00:15:14,459 --> 00:15:20,100 seek truth and heal 76 00:15:20,339 --> 00:15:26,379 part of the reason the world's great 77 00:15:22,839 --> 00:15:30,910 religions still exist is that they offer 78 00:15:26,379 --> 00:15:34,119 people a story to enter into a story 79 00:15:30,910 --> 00:15:37,869 that helps them build a world and a 80 00:15:34,119 --> 00:15:43,839 worldview a story that helps them seek 81 00:15:37,869 --> 00:15:48,089 truth and a story that can heal this 82 00:15:43,839 --> 00:15:48,089 does not mean that religion is perfect 83 00:15:48,430 --> 00:15:59,920 [Laughter] 84 00:15:53,550 --> 00:16:02,819 yes it's Friday too often it's not too 85 00:15:59,920 --> 00:16:06,819 often those stories break down worlds 86 00:16:02,819 --> 00:16:09,839 instead of building them up seek to deny 87 00:16:06,819 --> 00:16:13,860 truth instead of building truth and 88 00:16:09,839 --> 00:16:19,629 cause tremendous pain instead of healing 89 00:16:13,860 --> 00:16:25,540 and yet they are still here despite 90 00:16:19,629 --> 00:16:29,290 those imperfections in this room we are 91 00:16:25,540 --> 00:16:34,319 writing our own story whether that story 92 00:16:29,290 --> 00:16:39,970 builds world's seeks truth and heals is 93 00:16:34,319 --> 00:16:42,629 up to us let's have another time of 94 00:16:39,970 --> 00:16:42,629 silence 95 00:18:36,580 --> 00:19:38,070 [Music] 96 00:19:36,010 --> 00:19:38,070 you 97 00:19:41,810 --> 00:19:56,820 [Music] 98 00:19:53,580 --> 00:19:59,890 you know Kim there is a lesson in that 99 00:19:56,820 --> 00:20:03,940 story about Robert Lowry I mean there he 100 00:19:59,890 --> 00:20:06,520 is watching this horrific war unfold and 101 00:20:03,940 --> 00:20:10,150 as we did you think that was all that 102 00:20:06,520 --> 00:20:13,900 was going on but except this epidemic 103 00:20:10,150 --> 00:20:16,660 strikes down thousands of people so that 104 00:20:13,900 --> 00:20:19,960 that is what takes his attention 105 00:20:16,660 --> 00:20:23,830 I mean life isn't a discrete set of 106 00:20:19,960 --> 00:20:29,679 events but rather complexity woven into 107 00:20:23,830 --> 00:20:32,320 complexity and it can be so hard and and 108 00:20:29,679 --> 00:20:35,230 it can be really easy to get paralyzed 109 00:20:32,320 --> 00:20:40,390 by all the hardships all the things that 110 00:20:35,230 --> 00:20:44,740 go wrong yet life keeps going on the 111 00:20:40,390 --> 00:20:49,080 sorrows yes but also the joys and the 112 00:20:44,740 --> 00:20:51,730 connections and and the stories and 113 00:20:49,080 --> 00:20:55,650 sometimes it's just about getting back 114 00:20:51,730 --> 00:20:59,230 to the basics back to what grounds us 115 00:20:55,650 --> 00:21:03,190 I'm reminded of a time about 15 years 116 00:20:59,230 --> 00:21:06,850 ago I spent a long January weekend on 117 00:21:03,190 --> 00:21:10,210 Topsail Island in North Carolina I was 118 00:21:06,850 --> 00:21:13,000 at a spiritual retreat I was one of 12 119 00:21:10,210 --> 00:21:16,990 people gathered in a large beach house 120 00:21:13,000 --> 00:21:20,170 to listen and pray and meditate and 121 00:21:16,990 --> 00:21:23,559 share and explore our connections to the 122 00:21:20,170 --> 00:21:26,140 divine one of our leaders donald was 123 00:21:23,559 --> 00:21:29,760 grieving over the loss of his partner 124 00:21:26,140 --> 00:21:34,840 due to HIV related illnesses yet another 125 00:21:29,760 --> 00:21:37,690 epidemic Donald was a big bear of a guy 126 00:21:34,840 --> 00:21:41,650 with a nurturing spirit and gregarious 127 00:21:37,690 --> 00:21:46,030 manner but it will also thought why use 128 00:21:41,650 --> 00:21:48,400 10 words when a hundred will do you know 129 00:21:46,030 --> 00:21:50,230 the kind you know the guy very you you 130 00:21:48,400 --> 00:21:52,190 when that ass 131 00:21:50,230 --> 00:21:58,710 [Music] 132 00:21:52,190 --> 00:22:01,770 I told you it's Friday so at several 133 00:21:58,710 --> 00:22:04,020 points during the weekend we would bring 134 00:22:01,770 --> 00:22:05,550 back to the group those messages and 135 00:22:04,020 --> 00:22:08,160 ideas we've gotten through our 136 00:22:05,550 --> 00:22:11,460 meditations that often we were too 137 00:22:08,160 --> 00:22:14,100 long-winded as we explored in our 138 00:22:11,460 --> 00:22:17,430 limited language the expansive and 139 00:22:14,100 --> 00:22:20,760 complex ideas we'd heard after one such 140 00:22:17,430 --> 00:22:25,820 session of sharing Donald rocked in his 141 00:22:20,760 --> 00:22:31,770 chair wrapped in his shawl having been 142 00:22:25,820 --> 00:22:36,930 unusually quiet when he finally spoke he 143 00:22:31,770 --> 00:22:45,990 said only this grandmother bear says eat 144 00:22:36,930 --> 00:22:50,280 more pie now we laughed too and then we 145 00:22:45,990 --> 00:22:53,220 pondered and then we decided to take her 146 00:22:50,280 --> 00:22:55,710 advice so a run to the grocery store 147 00:22:53,220 --> 00:22:58,290 secured the final ingredients we needed 148 00:22:55,710 --> 00:23:00,840 to make pot pies and quiches and berry 149 00:22:58,290 --> 00:23:04,740 pies and a chocolate cream pie my 150 00:23:00,840 --> 00:23:07,140 favorite as we cooked we talked more 151 00:23:04,740 --> 00:23:10,680 deeply and intimately than we had the 152 00:23:07,140 --> 00:23:13,110 entire weekend we got to know each other 153 00:23:10,680 --> 00:23:20,670 know each other's stories share recipes 154 00:23:13,110 --> 00:23:23,430 and of course eat pie lots of pie one 155 00:23:20,670 --> 00:23:27,650 thing is not too much pie well no I 156 00:23:23,430 --> 00:23:27,650 didn't say too much I just said a lot 157 00:23:29,360 --> 00:23:37,530 and I think a lot about that moment and 158 00:23:32,190 --> 00:23:43,080 that charge to eat more pie and I think 159 00:23:37,530 --> 00:23:45,600 about that the lessons that pie is us so 160 00:23:43,080 --> 00:23:49,740 I love how pie like like knitting or 161 00:23:45,600 --> 00:23:52,110 sewing or crocheting it's forgiving now 162 00:23:49,740 --> 00:23:55,140 I've had some bland pies and some 163 00:23:52,110 --> 00:23:59,730 undercooked pies and some overcooked 164 00:23:55,140 --> 00:24:02,020 pies but somehow it is impossible to 165 00:23:59,730 --> 00:24:04,419 throw away a slice of pie 166 00:24:02,020 --> 00:24:06,820 it's scrape off the burnt crust to eat 167 00:24:04,419 --> 00:24:09,370 around the soggy Center and you add a 168 00:24:06,820 --> 00:24:11,200 little whipped cream maybe ice cream if 169 00:24:09,370 --> 00:24:16,390 it's apple pie add a little cheddar 170 00:24:11,200 --> 00:24:19,960 cheese yeah pies don't have to be 171 00:24:16,390 --> 00:24:23,850 perfect to be loved in fact we may love 172 00:24:19,960 --> 00:24:27,309 them more because of their imperfections 173 00:24:23,850 --> 00:24:31,539 imagine if we approached one another the 174 00:24:27,309 --> 00:24:34,210 same way and when we bring our wounded 175 00:24:31,539 --> 00:24:38,260 hearts together over a slice of pie what 176 00:24:34,210 --> 00:24:40,539 do we do we talk pie gives us something 177 00:24:38,260 --> 00:24:43,299 to do while we work out our hurts and 178 00:24:40,539 --> 00:24:48,279 frustrations with each other and a 179 00:24:43,299 --> 00:24:51,399 comforting flavor filled atmosphere but 180 00:24:48,279 --> 00:24:57,070 mostly I think pie each is us much as 181 00:24:51,399 --> 00:25:00,809 the Quakers do to stop be still give 182 00:24:57,070 --> 00:25:03,669 thanks I'm reminded of that story in the 183 00:25:00,809 --> 00:25:06,370 Gospel of Luke the story of Mary and 184 00:25:03,669 --> 00:25:09,460 Martha in that passage we learn that 185 00:25:06,370 --> 00:25:11,080 Jesus and His disciples had stopped by 186 00:25:09,460 --> 00:25:14,309 the home of their friends Mary and 187 00:25:11,080 --> 00:25:16,809 Martha and while Martha busied herself 188 00:25:14,309 --> 00:25:20,169 preparing a meal providing a comfortable 189 00:25:16,809 --> 00:25:23,830 space attending to every need Mary 190 00:25:20,169 --> 00:25:26,730 simply said and listened listen to the 191 00:25:23,830 --> 00:25:31,929 stories that this band of travelers told 192 00:25:26,730 --> 00:25:33,880 Martha was annoyed you know and even 193 00:25:31,929 --> 00:25:38,230 asked Jesus why it would be okay for her 194 00:25:33,880 --> 00:25:43,480 sister to do nothing but Jesus suggested 195 00:25:38,230 --> 00:25:45,909 that mary has chosen the better part not 196 00:25:43,480 --> 00:25:50,559 that the food and the hospitality wasn't 197 00:25:45,909 --> 00:25:54,610 welcome it was but at some point the 198 00:25:50,559 --> 00:26:01,649 doing has to end and we all need to stop 199 00:25:54,610 --> 00:26:01,649 and be still and give thanks and listen 200 00:26:05,840 --> 00:26:24,119 [Music] 201 00:26:24,580 --> 00:26:30,620 all of this something as frivolous as 202 00:26:28,490 --> 00:26:35,110 pie and although that's not really 203 00:26:30,620 --> 00:26:37,870 frivolous or as serious as plate and 204 00:26:35,110 --> 00:26:41,530 everything in between 205 00:26:37,870 --> 00:26:41,530 music shows 206 00:26:45,210 --> 00:26:50,090 [Music] 207 00:26:51,320 --> 00:27:03,620 I play the banjo reminds me of how the 208 00:26:59,960 --> 00:27:06,710 banjo came to America now I had always 209 00:27:03,620 --> 00:27:09,860 thought it was a European American 210 00:27:06,710 --> 00:27:12,680 invention until I heard the musician 211 00:27:09,860 --> 00:27:15,230 Abigail Washburn talked about the 212 00:27:12,680 --> 00:27:18,260 research that her spouse bela Fleck had 213 00:27:15,230 --> 00:27:22,370 done she said this son in an episode of 214 00:27:18,260 --> 00:27:24,590 on being as people were boarded on to 215 00:27:22,370 --> 00:27:27,830 the slave ships the people said throw 216 00:27:24,590 --> 00:27:30,080 your heart down here you're not going to 217 00:27:27,830 --> 00:27:35,030 want to carry it where you're going 218 00:27:30,080 --> 00:27:36,980 a lot of slave masters figured out that 219 00:27:35,030 --> 00:27:40,720 if they had a banjo player on board 220 00:27:36,980 --> 00:27:47,300 playing the music of home more of the 221 00:27:40,720 --> 00:27:49,130 cargo would live to the other side so 222 00:27:47,300 --> 00:27:52,160 the origins of the banjo in America are 223 00:27:49,130 --> 00:27:55,130 the bitterest of roots and formed an 224 00:27:52,160 --> 00:27:57,800 amazing origin to what became a blend of 225 00:27:55,130 --> 00:27:59,930 traditions from africa scotland and 226 00:27:57,800 --> 00:28:02,000 ireland were those banjo players from 227 00:27:59,930 --> 00:28:04,820 Africa and the Fiddler's from Scotland 228 00:28:02,000 --> 00:28:08,540 and Ireland started playing the 229 00:28:04,820 --> 00:28:11,140 plantation dances together that's what 230 00:28:08,540 --> 00:28:14,030 started what we know as that early 231 00:28:11,140 --> 00:28:17,120 Appalachian and that early American 232 00:28:14,030 --> 00:28:20,510 sound that sound is based in the 233 00:28:17,120 --> 00:28:27,500 bitterest root but with this hope that I 234 00:28:20,510 --> 00:28:31,130 can live I can survive so let's have one 235 00:28:27,500 --> 00:28:34,280 more moment of silence and when we come 236 00:28:31,130 --> 00:28:40,150 out of it let's sing together another 237 00:28:34,280 --> 00:28:40,150 plane him how can I keep from singing 238 00:29:37,900 --> 00:31:16,949 [Music] 239 00:31:32,010 --> 00:31:39,390 I know so many of you know those 240 00:31:36,600 --> 00:31:42,600 learners it's Friday it's fair enough 241 00:31:39,390 --> 00:31:45,090 the words for you all and we're sorry 242 00:31:42,600 --> 00:31:46,710 about that and in that they didn't 243 00:31:45,090 --> 00:31:55,010 really put all the words in here for 244 00:31:46,710 --> 00:31:58,470 them so well you know what you know what 245 00:31:55,010 --> 00:32:06,930 just as pious forgiving so are these 246 00:31:58,470 --> 00:32:08,880 people and now our time together is 247 00:32:06,930 --> 00:32:12,060 coming to an end and it seems fitting 248 00:32:08,880 --> 00:32:17,940 that we do another thing that brings 249 00:32:12,060 --> 00:32:22,790 communities together eat food and 250 00:32:17,940 --> 00:32:26,280 stories two things that go together so 251 00:32:22,790 --> 00:32:28,890 as we leave from this place and go about 252 00:32:26,280 --> 00:32:32,810 the rest of General Assembly may you 253 00:32:28,890 --> 00:32:36,150 find time to share both stories and food 254 00:32:32,810 --> 00:32:40,080 with someone who you never thought you 255 00:32:36,150 --> 00:32:45,170 would meet and may those stories help 256 00:32:40,080 --> 00:32:48,570 build new worlds seek truth and heal 257 00:32:45,170 --> 00:32:51,770 well end as we began with the words of 258 00:32:48,570 --> 00:32:56,460 the founder of the soon Cookman College 259 00:32:51,770 --> 00:33:00,930 Mary McLeod Bethune invest in the human 260 00:32:56,460 --> 00:33:03,260 soul who knows it might be a diamond in 261 00:33:00,930 --> 00:33:03,260 the rough 262 00:33:06,180 --> 00:34:17,480 [Music] 263 00:34:07,040 --> 00:34:17,480 [Applause]