Cedar Creek Monthly Meeting and The Molding of My Life.
The first eighteen years of my life centered around Cedar Creek Friends Meeting in Henry County, Iowa. I then attended William Penn College, Oskaloosa, Iowa where I continued my spiritual learning, as well as my academic education.
At Cedar Creek, we had a pastor and our services were quite similar to other evangelical churches but we did not baptize with water or have communion with bread and wine.
When I was thirteen and attending church camp at Quaker Heights Camp near Eldora, Iowa, I accepted Christ as my Savior and started out on my adventure as a new Christian, on July 8, 1953. What did this mean?
It meant that: I acknowledged I was a sinner and I confessed my sin(s); Asked Jesus to come into my life and to cleanse me of all my sins and believed that Jesus death on the cross, covered my sins and that Jesus would lead me in my Christian walk.
(Isn't it neat how easy this is? It's as simple as ABC, just confess, ask and believe.)
Then one just needs to read their Bible, pray and ask God to help them in their daily walk. Just like everything in life there will be ups and downs but just keep walking and praying. The end of that walk is heaven.
I do not accept things just because I am told I should. Therefore, I inquired of others and searched the scripture, as to why we did not take communion or have water baptism and I found answers.
I will now summarize.
George Fox, the early founder of the Society of Friends in England and his followers, knew that people in the Church of England were taking communion and being baptized, without it having any meaning. The members of the Society of Friends felt that was wrong, so they decided to do away with the outward sign but keep the observances, as they felt Jesus really meant them to.
Cedar Creek, kept fifteen to twenty minutes in their service where you shared how God had worked in your life or shared a scripture that had meant a lot that week or prayed silently or out loud or shared a song. In other words while communicating with God you shared what God lead you to share, thus we had communion with God. They also believed that Jesus meant for us to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and this experience would follow one's conversion.
No need for the actual water.
Matthew 3: 11 "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." NIV
I believe that George Fox and the early followers would be unhappy with the way some Quaker's today worship. The early Quaker's waited quietly on the Spirit to move them, but they also prayed and asked for guidance. I have attended several Quaker meetings that today do not have a minister and have the quiet worship where the Spirit is to lead. In one of them I could feel the Spirit of God in the meeting, as a lady shared what God had shown her in the book of Psalms. At two of the others meetings, people stood up and said philosophical things without any reference to Jesus or the Bible. I did not feel the Spirit of God in these two meetings. I left these meetings feeling sad for the members, as I felt in their trying to keep the old ways, they may have lost their way.
On a trip through Indiana, in 1992, we stopped on a Sunday afternoon at the New Garden Friends Meeting house to take some pictures of the pretty brick building, with the two doors still visible on the side. The church was unlocked and we walked inside. It had been remodeled into a pretty sanctuary with a pulpit and my whole family said they could really feel the Spirit of God in that room. We wished we had been there for their morning worship service. The pastor's wife came over and chatted with us and we had a pleasant visit.
We must all continue to keep the Bible as our guide book and Jesus as our spiritual leader, and stay open to the leading of the Holy Spirit; as this church appeared to be doing, at that time.
"This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Luke 24: 46 - 49 NIV
Then Jesus left them and went up into heaven and he will come again!
I returned to Henry County, Iowa in March 2003 and after forty years, am again involved with the Society of Friends (Quakers) and my Christian faith is still very important to me. May it become important to you too.
The Salvation Poem
Jesus, You died upon a cross and rose again to save the Lost!
Forgive me now of all my sin, Come be my Savior, Lord and Friend.
Change my life and make it new and help me, Lord, to live for You.
I felt lead to write this and pray that someone
will be helped or blessed by reading it.
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