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From Out of the Depths

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

Message for worship at West Richmond Friends Meeting, 29th of Third Month, 2020

Speaker: Brian Young

Scripture: Psalm 130; Ezekiel 37:1–14

Good morning, Friends!

Psalm 130, NRSV:

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

2 Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive

to the voice of my supplications!

3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,

Lord, who could stand?

4 But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

6 my soul waits for the Lord

more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!

For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.

8 It is he who will redeem Israel

from all its iniquities.

“Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear our voices.” There is a lot to cry

out about today, and those cries come from a very deep place. We have already given voice

to some of those cries in our sharing of joys and concerns. This has been one of those

exceptional weeks when the cares of our particular circle of Friends and the troubles of the

world at large have both been particularly intense. Early in the week came the news of the

sudden and untimely loss of Brian Rodgers, a friend to so many in this meeting and many,

many more in the Richmond Quaker and musical communities. And then just last night,

we heard of the passing of Ruby Shaw, beloved mother of Ruth Brown, who had been in

hospice care for some weeks. We mourn the loss of both these Friends, that loss being made

even more difficult because we aren’t able to gather together to bid them farewell in person.

And for me, this week was the week that the COVID-19 crisis became real; maybe this

is true for some of you as well. I have been paying attention to the situation for weeks now,

marking the seriousness of the threat, and trying to understand the implications for me

personally and for our community. Thus far, thanks be to God, no one who is part of West

Richmond Friends locally has become ill, that I know of. And we’ve been working to respond

as best we can.

Two weeks ago, as just about all of you know, we suspended face-to-face meetings.

Much of the time since then has been spent in trying to figure out how much we can do

remotely for worship, and fellowship, and pastoral care. Thanks to a really stellar bunch of

people who have worked together tirelessly, we’ve been able to get this Zoom thing going,

and this morning, our first semi-programmed worship online is the fruit of those labors. (By the

way, this group is now called TLC—the Technology & Logistics Commitee; its members are

Katie Breslin, Stephanie Crumley-Effinger, Ruth Cutcher, Jim Grace, Welling Hall, & Hoot