Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Craig Barnett on the goal of the Quaker way:
Unfortunately, by the time that we come to adulthood each of us is already to a greater or lesser extent opposed to the Light within us; somehow we have all armoured ourselves against the inbreaking of the light. The religious path is simply the process of dissolving these defences, becoming more aware, sensitive and open to the inner guidance that is always available.
Greg Woods with a great piece on giving time and listening to God:
How are we responding to these calls? Are we using our gift of time towards working for racial justice? Are we giving enough of ourselves?… Some [Quakers] find this theology of continuing revelations distressing, but I find comfort in that because it honors Friends’ longtime witness that God is still speaking to our condition today, both as a corporate body and as individuals. We should always be listening for how God wants to use us and our abilities as disciples of God’s grace within today’s ever-changing world.
Deborah Suess writes a guest post about troubles among North Carolina Friends:
Many of you have heard rumblings that our state denomination is in trouble. And you have asked, “What the heck is going on? What are we arguing about?” Well… it’s complicated. Of course.
A new Reddit comment thread on Quakers will keep you reading for hours.
Jane Braxton Little writes about the restoration of one of the most storied protest boats of the twentieth century:
The Golden Rule project is an improbable accomplishment by unlikely volunteers. Members of Veterans For Peace, they are a motley bunch that might have appalled the original crew, all conscientious Quakers. They smoke, drink and swear like the sailors, though most of them are not. Aging and perpetually strapped for money, the mostly retired men sought to banish their war-related demons as they ripped out rotten wood and replaced it plank by purpleheart plank.
The finance podcast talked about this “fringy, radical thing” Friends did:
Having one price for each item, that was the Quakers’ radical thing. They thought haggling was just fundamentally unfair. They thought charging different people different prices for the same thing was morally wrong.
Wess Daniels is back with a participatory vision for our meetings:
This is what it means to be a participatory church. You are all co-creators. There is not master/servant scenario, there is no one exercising control over you, you are invited as friends of Jesus to be faithful to the living out of your faith through love in this time and place.
Wess Daniels on our cultures of leadership:
Many of our religious institutions, including, but not limited to Quaker Yearly Meetings, are operating much more like the farmers than like Mr. Fox and the animals. Higher and higher anxiety and reactivity highlight the terrain within our religious communities, leading to more and more brittleness of our organizations.
On the AFSC blog, Laura Magnani looks at well-intentioned but failed Quaker reform movements at the past as a caution to current movement building:
Quakers are often blamed for the invention of the penitentiary… They were trying to do something “good,” more humane, whose primary purpose would be rehabilitation. They were trying to address overcrowding and abusive prison practices [but] it quickly deteriorated as prisons became more crowded, more chaotic and ineffective. Today many of us are promoting “community-based programs” as a way of shrinking the prison population, only to discover that private prison corporations have swooped in to the re-entry business as a lucrative new market.
Reno Friends held a day-long spirituality workshop and asked “What is Compelling about Quakerism?”
Many said they are attracted by the communal quality of Silent Worship; there is something powerful about sitting together in what Quakers call “expectant silence.” … At the same time, Reno Friends said they are drawn to Quakerism just as much by the outward expression of Quaker principles as they are by the inner quest.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!…Continue
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For…Continue
Pray like this: [It's often a useful challenge to try to rephrase this, not that I could do it 'better' but that then I need to look more closely and strive to understand better.] Our Father in the Spiritual Realm, may we recognize your power and…Continue