Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
From Friends United Meeting: “The recent statement issued by Kenyan Quaker leaders—calling into question the hostile rhetoric being used by both of Kenya’s national leaders and asking for restraint in politicking and language—was featured in Kenya’s national news.”
So the perennial challenge from the radicals or progressives is not necessarily that the conservatives’ ideals or theology are wrong; it is that they are not applied thoroughly enough. The progressives should keep challenging the conservatives’ resistance to change, helping the community to discern when that resistance stops being prudent and becomes subverted by clan or class interests.
But it is possible for us, as Quakers, to get in the way of someone coming back. There are ways in which we can be stumbling blocks, and there are ways in which we can greet seekers and offer the warmth and support they need to be able to come back—if it’s right for them.
I felt afraid the entire time, afraid in the same streets where I go shopping with friends or walk with my wife after a satisfying dinner. As a Quaker of Jewish descent, I found the anti-Semitism of the new white nationalism particularly threatening. Their shouts demanded Jews leave the country; they threatened to burn down the synagogue in town and derided one of my friends who happened to walk nearby for having a Jewish appearance.
That mindset of openness to sobering, even painful revelation is at the heart of silent Quaker worship: the turning of bare attention, without denial or rationalization, to whatever appears as I am searched by the light that was in Jesus. Silent worship leads me into a living awareness of my delusions, beginning with that of believing that I have none. The experience of worship destabilizes my sense of self — which, after all, is grounded in the delusion of autonomy, substance, persistence, presence. In that disruption, that break in the void, spiritual life may take root.
Numbers and figures of Friends worldwide.
We arrived before the 6 a.m. service, while the priests and laymen (they were all men) chant the psalms in Coptic (a combination of Arabic and Greek) while arranging the communion and setting up logistic details. We stayed for two hours of the service and then slipped out to prepare for our next meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Passive silence is really a silence that allows me to hide. To become more and more detached, detached from my body, detached from my meeting and my community, detached from the problems and discomforts of the world.
During his life and after his death, many people, Rediker says, thought of Lay as deranged. “[Historians] thought he was not sane, and this was a very effective way of putting him at the margins.” Ableism, too, seems to have factored in this general unwillingness to take him seriously. But some of those in the abolitionist movement did feel the need to celebrate this “Quaker comet,” as he came to be known
A lot of fonts really don’t seem to have much effort on the Q. And sometimes it looks like the power symbol on a computer. Ugh! So, to make it easier on all of you, I’ve taken screenshots of the word “Quakers” in 60 different fonts. Pick one!
I did not grow up in the RSoF, but since I was a boy I had a dread of being asked to take an oath, salute the flag or recite the Pledge. I was asked to leave an Aikido class in college because I could not bow before a picture of the founder of the…Continue
I just got back home from a weekend meeting of Quakers. It was called a retreat but it was a meeting. It had a leader not a clerk. The Leader had expectations and a plan for the weekend. At the end of the meeting it became apparent to me that…Continue
Dear Friends.I'm running a small café in the quiet harbour town of Hafnarfjörður in Iceland. I would like to ask you your opinion, if I may. If you were to walk into a Quaker-run cafe, what would your expectations be? It could be anything from food…Continue
What follows are field notes from my experience serving at the intersection of institutional leadership and renewal in the Quaker movement. I hope this reflection might offer encouragement to your work of exploration and discovery in your own context: your local meeting, yearly meeting, other Friends institution, or in some new garden where you find yourself called to labor.
Includes views from Joyce Ajlouny, director of the Ramallah Friends School, and incoming general secretary of American Friends Service Committee.
“Quaker time” is not a thing. We’ve made it a thing. Discernment is not about doing things in “Quaker time,” it’s about doing things in God’s time, which is sometimes much slower than earthly time and other times faster. I don’t think early Friends, the Publishers of Truth, often wrote a pamphlet and then sat on it for six months because they weren’t completely sure about the placement of a comma.
Professor 'Ben' Pink Dandelion, Editor of Quaker Studies, said “This is a very exciting moment for the journal and for Quaker studies as a whole. The new arrangement will be of great benefit to scholars worldwide, in Quaker studies and in the wider humanities.