Glenn Morison
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  • Winnipeg, MB
  • Canada
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Glenn Morison's Discussions

Changing the time and/or day of weekly worship.

Started 2nd month 9 0 Replies

Winnipeg Monthly Meeting (which I am part of) has grown in attendance from less than 10 to closer to 30 over the past few years. A delight to be sure. But our current rented space, which we love, is…Continue

Tags: size, date, time, day, meeting

 

Glenn Morison's Page

Latest Activity

Glenn Morison posted a blog post

From Blogging to a place to live

I am collecting my reflections for a book that I will release for free this fall in hopes that people will donate to a fund that helps low income folks pay for shares in cooperative housing developments. www.morison.ca/thingswesaySee More
6th month 16
Glenn Morison posted a blog post

When one door closes, another door opens

While attributed to Alexander Graham Bell, Bob Marley and others, this phrase can be found in the Spanish Novella, The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities,. The story was published anonymously, due to its heretical content Written originally in 1554, it was later translated into English. A…See More
6th month 11
Glenn Morison posted a blog post

Graveyards are full of indispensable people

This adage is similar to “a little piece of churchyard fits everyone.” It speaks to our common fate of death and a reminder that each one of us is neither irreplaceable nor indispensable. This is true even though we often believe ourselves to be. I attended my 30th high school reunion and stood next to a classmate I had not…See More
6th month 7
Glenn Morison posted a blog post

Every day is a gift... that is why they call it the present.

The last half of this quotation is one of many additions that follow the first half. These few words hold some common themes in this book and much spiritual writing. It speaks of the call to be present in the moment. It speaks of the centrality of gratitude. And the phrase ties these two concepts together with only five words.Psalm…See More
6th month 4
Forrest Curo commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'Daddy's looking down at us'
"We _are_ 'enduring soul or spirit' (terminologies differ!) whether we're embodied physically or 'Otherly Embodied'. [How's _that_ for euphemism, huh, huh?] I've several times noticed what I believe to be…"
6th month 2
Glenn Morison posted a blog post

Daddy's looking down at us

A common image that eulogists share at funerals is that once we die we sit in a comfy chair and smile as we look down at our loved ones as they go about their lives. This notion is not biblical but is, instead, a certain extrapolation of the Greek idea that we have an enduring soul or spirit. I cringe at this…See More
6th month 2
Glenn Morison posted a blog post

All good things must come to an end

This was first recorded in 1440 in the poem Partenope of Blois, Ye “wote wele of all thing must be an end.” Note that the word good is omitted. It is similar to “All things must pass”, “this too shall pass” and “here today, gone tomorrow” all of which imply that the transient nature of life applies to both the good and the…See More
5th month 14
David McKay commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'Comedy equals tragedy plus time'
"If you can still laugh at it, it hasn't killed you yet."
5th month 13
Forrest Curo commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'Comedy equals tragedy plus time'
"If you laugh at the dinosaurs while they're still in the process, one of them might step on you. But some of the "best" humor is probably gallows humor: people joking because that's what you do when you're used to suffering…"
5th month 13
Glenn Morison posted a blog post

Comedy equals tragedy plus time

While many comics and commentators have used this phrase, the website QuoteInvestigator, cites a 1957 Cosmopolitan interview with talk show host Steve Allen as the first recorded use of the phrase. Martin Dockery, a brilliant storyteller who works the fringe theatre circuit, uses this phrase creatively in his monologue,…See More
5th month 13
Glenn Morison posted a blog post

Eat, drink and be merry

For an entire generation, these words were synonymous with the fast food chain, Dairy Queen. I still remember listening to a fellow student reading a Bible lesson in grade six and hearing the phrase and thinking the reader was a smart-ass sneaking in a Dairy Queen ad into the Bible. The phrase has been brought into the…See More
5th month 8
Kirby Urner commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'You can kill a [hu]man but you can't kill an idea'
"Likewise corporeal humans are not the meme viruses they carry (many of which are beneficial, lets presume).  Going after corporeal humans thinking memes live inside physical beings is far less effective than going after the memes, if we think…"
5th month 7
Kirby Urner commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'You can't take it with you'
"If we define wealth as the ability to supply life support to x humans for t time (xt) then it's a matter of getting the ball rolling in one lifetime, whether or not one has additional lifetimes in which to enjoy the fruits.  Others will.…"
5th month 7
Forrest Curo commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'You can't take it with you'
"Hey, the dangerous nuclear proliferation is going on in the United States. It's our leadership who've really mastered the art of Talking Crazy and Influencing People, while there are actually people in this country who believe our…"
5th month 7
James C Schultz commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'You can't take it with you'
"Case in point  Had a conversation this morning about the anxiety some are subjecting themselves to by dwelling on the possible loss of health insurance while being oblivious to the Nuclear proliferation going on in North Korea…"
5th month 7
Glenn Morison commented on Glenn Morison's blog post 'You can't take it with you'
"Put more foolishly, people often underestimate the probability of death but overestimate the uniqueness of death. "
5th month 6

Profile Information

About Me
Glenn Morison is a member of Winnipeg Monthly Meeting. Glenn was worked with people on the margins of society his entire adult life. He has spent the last ten years working as a chaplain in Corrections settings.
Website/Blog
http://https://winnipegquakermeeting.edublogs.org/

What I am doing with this!

We all encounter many slogans, aphorisms, quotations and proverbs. And, working in prison chaplaincy, I have been privileged to hear great testimonies of how these words have helped people make their way through phenomenally disturbing circumstances.  For instance, I have heard the words, “you always get a second chance” continue to give life to people who have already had twenty or more chances and yet persevere when many others would have given up.

I also heard confused people utter various slogans hoping but no longer trusting they have any real worth or meaning. I have heard people excuse the most foolish mistakes by muttering the phrase “you only live once” but it appears the words are not life giving at all.  Instead, the catchphrase deflects responsibility and prevents them from learning from their mistake.

At their best, such proverbs are called to mind in a split second to provide sustenance and direction. The very same words can also be empty, rote and meaningless. They can create confusion and distraction instead of real integration, spiritual challenge and growth.

Yet other common phrases have become innocuous over time compared to their heavily freighted origins. An example is the saying “nothing is certain but death and taxes” which has nowhere near the impact of its first recorded use.

Those familiar with Quakerism would know that doctrine does not have the role that it has in other expressions of faith.  My title, A Quaker Reflects . . . acknowledges this.  I cannot speak for Quakers.  Nobody can. However, I trust that being a Quaker is one of many things that helps bring consistency to the way I approach understanding conventional wisdom, in the form of common adages.  I also assume that my background in congregational and institutional ministry impacts my thoughts and decisions.  As do my many roles from father to son to brother to husband to baseball fanatic.  To be clear, when I use a phrase like “Quakers say . . .” or “Quakers ask . . .” I am not speaking for all but instead holding up a common thought within Quaker circles.[i]

My intent is not to give a pass or a fail to each of the 201 turns of phrase.  Instead, my intention is to delight, invite and provoke.  My desire is to bring the words alive and into the midst of your daily struggles. The method I use is to create a discussion between Quaker values, conventional wisdom and biblical excerpts. Where you go with that is much more important than where I begin.

While each post will look the same, a common quote and a reflection followed by a bible verse and a reflection, each entry has its own genesis.  Sometimes I started with a broad concept from Quaker life and from there sprung a bible verse, which was linked to a phrase that came to mind.  Other times I thought first of a theme and searched out a quotation that then sent me running to the Bible.  Other times, my work began with a familiar verse of scripture. While I researched both historical and contemporary uses of each phrase, a lot of work never made it close to the final copy. I try to provide some context for the phrase and from there move into the juxtaposition with the chosen Bible verse. I hope the reading finds the sweet spot where elements of order and spontaneity coexist producing a healthy dialogue with each element having its own force.  The categories I provide are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive.[ii] My hope is that the sections help readers make connections between the quotations, the biblical verses and the Quaker advices and queries and recognize the value of doing so.

I do not offer these as systematic theology.  However, I am optimistic that the consistency of my viewpoint will be a gift.  My hope is that these reflections will speak God’s Word with life, resiliency and maturity. I offer texts, ideas and convictions that have helped me not only cope but to thrive while encountering fallen humanity and fractured social systems which, in turn, create pain, injustice, alienation and despair on a daily basis.

I describe the life of faith as “touching pain with love.”  I offer my comments, insights and illustrations hoping they bring that joy closer to the centre of your life.


[i] You will note that all of the Quotations come from “Queries and Advices” that are provided by Yearly Meetings to Friends for reflection, stimulation and edification. From the Website of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting: “Queries are an approach that Friends use to guide self-examination, using them not as an outward set of rules but as a framework within which we assess our convictions and examine, clarify, and consider prayerfully the direction of our lives and the life of our spiritual community. Rooted in the history of Friends, the Queries reflect the Quaker way of life, reminding Friends of the ideals we seek to attain. While the text of the Queries has changed somewhat over the years, it has been marked by consistency of convictions and concerns within Friends testimonies – simplicity, peace, integrity, stewardship, equality and community – as well as by strength derived from worship, ministry and social conscience.” They are offered here as a approximation of “common Quaker thoughts.” Note that I have freely intermingled from both conservative and liberal traditions. Not all Friends would recognize this as a seamless composition.

[ii] This blog is not an atlas of sayings but rather a demonstration of a method of understanding. My description of the Quaker approach to any topic is taken directly from Quaker sources and detailed with footnotes. The individual reflections give enough reference that the original sources, where applicable and available, can be traced with little effort. 

Glenn Morison's Blog

From Blogging to a place to live

Posted on 6th mo. 16, 2017 at 12:20pm 0 Comments

I am collecting my reflections for a book that I will release for free this fall in hopes that people will donate to a fund that helps low income folks pay for shares in cooperative housing developments. 

www.morison.ca/thingswesay

When one door closes, another door opens

Posted on 6th mo. 11, 2017 at 11:00am 0 Comments

While attributed to Alexander Graham Bell, Bob Marley and others, this phrase can be found in the Spanish Novella, The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities,. The story was published anonymously, due to its heretical content Written originally in 1554, it was later…

Continue

Graveyards are full of indispensable people

Posted on 6th mo. 7, 2017 at 11:30am 0 Comments

This adage is similar to “a little piece of churchyard fits everyone.” It speaks to our common fate of death and a reminder that each one of us is neither irreplaceable nor indispensable. This is true even though we often believe ourselves to be. I attended my 30th high school reunion and stood next to a…

Continue

Every day is a gift... that is why they call it the present.

Posted on 6th mo. 4, 2017 at 2:51pm 0 Comments

The last half of this quotation is one of many additions that follow the first half. These few words hold some common themes in this book and much spiritual writing. It speaks of the call to be present in the moment. It speaks of the centrality of gratitude. And the phrase ties these two concepts together with…

Continue

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Daily Online Meeting for Worship at Your computer!

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