All Blog Posts (2,704)

The Absurdity of the Cross: Bearing our own for the sake of others

The cross is lost to the church. While it hangs on walls of sacred buildings and around the necks of believers, we are no way yoked to it if our responses to murder are any indication of our faithfulness as related to this ancient symbol of torture. Truly, I say to you, the nature of the cross is not found nearly as much in it’s capacity to remind us of the torture of Jesus; but the nature of the cross is most powerfully known in the church’s willingness to burden…


Added by scot miller on 10th mo. 6, 2015 at 8:07pm — No Comments

Seeing beyond Identities

Republished from Quaker Universalist Conversations (10/4/2015)

In “Seeing beyond the Projections” (9/7/2015), I voiced my concern that modern Friends across the spectrum tend to perceive liberal or universalist Quakerism as representing anything but…


Added by Mike Shell on 10th mo. 5, 2015 at 11:54am — No Comments

Most Quaker Meetings are Small . . . But

My meeting is small - perhaps an average of just 12 to 25 Friends at worship each Sunday.  Yet we sponsor one of the major ministries in our suburban community - in a very public way.  Take a look at what it's about:

The Thrifty Quaker

I thought it would be fun and interesting to hear from others about the ministries of your meetings.  It might help the rest of us to get ideas of how we can "seek that of God…


Added by Howard Brod on 10th mo. 2, 2015 at 8:13pm — 1 Comment

Jesus, John and Daniel Striped Tiger

The following is the text of a message delivered during worship by ESR student Travis Etling on September 22, 2015. 

    Before we lived in Cornville, we lived in Tucson.  My cat Daniel was born in Tucson several years prior to the events in this story.  Daniel was…

Added by Earlham School of Religion on 9th mo. 30, 2015 at 8:22am — No Comments

Oath of Office?

 It is a Quaker practice, among many Friends, to avoid oath taking based on the New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter Five, verses 34 through 37. Friends have struggled well into the last century to get states to recognize our conduct of the marriage rite in Meetings that do not hold with employing ministers.  The same seems to be the case for embracing of same gender couples in this century. State office…


Added by Clarence M. Cullimore Mercer, on 9th mo. 29, 2015 at 6:00pm — No Comments

So What's So Terrifying About Christianity?

What terrifies people most about Christianity?  Pope Francis is just winding up his tour of the US and from a Quaker standpoint, his call to US Congress to withdraw from the Arms Bazaar (its main activity) and to focus on helping the people (what a concept!) seems entirely benign.  My mom is clucking happily about it, and she's a world famous nuclear abolitionist.  So what's the problem?

Catholicism is still smarting from the Galileo episode when the church was caught squarely on the…


Added by Kirby Urner on 9th mo. 28, 2015 at 10:30am — 55 Comments

When It's Time to Change Meetings/Churches

I'm not out in this post to air any personal grievances. A Friend told me, in more profane terms, that there are a certain amount of cares one can give about any contentious subject. There comes a time in every person's life where change is necessary, even changing houses of worship. I'm…


Added by Kevin Camp on 9th mo. 27, 2015 at 11:30am — No Comments

Is "Population" the Problem?

As a matter of statistical likelihood, if you just get the sound track of the discussion, and it boils down to "too many people" being the root problem, chances are these are "Anglos" in the sense of "English speakers".

Parsing the world's problems that way inherits specifically from the East India Company and Thomas Malthus in particular.  Malthus pointed out that the amount of arable land is finite and if biological forms are allowed to keep doubling, they always overwhelm the…


Added by Kirby Urner on 9th mo. 26, 2015 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Not of the Simulations and Similitudes

I AM not of the world of human being enchanted by simulation and similitude. In the Name of God, I AM. I AM Presence itself and Presence is me. Presence is within me and all around me shattering the outward shadowy layers of abstract and artificial simulations and similitudes overlaying human being. In the Name itself , the foggy spell of outward secular and religious forms, practices, and governments, fashioned and called forth in the cauldron of the abstract…


Added by Keith Saylor on 9th mo. 26, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

Liberal: A Meditation on the Term

Where does this word "liberal" come from and what does it mean?  I'll dare a naive etymology to start:  "liber" is from "liberty" but I also see "book". 

Now checking Google...  Yes "tree bark" is a part of it, as if "liber" were some kind of papyrus.  The liberty one achieves by reading. 

These connect:  liberal arts; open minded;  catholic.

In the software world we sometimes pretend we have only the word "Free" which comes encumbered with two meanings: 

  • at…

Added by Kirby Urner on 9th mo. 25, 2015 at 1:00am — 11 Comments

Abiding ...

I am abiding in the Light and I am abiding the Light in me. I am the Name. To speak it is to abide in the essence of that which I AM. This gift of being in the Name is literally Being that is ever present. What a blessing to be in the Name ... I AM. I AM born again into the world every moment. This gospel is literally true and I AM come to living the eternal story every day and every moment.  

This Life in the Name is Meeting, Community, Practice, Love, and there is no thing before…


Added by Keith Saylor on 9th mo. 23, 2015 at 12:17pm — 1 Comment

What is a Quaker Meeting: Orientation for Newcomers

What is a Quaker Meeting?

A Quaker Meeting is about offering the general public opportunities for community service in the context of a role-based institution designed around Quaker values.  These roles are unpaid in most cases, but not unimportant and may be regarded as in-kind donations of time-energy by those filling them.

Quaker values include a lack of hierarchy, which does not mean anarchy.  A Meeting is a set of structured concurrent processes…


Added by Kirby Urner on 9th mo. 22, 2015 at 7:30am — 7 Comments

Anarchic Harmony: Toward a creatively evolutionary Quaker organizational structure

I am in a reading group that recently finished up a book on the “dones” by Josh Packard and Ashleigh Hope - Church Refugees: Sociologists reveal why people are DONE with church but not their faith. The authors surveyed people from across the U.S. that have left the church and found some striking commonalities in their responses. One of those key areas has…


Added by Matt on 9th mo. 20, 2015 at 4:51pm — 3 Comments

Becoming the Community the Spirit Would Have Us Be

Note: I originally posted this as a comment to Mike Shell’s stimulating blog, “Seeing Beyond the Projections” (which I recommend you also read).  I offer it here as a separate blog to invite comments just on it.


It is unfortunate that many of our Quaker meetings/churches have brought into the meetinghouse the divisiveness that is so prevalent in the world at large. …


Added by Howard Brod on 9th mo. 19, 2015 at 8:00am — 101 Comments

Seeing beyond the Projections

Originally published 9/7/2015 on Quaker Universalist Conversations.

Please visit the original post to read an interesting series of Comments.

Some recent conversations with Friends revealed that they considered Quaker Universalism to…


Added by Mike Shell on 9th mo. 16, 2015 at 6:17pm — 6 Comments

A review of "Quakernomics"

Mike King’s 2014 book Quakernomics: An Ethical Capitalism should interest anyone who wants to learn more about the history of 19th century British Quakers…


Added by Matt on 9th mo. 11, 2015 at 7:48am — 1 Comment

A Witness from Heaven

A Witness from Heaven

I am a new being by the power of the inward Light re-placing how I am conscious and the direction from which my conscience is informed. My identity and self-conscious rests completely in the Light itself. It has taken years, yet the Light has open my being to the clarity of life independent of the outward religious, political, governmental, institutional, theological, and ideological, abstractions that once overlaid my conscious and conscience. I now live…


Added by Keith Saylor on 9th mo. 10, 2015 at 3:30pm — 17 Comments

When the Inshining Outshines

Each of us can know the power of the Inshining right down to the deepest depths of our conscious and conscience and with this Inshining, we can experience the transformation of our perception so that the inward Light pushes out into the world and we see in a different light, percieving the Kingdom all around us and within us. We do not have to take anyone's word for it or read about it in a book. We can live in the outshining percieving the power of the Spirit in all things. There is no…


Added by Keith Saylor on 9th mo. 4, 2015 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

Quakers Heart Beer

Some Quakers confuse their brand of Quakerism with Puritanism, contemporary with Quakerism, and which may have leached in and diluted the admixture.  A robust, flavorful Quakerism without the taint of adulteration, includes a taste for beer.  Many Quakers have been…


Added by Kirby Urner on 9th mo. 2, 2015 at 8:00pm — No Comments

The Only Antidote (Part Two)

We’re here today because we’ve gone through these trials; we've been tempted countless times to love something more than truth, and for the love of it, we’ve chosen truth instead, though our choice entails baptism into Christ’s death, the world's brief triumph. We know that the eternal triumph, the resurrection to new life, follows the inward dying to the self. In that triumphant inward resurrection, we know not only rightness but the joy and the peace of having received Christ, the life, of…


Added by Patricia Dallmann on 8th mo. 16, 2015 at 7:00pm — No Comments

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