William F Rushby
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  • Port Henry, NY
  • United States
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William F Rushby's Discussions

Quaker Without a Meeting: A Response to Jason

Started this discussion. Last reply by Shane Moad 2nd month 11, 2017. 5 Replies

Hello, Jason!You ask what to do when one wants to be a Friend, but there is no compatible meeting nearby.  To answer this question meaningfully would IMHO require more information about your…Continue

Open Worship: An Insightful Statement from Salem Friends Church in Iowa

Started this discussion. Last reply by William F Rushby 2nd month 1, 2017. 1 Reply

http://salemfriendschurch.org/what-we-believe/open-worshipNote particularly the diagram at the end of the statement about when…Continue

Food for Thought

Started this discussion. Last reply by Kirby Urner 1st month 4, 2017. 42 Replies


Friends Around the World

Started this discussion. Last reply by Forrest Curo 11th month 9, 2016. 2 Replies

I would like to call to the attention of QQ enthusiasts Volume 123 (2014) of *Quaker Religious Thought*, the contents of which are accessible online: …Continue


William F Rushby's Page

Latest Activity

William F Rushby replied to Jean Yeager's discussion 'Why Do Primitive Quakers Cling to Traditition?'
"My paper on  "Ann Branson and the Eclipse of Oracular Ministry in Nineteenth Century Quakerism" was published in*Quaker History*, Fall 2016, Vol.105 #2, 44-69.  I regret that the paper was poorly edited.  That issue was…"
11th month 30
William F Rushby replied to Jean Yeager's discussion 'Why Do Primitive Quakers Cling to Traditition?'
11th month 30
William F Rushby replied to Jean Yeager's discussion 'Why Do Primitive Quakers Cling to Traditition?'
11th month 30
William F Rushby liked William F Rushby's blog post South Starksboro Through a Child's Eyes
11th month 28
William F Rushby replied to Jean Yeager's discussion 'Why Do Primitive Quakers Cling to Traditition?'
11th month 27
William F Rushby replied to Jean Yeager's discussion 'Why Do Primitive Quakers Cling to Traditition?'
"Your question is a good one!  Some traditionalists cling to "old ways" (at least their own version of "old ways") because they find a sense of authenticity by "retro-ing" to the past.  This is especially true…"
11th month 27
William F Rushby added a discussion to the group Conservative Friends

Northeastern Anabaptist/Conservative Friends

I am a longterm Conservative Friend with an extended history of relationships with Anabaptists (specifically conservative Brethren and Mennonites).  My wife was raised as a Conservative Friend, but she is no longer living.  I have returned to the Champlain Valley (NY/VT) to live out my final years!  I have not found a local Christian fellowship that I feel comfortable with.  I accept the authority of the Bible but subscribe to an Anabaptist hermeneutic rather than a fundamentalist one.  I do…See More
11th month 24

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About Me
Unaffiliated Conservative Friend, with strong Anabaptist leanings!

William F Rushby's Blog

Ever Hear of Andrea Palpant Gilley? Robert Woodberry?

Posted on 1st mo. 10, 2014 at 1:16pm 1 Comment

The January/February 2014 issue of Christianity Today ran a cover story entitled: "The World The Missionaries Made".  The author is Andrea Gilley.  The author ID said that she "spent part of her childhood in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries."

Her essay focusses on the research of Robert Woodberry, a sociologist who teaches at the U of Texas.  For his dissertation, he examined the impact of "conversionary" Protestant…


South Starksboro Through a Child's Eyes

Posted on 12th mo. 14, 2013 at 8:30am 1 Comment

Judy Rushby McLaughlin, one of my sisters, wrote the following reminiscence about the Orthodox Quaker fellowship at South Starksboro VT in the late 1960s.

                                       South Starksboro Through a Child's Eyes.


We roared over ribbony road toward the mountains from New York State.  They were mountains that we always looked at from afar off, but seldom went to. The Volkswagen Beetle crawled at a quick clip and struggled up the hill that…


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At 2:08pm on 1st mo. 20, 2017, Carolyn Taylor said…

Hi there, William..You got my name wrong. It is, 'Carolyn'.

And I would be happy to help you start a group for 'Anabaptis

Friends". That about describes me in a nutshell!



At 9:27am on 1st mo. 20, 2017, Carolyn Taylor said…

Thank You, William!

I joined QQ several years ago. The thing is, I took time away. Thought I was going to be Anabaptist and started attending the Church of God in Christ, Mennonites in Livingston, CA. The only problem is, I don't drive and my husband doesn't want to go 66 miles one way to church even once a month..I would be there all the time, if I could. But cannot be and the Doctrine classes are hard to fit in when people can only come here every so often..nothing regular and so I set it aside. It hurts me very much to do so,too. I have come back to be a Quaker as that is what I was before attempting to be a Mennonite. I live "out of the world" now even more so than before. It is kind of a lonely existence on my narrow way. 

  I am 64, married to Mark for 25 yrs. We have one daughter 18 who is starting college. And four dogs. One is my Diabetic Alert Dog, Regis. The other 3 are Jack Russell Terriers.

Yes I have met some of the OGB people from Modesto. They are lovely folks.

I never met your famous horse or visited a farm here. I live in the woods in Central Stockton next to the original Stockton Country Club. Near Smith Canal and on a quiet circle where mostly  older folks are. We are in a gated community.

At 1:02am on 3rd mo. 12, 2016, Dean E. Hartley said…

My father was Robert Elmer Hartley. Everett was his oldest brother. Everett's son was Harvey. Harvey died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic, March 30, 1963, while serving in the Peace Corps. His only sibling is Dorothy Pearle Hartley Burlingame (on Facebook). Harvey was about 9 years older than me.

At 1:53am on 3rd mo. 9, 2016, T. Vail Palmer, Jr. said…

Since he took over this year as head of Barclay Press, Eric Muhr has been sending out to a contact list a weekly email column titled "Long Story Short."

In this week's "Long Story Short," he included the following words:

"One of our ongoing projects is a study from T Vail Palmer on reading the Bible with empathy, a study whose first volume we hope to release later this year.
Copyright © 2016 Barclay Press, All rights reserved."

At 6:15pm on 12th mo. 11, 2015, Keith Saylor said…

Hello William,

You may have been aware of this, however, just in case you were not I thought you might find it of interest. 


Historic Ledyard home demolished, site of Cayuga County's first Quaker meeting.

At 6:03pm on 7th mo. 27, 2015, Don Badgley said…

The New Your Yearly Meeting website is NYYM.org

At 6:02pm on 7th mo. 27, 2015, Don Badgley said…


My keynote message will be posted on the Yearly Meeting website by week's end.  I can send it directly if you wish.  Just ask at don51249@aol.com.  Thanks for the interest.

At 1:34am on 4th mo. 1, 2015, Christopher Willis said…

Hi!  Thank you for the welcome!  I am a birthright Quaker but strayed as a young man, probably because of my age and some of the new age influences of my parents generation.  I am searching to be better, but more feel a drive to become more active, rather than passive believer.  I am seeking an outlet, perhaps through some sort of developing world "missionary" works.

Thank you

At 9:01am on 3rd mo. 18, 2015, Patricia Dallmann said…

Good morning, Bill. I am happy to report that the missing Benson passage in which differing approaches of Fox and Barclay are contrasted is to be found in "What did George Fox Teach About Christ?" on pages 10 and 11. Thanks to Ellis Hein for locating it.

Bill, you did, in fact, state the gist of Benson's thought on this when you wrote: "Fox's emphasis was on the dialogical I-Thou relationship between Christ and His people, highlighting the prophetic focus of Fox and the early Friends." I don't agree with you though that "theological system rather than dialogue becomes for Barclay the key to religious knowing." It's not too fine a parsing, I think, to say that while Barclay delineated Quaker belief in a systematic way, he did not locate Truth within that intellectual formulation; he points beyond reason to revelation: "the testimony of the Spirit is that alone by which the true knowledge of God hath been, is, and can be only revealed" (The Second Proposition). I remain convinced that the difference between Fox and Barclay is one of intent (to preach or to inform) , not one of theology.

The entire passage of Benson's writing is worth sharing, but there's not enough space here to do that. Here are the last few paragraphs:

One important difference between Fox's language and the language of the Quaker apologists is that Fox frequently uses the words "speak", "voice", and "obey" in connection with the Light. He says "Hear the Light" at least 46 times. He speaks of "Hearing the Voice of the
Light",15 and he says, "This Light ... speaks to you"16.

"Hear his Voice who is risen from the dead"i 7; "Since he is risen and ascended, they must have  their spiritual ear to hear the spiritual voice of Christ."18 Fox is calling men to listen to the Voice of the risen Christ who is alive and present in the midst of his people. But this kind of language
gradually fades away and is rarely found in later Quaker writings.

The encounter with Christ, the Light, is an encounter with a personal sovereign will that is distinct from our own will. The Light reproves and condemns and calls to repentance. It is experienced as a voice of command that must be heard and obeyed. This is what gave moral certainty and moral strength to the early Quaker community. (Italics are Benson's.)


At 9:25am on 3rd mo. 17, 2015, Patricia Dallmann said…

Hi Bill. Your comment showed up on my email, and so I've taken the liberty of re-producing it below. Thank you for it! It clears up some puzzlement and I want to respond further but first must attend to some other work. This posting is just to let you know that your comment made it through!

Hello, Patricia!  I wish I could give a good reference for Benson's thesis that Fox, rather than Barclay, needs to be the key to understanding early Quakerism.  I remember the details, but not the reference!

Current scholars make a clear distinction between the first and second generations of early Quaker leadership, and they locate Fox (correctly) in the first generation and Barclay (correctly) in the second generation.

Fox's emphasis was on the dialogical I-Thou relationship between Christ and His people, highlighting the prophetic focus of Fox and the early Friends.

Barclay, on the other hand, was a product of a rigorous Catholic theological/philosophical education, and recast Quaker faith and practice in a propositional framework.  Theological system rather than dialogue becomes for Barclay the key to religious knowing.

This is not to claim that Barclay misrepresented the details of Quaker faith, but rather that his emphasis on system and philosophical propositions violated the ethos of the first Friends.

To repeat myself, as I understand current scholarship, it agrees with Benson's clear distinction between first and second generations in their religious outlook.

I wish you could help me to track down Benson's writing on this topic.

I do not swallow Lewis Benson hook, line and sinker, but I continue to be moved by the profundity of his insights on early Quakerism.  The cogency of Lewis' approach is so compelling that it forces me into the Benson camp!


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