Stephanie Stuckwisch's Blog (11)

Testimonies as Creed

During a recent meeting for worship, I found myself seated across from my least favorite Quaker T-shirt. Yes, there was a Friend in the T-shirt, but this is not about her. It’s about my increasing discomfort with the four words on the perimeter of the design: simplicity, integrity, peace and equality.

Lately I've heard members of my meeting tell newcomers, “we believe in simplicity, peace, integrity, community, and peace.” As the words…


Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 1st mo. 31, 2015 at 7:42pm — 23 Comments

Walking with Rachel

Rachel, weeping for her children,

refuses to be comforted,

for her children are no more.

                         Jer 31:15 (The Inclusive Bible)

At tonight’s labyrinth walk, I was greeted by the words of the prophet and an invitation to pray with Rachel and the parents of Newton, Conn.

I entered the familiar hall, changed tonight by the Solstice darkness, the flickering candles, the shadows of silent walkers. It was lovely…


Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 12th mo. 22, 2012 at 2:01am — 1 Comment

Encounter with an Inebriated Angel on a Metro Bus

I've met people who I've thought of as angels. Generally, they've been kind, soft spoken and d0 not smell bad.

Last month I suffered a loss that left me bouncing between grief and anger. Then I had an encounter that could only happen on public transportation. At the time, I recognized that it was significant, but it's only after sitting with it for a few weeks that I'm beginning to understand it.

It was the end of a very long…


Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 6th mo. 1, 2012 at 11:22pm — No Comments

Fruit Out of Season

I have learned to pay attention when multiple spiritual nudges arrive in short order.

The first concerned a patient at my clinic. Long before any of us ever met him, for reasons unknown, this man decided that he was an invalid. He pretty much refused to get out of bed. He became morbidly obese. Then came diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure and kidney failure.

Any suggestion that there might be a psychological issue was rejected. Referrals to counselors were…


Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 5th mo. 3, 2011 at 12:07am — 1 Comment

On Doing Nothing

For the first time, I found myself asked to explain my faith and practiice to coworkers. Not due to any spiritual revival, but because a cable TV program has a Quaker character. Unfortunately, it was not Fox’s compelling and revolutionary insights that fascinated them. Instead they were stuck on one point - “You sit for an hour and do nothing?”

I explained that we pray, we meditate, but most important, we listen.

“So, you really don’t do anything for an hour.”

I spoke… Continue

Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 2nd mo. 19, 2011 at 2:14pm — 12 Comments

As the Spirit Moves

All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each individually just as the Spirit chooses. - 1 Corinthians 12:11

Alison has been attending my meeting for the last 5 years. An elderly woman, she moved to Seattle to live near her sons and their families. I agreed to drive her to meeting on First Day.

At our first meeting, is was clear that she suffered from expressive aphasia.… Continue

Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 11th mo. 28, 2010 at 4:11pm — No Comments

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them

This morning at meeting for worship a toddler reminded me of an experience that I knew as a child and was reintroduced to by my daughter. It seems I need a remedial lesson.

Beatrix, our newest attender, has just learned to pull herself to a standing position. She approaches the world with awe and wonder. Her aim to touch, taste and explore. She does so with absolute trust. She celebrates with squeals and hands beating a rhythm on a nearby chair. Fearless, she crawls forward unaware of… Continue

Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 7th mo. 25, 2010 at 7:30pm — No Comments

The Meeting Community as a Musical Instrument

This week I was given a significant complement by my mountain dulcimer instructor. Of all her students, she told me, I was the one who put the greatest consideration into bringing out the full potential of the instrument.

Now I can't take full credit for this. My instrument was built by a master luthier. Years of craftsmanship went into everything from the selection of the wood to the careful placement of the frets to the delicate inlay. From the beginning, I knew that I had an… Continue

Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 5th mo. 9, 2010 at 3:35pm — No Comments

Meeting Today

Worship was a struggle today, much harder than usual to center and wait for God. My brain kept spinning with silly fragments coming out of left field.

Then a quote from Hans Hofmann came to me, "the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." Simplicity is not just a issue of possessions or clothing. It is a state of spirit, of being.

Back to my struggle to center, to listen.

"I came that they may have life, and have it… Continue

Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 2nd mo. 14, 2010 at 9:01pm — No Comments

Sabbath and Tithing - One Quaker's Half Formed Perspective.

I've been hearing more and more people talk about needing to slow down, to simplify their schedules. No one seems to be succeeding. Even children are over scheduled.

Friends are called to be in the world but not of it.

But are we doing this? It can be hard to tell the difference between a Quaker and your average liberal American. At times I think that we are a secularized society of friends (intentional absence of capitals).

At my meeting today, we shared our… Continue

Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 1st mo. 17, 2010 at 8:39pm — 3 Comments

New Year's Lamentations and Consolations

My meeting has a tradition of holding worship on New Year's Eve. Given the date, worship revolves around the events of the previous months and hopes for the year ahead. For myself, being Christocentric with a strong connection to nature, my meditation inevitably brings images of darkness turning towards the Light.

2009 was a year of changes, not all of them welcome.

I made a trip back east to see my father. Alzheimer's had so thoroughly robbed his face of expression, that… Continue

Added by Stephanie Stuckwisch on 1st mo. 1, 2010 at 2:23pm — No Comments

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