Faithfully Translating the Bible
QuakerSpeak interviews Quaker translator Sarah Ruden!
> If you think of the Bible as a rulebook, then you’re going to fight about it, because it’s about allocation of power, and the interpreter is always claiming power by saying, “the Bible says you can do this, and you must not do that.” Well, Quakers do not like to think that way.
quaker 
29 days ago
The Painful Roots of Trump’s ‘Go Back’ Comment - The New York Times
One of the "go back" references alluded to is Mary Dyer, hanged in Boston when she refused to stay exiled. https://t.co/qyCGJ5kGvW https://t.co/IOGqvvtpb0
quakers 
4 weeks ago
What is a Quaker Book of Faith and Practice?
Thomas Hamm is one of the most literary QuakerSpeak interviewees—you could probably take his raw transcript and publish it as a _Friends Journal_ article. But it's good to have a YouTube-accessible explanation of one of the only formal compendiums of belief and practices that we creed-adverse Friends produce. It's also fascinating to learn how the purpose and structure of _Faith and Practice_ has differed over time, geography, and theology.
What do Quakers believe? How do we practic...
quaker 
8 weeks ago
Foodways and Folkways
I wrote the intro to the June-July Friends Journal, our issue on "Food Choices." There was a strong interest in some circles to have a whole issue advocating vegetarian diets. Although I'm sympathetic (I've been a vegan since my early 20s) I'm allergic to claims that all Quakers should adopt any particular practice. It feels too close to [Margaret Fell's silly poor gospel](https://www.quakerranter.org/margaret_fells_red_dress_2004/), a misunderstanding of way Quaker process mediates between individual and group behavior.

> Food unites and food divides. It both marks us into tribes and gives us opportunities to reach past our societal limits. From chicken barbeques to vegetarian‐dominated potlucks, what we put on the table says a lot about our values, and how we welcome unfamiliar food choices is a measure of our hospitality. How do kitchen‐table spreads of tofu and chickpea dips reinforce certain stand‐apart cultural norms? Are Friends who like barbecue ribs less Quaker? What about meetings that still host the annual chicken dinner or clambake?
quaker 
9 weeks ago
Walt Whitman: A prophet found under your boot-soles
A brief look at some of the Quaker influences on Walt Whitman's spirituality:

> Whitman absorbed deist principles from his father; he was equally influenced by his mother’s Quaker background. He embraced the Quaker emphasis on individual experience of the divine — what Friends call the “inner light” — as well as the concept of “that of God” existing within every person. Whitman’s poetry reflects Quakers’ radically egalitarian theology
10 weeks ago
Half forgotten Philadelhpia Quaker cemetery at center of development controversy
As reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

> How many skeletons might remain buried? Possibly thousands, according to archaeologists, but no one knows. Historical maps are unclear on the cemeteries’ boundaries, but numerous histories portray the grounds as used first by Quakers and then by the poor, whose numbers increased along with the size of the city.

They quote the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting general secretary, who had heard nothing about this. The article also cites a 1880s article in _Friends Intelligencer,_ the predecessor to _Friends Journal._
quaker 
may 2019
We don’t worship silence
Isaac Smith:

> There are a lot of Quakers for whom the quality of their worship is measured by the quality of the silence therein, to the point that “disruptions”—whether they come from children, latecomers, folks who are not neurotypical, or folks who don’t comport themselves in the manner of the white middle class—are regarded as annoyances. This is not just a mistake.
quaker 
may 2019
Japan Would Make Akihito Emperor, but She Called Him ‘Jimmy’
With the abdication of Japan's emperor comes renewed attention on his first post-war teacher: American Friend Elizabeth Gray Vining:

> An American teacher taught the young prince he would never be a god. But he just might help heal his country.
quaker 
april 2019
Welcoming families in meetings
An account of one British meeting finding space for families:

> It has been the task of the whole meeting not just of one or two; there has been an awareness that what they are doing now will need to change and evolve. And there has been a care and nourishing of us as parents too, with our own spiritual journeys and need for nurture.

> I know, from talking to other Quaker parents – and, very sadly, from parents who would love to explore Quakerism but who have felt discouraged or unwelcomed – that we have been particularly lucky. Lucky not because we found a Quaker community with a ready-made children's meeting, but because we found a meeting willing and ready to welcome, to make space, where there was a sense of gladness that we were there.
quaker 
april 2019
Are Quakers Christian?
Steven Davison takes on one of the trickier questions of modern liberal Quakerism:

> I am going to make a bold apology for a clarified liberal Quaker identity that retains its roots and recovers worship in the spirit of Christ, but yet releases us from the orthodox Christian preoccupations that no longer speak to so many unprogrammed Friends.
quaker 
april 2019
What Chairs can learn from the Quaker Business Method
The author Shivaji Shiva isn't talking about the furniture we sit on but rather the leader of board meetings. The section on the role of a clerk is very useful, covering sections like "Humility," "Contributions and 'air-time', and "Navigating conflicting views." He concludes:

> If some of these approaches are less familiar to you, why not find out more about Quaker business methods and how a governance tool kit used for more than 350 years could work for you?
quaker 
april 2019
Video: A journey into the beauty of Quaker Country
A very well-done 17-minute video on "Quaker Country," the part of England where the Quaker movement first coalesced in 1652.
quaker 
april 2019
George Fox Speaking
At some point 18 months ago, we at Friends Journal decided that a future issue would revolve around humor. I remember feeling a lump in my stomach at the time. I've learned to stop and poll my motivations before making a Quaker-related joke—not to see if it's funny, but to make sure that at least most Quakers might think it's funny. Well, that humor issue is out and available online. Many of the features talk about humor but the first feature actually aims for humor itself. Don McCormick imagines Quaker historical figures brought into modern-day cable news programming as they describe some of our rather odd customs.

> George gives the camera a steely‐TV‐anchorman‐type look and says, “Hello, this is the evening edition of Fox News. George Fox speaking. For our first story, let’s turn to Will ‘the Quill’ Penn at the sports desk.”

> “Good evening,” says Will. “Well, it’s half‐time over at Sierra Friends Center’s outdoor basketball court, and the Woolman Wombats are battling it out with the Quaker Oafs. Both teams just completed the league’s required workshops on nonviolent communication and the Alternatives to Violence Project. The score at half‐time is zero to zero. We have some footage from the second quarter.”
quaker 
april 2019
David Hartsough: The Power of Loving Your Enemy
The longtime peace activist is interviewed on QuakerSpeak:

> I’ve chosen nonviolence and nonviolent action as a means of social change partly because I believe that we’re all God’s children. We’re all brothers and sisters, and an injury to any person is an injury to me. We’re all related. So it’s morally right and it’s trying to walk our talk that love is not just something to talk about with your little family—the world is our family.

David's all over the _Friends Journal_ websites right week. Last week the magazine published his account of needing emergency heart surgery while on a friendship visit in Iran. True to form, he [made it a teachable moment](https://www.friendsjournal.org/us-sanctions-iran/) by using it to explain how American sanctions hurt everyday Iranians (I'm happy to report everything turned out okay). His most recent book is Waging Peace; FJ's former senior editor Bob Dockhorn [reviewed it in 2015])https://www.friendsjournal.org/waging-peace-david-hartsough/).
quaker 
march 2019
QuakerSpeak season 6 is starting
Six seasons of the awesomest video series about Friends. There's also a newly reenergized podcast version so subscribe to that if audio is your favorite medium!
quaker 
march 2019
A more modern commission
As an East Coast unprogrammed Friend, Quaker mission work is still a bit exotic. We're used to reading of well-meaning nineteenth century Friends whose attitudes shock us today. But here's a story of some Midwest mission work with the Shawnee in the 1970s and 80s.

> Their “mission” work consists of farming, teaching, music and woodworking and language translating, lots of transporting children and teens. It also involves preaching each week, and participation in funerals, weddings, and other traditional pastoral duties, all aimed at introducing people to Jesus.

> Their “mission” work consists of farming, teaching, music and woodworking and language translating, lots of transporting children and teens. It also involves preaching each week, and participation in funerals, weddings, and other traditional pastoral duties, all aimed at introducing people to Jesus. 
quaker 
march 2019
A bit of racism at Sidwell
Not cool: some students at the ritzy DC Quaker school made up racist usernames in a projected in-school discussion:

> School officials say several of the student’s usernames were racist toward Asians and Native Americans and two of the usernames included images of swastikas. As soon as the names and images were recognized the projector was turned off and the presentation was ended.

Not many of the students at Sidwell are Friends so it's highly unlikely that these were Quaker kids. But it's never good to hear of behavior like this.
quaker 
march 2019
What Does the Outside Say? - Brad Stocker
Also in Friends Journal's issue, "Outside the Meetinghouse," a piece from Brad Stocker of Miami Meeting in Florida:

> Most Friends have an understanding of the architectural message that our meetinghouses express. We understand the simplicity of the structure. We understand the reason there are no steeples or crosses on the outside and why we have clear windows placed so as to invite the light to enter. We are equally sensitive to interior design. While we come into frequent, intimate contact with the meetinghouse exterior, and the land it sits on, we may be less aware of the message they convey.

There may be a little whiplash to talk about butterfly gardens after the recent article on [Quaker worship from prison](https://www.quakerranter.org/never-having-set-foot-in-the-meetinghouse/) but I like the intentionality of Stocker's observations: we are always making statements with the care (or non-care) of our physical space. Miami's the kind of coastal city where climate change is very much not a theoretical issue and Stocker is very involved in his yearly meeting's earthcare education initiatives. The meetinghouse grounds are a place to model good stewardship; taking the care to have them be inviting and quietly demonstrative of Quaker values is important outreach.
quaker 
march 2019
Young Friends in UK write a Trans and Non-binary Statement
This seems partly in response to controversies around anti-trans feminists booking Quaker meetinghouses for talks.

> YFGM aims to be a welcoming and accessible space for people of all gender identities where people feel included and oppressive behaviour is not accepted. We recognise we have further work to do including some more immediate changes, and creating space to nurture deeper cultural changes within both YFGM and the wider Society of Friends.
quaker 
march 2019
Never Having Set Foot in the Meetinghouse
Yohannes "Knowledge" Johnson is a member of Bulls Head—Oswego Meeting even though he has never set foot in the meetinghouse. He hasn't because he's been a guest of the New York State prison system for almost forty years for murder and attempted murder of cab drivers in 1980. Johnson talks about how he centers and participates despite the walls and bars surrounding him:

> Centering is always a welcome challenge, for, as one would expect, prison can be a noisy place and competing conversations can be overwhelming. What I do is draw myself into the pictures and focus upon the images and people therein. I have accompanying pictures of places visited by Friends and sent to me over the years with scenery that, for me as a person raised on the concrete pavements of New York City, gives me visions of natural beauty without the clutter of building structures and the like.
quaker 
march 2019
Another Quaker(ish) president?
Because the Quaker presidential track record is so distinguished (Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon) maybe it's time to put another Quaker into the Oval Office. John Hickenlooper, former governor of Colorado and raised a Friend in the Philly suburbs, has thrown his hat into the ring.

Back in 2010 he told the Philadelphia Inquirer [he and his wife were regular meeting attenders](https://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/20101027_On_campaign_trail_with_John_Hickenlooper__Pennsylvania_native_running_for_Colorado_governor.html) living "Quaker values" but when Friends Journal reached out to him a few years ago it sounded like he no longer identified as a Friend.
quaker 
march 2019
Trustworthy, part one: the cost of betrayal
Johan Maurer on abuses in our meetings:

> As far as I know, the final settlement in that case was never made public. In a larger sense, the "final settlement" demanded by God's grace and justice will never be measured in dollars, but there is something satisfying about knowing that money was involved: almost nothing slices through pious misdirection or sophistry like cold cash. But it's also true that cash doesn't cut deeply enough.

I'm still unconvinced we're all doing enough to bring daylight to skeletons in our closets or healing to victims. Lawsuits make everyone clam up, yet they too often seem to be the only mechanism for shedding light on the situation in the first place.
quaker 
march 2019
A 12-step program for world peace
Bob Dockhorn, my predecessor as Friends Journal senior editor, has been doing a lot of writing since he's retired and one of his big projects involves a vision of a world free of its addiction to violence. Somewhere in the process he lost a step (there's only 11).

> Having been raised a Friend, I assume a hopeful stance toward the future. Unlike many others, we generally presume that the human world is not meant to be adversarial. Even decision making by voting is rejected among Friends as unnecessarily confrontational. Friends participate in local and national elections, but often with misgivings since these contests, lawmaking, and even courts can be settings in which privilege is preserved and fought for.

> One evening a few years ago, as I sat in silence at Southampton (Pa.) Meeting, my attention turned to a 12‐Step poster on the wall, left behind by a Narcotics Anonymous group that meets weekly in our space. As I stared at it, I experienced a flash of insight—that our entire culture is addicted to competition and violence.

I appreciate how the steps start simply ("Clear One's Presumptions," "Access Multiple Sources of Information") and then build into proposals that seem pie-in-the-sky "(Transform Military Institutions," "Implement World Government"), especially with current world trends. But that's the nature of a journey: it starts with steps but maintains vision toward a destination.
quaker 
february 2019
Brian Drayton: One cost of our theological diversity
Responding to articles in the December Friends Journal:

> Rather I am aware that a certain level of fellowship or companionship is missing. It can take a lifetime, I find, to explore the implications and meaning of the gospel life, to experience such a renewing of the mind that one can grow into the life of Christ, see and learn to honor the Sophia of God, the Logos in its appearing in humans, and in creation, and in ourselves in our measure. Fellowship with others who are following that same path ( a path “traditionally held by Friends”) is nourishing, stimulating, and educative in, well, particular ways. Fellowship with earnest seekers who understand their paths differently is also precious, and indeed necessary — but not the same.
quaker 
february 2019
Evangelistic malpractice
Johan Maurer on starting fresh in a corner of the Quaker world:

> I was grateful that the "who" question was there -- testifying that we are not centered on ourselves, dutifully inventorying our Quaker markers. For me, evangelism (paying urgent attention to the "who") puts all those other testimonies in perspective. All those testimonies are "signs and wonders," qualities of the Light by which we as the Body of Christ participate in making Jesus visible.
quaker 
february 2019
Keeping cradle Quakers by making room to lean in? | Brigid, Fox, and Buddha
Rhiannon Grant asks what's the opposite of a Rumspringa?

> So my questions for Quakers are: How do you ensure that adults are trusted to be adults even if they are under 30? How do you make sure that people are given opportunities to take responsibility without feeling that they must perform especially well because they are representing a whole demographic?

Here in the U.S., the trick to getting on national committees while young (at least when I was trying it in my 20s) was having a well-known mom. As someone who kept knocking and kept getting turned away it blew me away when I heard Quaker-famous offspring complain how they were always being asked to serve on committees. But then I realized it was the same tokenizing phenomenon, just in reverse. So our work isn't just looking around a room and ticking off demographic boxes, but really digging deeper and seeing if we're representative of multiple diversities. And if we're not, the problem isn't just that we aren't diverse (which is a fine value in and of itself but ultimately tokenizing) but that we have unexamined practices and selection systems that are systematically turning away qualified people.
quaker 
february 2019
Poking pigs?
Bucks County, Pa., Friend Norval Reece has a piece on fake and real news, with a great line from his mother:

> Polls and analysts confirm a growing trend for people to tune in almost exclusively to those news sources which reinforce their own opinions and condemn the others — regardless of quality, the use of facts, opinion, bias, and misinformation. Experts call this “source bias.” My straight-talking Quaker mother referred to it as “people trying to sell you a pig in a poke” — people trying to convince you of a point of view by giving you limited or false information, trying to sell you a pig in a bag when you can’t see it or examine it. Communist countries and dictatorships are masters at this.
quaker 
february 2019
‘My ministry is the jokes and kittens’ | The Friend
<i>The Friend</i> editor Joseph Jones interviews best-selling Quaker author Bridget Collins. One of my favorite part is the balance between discipline and waiting inspiration:

> On a day-to-day basis my biggest struggle – if I’m finding it hard to find the words – is over whether I need to wait for inspiration to come, or whether I’m just being lazy and underprepared. Whether I’m letting fear or procrastination stop me. The Quaker method has a lot to say to that. You know, you wait in silence and if it doesn’t come then it doesn’t come. But also you have to be disciplined, and prepared, for that to work
quaker 
january 2019
What is our vocation?
From Johan Maurer, a return to a question he first pondered twelve years ago: do Quakers have a vocation among the larger body of Christians? There's lots of good observations about our spiritual gifts, like this one:

> A community empowered by spiritual gifts is not culturally narrow. This assertion is backed by vast hopes and very little experience. Many Friends meetings and churches yearn for cultural and racial diversity, but seem to be stuck arguing about theoretical ideals rather than choosing to examine hurdles: location, unintended or unexamined "we-they" messages (no matter how benevolent or progressive the intention), and a tendency to see non-members as objects of service rather than co-equal participants already part of "us" in God's story. But most of all, I believe that spiritual power unites while cerebral analysis divides.
quaker 
january 2019
Life after Death
Rhiannon Grant on Liberal Quakers' view on the afterlife:

> Spending some more time with this idea, including during Meeting for Worship, I realised that I actually have a strong intuition against there being any form of life after death. Not only do I not think that any life which may or may not occur after death should affect my actions now (I don’t do things because I want to get into heaven or generate good karma for my next life, and nor do I accept eschatological verification), I actively think it’s unlikely, even impossible, that such a thing exists.

Friends Journal devoted an issue to [The Art of Dying and the Afterlife](https://www.friendsjournal.org/2017/art-of-dying/) a few years ago, including an [introduction I wrote](https://www.friendsjournal.org/among-friends-understanding-death-life/).
quaker 
january 2019
Lost Bayard Rustin interview
The Making Gay History podcast featuring Quaker Civil Rights Bayard Rustin is available now:

> The challenge we faced in telling Rustin’s story in a Making Gay History episode was the apparent absence of any recordings where he talked about his experiences as a gay man.  But thanks to the dogged researching efforts of Sara Burningham and the generosity of Rustin’s surviving partner, Walter Naegle, who recorded and saved the rare interviews Rustin gave on the subject of his sexuality, we’re able to bring this aspect of Rustin’s experience to life through his own voice.
quaker 
january 2019
Top 10 Quakers in fiction
Although the title gives potential readers the impression that this is yet another click-bait listicle, the article is by a Quaker novelist and starts with nice observations about Friends and creativity:

> In the light of our high ideals, it can be hard for individual Quakers not to feel inadequate. I certainly do. We’re exhorted to “let our lives speak”, and I often feel like my life doesn’t have much to say. But I am a writer. As a community that listens patiently for the truth, Quakers provide a unique place for creativity. The faith that can sit through hours of Meeting – through boredom, frustration, distraction – is the same thing that keeps me going when I’m struggling for my next idea. We worship in silence, but we’re waiting for words, which somehow gives me faith that, if I wait in front of a blank page for long enough, the right story will come.
quaker 
january 2019
In Newly Found Audio, A Forgotten Civil Rights Leader Says Coming Out 'Was An Absolute Necessity'
Wow, this should be interesting! The [podcast series intro is all we have so far](https://makinggayhistory.com/podcast/season-4-introduction/) but this NPR piece is dishing some of the details of what we'll hear when this episode airs:

> Despite the risks, Rustin felt it was his responsibility to be open about his sexuality. He traces that duty back to an experience he had as a black man in the 1940s Jim Crow South, when he took his place at the back of a segregated bus.

> "As I was going by the second seat to go to the rear, a white child reached out for the ring necktie I was wearing and pulled it," he recalled in the newly released audio. "Whereupon its mother said, 'Don't touch a n*****.' "

> As Rustin tells it, here's what ran through his mind in that moment after the white woman called him the slur: "If I go and sit quietly at the back of that bus now, that child, who was so innocent of race relations that it was going to play with me, will have seen so many blacks go in the back and sit down quietly that it's going to end up saying, 'They like it back there, I've never seen anybody protest against it.' "

Rustin was fired from his work with organizations like the Fellowship of Reconciliation and he often had to work semi-anonymously behind the scenes. The famous March on Washington that we remember for Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech was Rustin's idea.

One of his catch-phrases in speeches was that we should "speak truth to power." When he worked with the American Friends Service Committee to write the famous 1955 pamphlet of that name, not only wasn't he not listed as one of the authors, but the others concocted some ridiculous story about the phrase being some ancient Quaker saying. Shameful. I really want to listen to his story and can't wait for the podcast!
quaker 
january 2019
A profile of William Penn by Andrew Murphy
Murphy is a political science prof in New Jersey and has written a new bio of William Penn. I suspect this Aeon post is a bit of sponsored content to promote the book but it's still worth a read:

> Penn was a man of paradoxical qualities. He espoused a radically egalitarian Quaker theology, insisting that something divine resided within each individual, yet he owned slaves on his American estate. He praised representative institutions such as parliament and the jury system, but spent years in hiding for his loyalty to an absolutist king. ‘I am like to be an adopted American,’ he wrote shortly after arriving in Pennsylvania in 1682, but spent only four of his remaining 36 years there. And he was chronically incapable of managing money, spending eight months in an English debtors’ prison in his 60s, even while his colony quickly became a commercial success.
quaker 
january 2019
Trustworthy Friends
Johan Maurer has put together a survey for Friends to talk about setting up trustworthy churches:

> A lot of Quaker energy has gone into reassuring skeptics and wounded refugees that we Friends are not like "those people," referring to the zealots, authoritarians, and religious entrepreneurs who have sometimes given faith a bad name. But what are we affirmatively promising? And how do we increase our capacity to keep our promises and become more trustworthy?
quaker 
january 2019
A Racially Diverse Society of Friends?
The January issue of *Friends Journal* is online. I wrote the intro this month so I'll just [quote myself](https://www.friendsjournal.org/cautious-hope/):

> In recent years, a number of Black Friends Journal contributors have shared heartbreaking stories of not feeling welcome in Quaker circles. As we planned this issue, we self‐consciously added a question mark to the end of its title—“A Racially Diverse Society of Friends?” The choice of punctuation hints at a certain weariness—are we really still asking this?—along with the suggestion that maybe many Friends are content enough with the status quo that they might simply answer “no” to a call for diversity.
quaker 
january 2019
Sin, corruption, temptation and distraction
Patricia Dallmann on the role of sin:

> It is better to see the sin of the world as uniform and single rather than to view its manifestations as particular properties belonging to specific corrupted persons. That is to say, in its uniformity, the world’s sin is more like an expanse of mud than it is like separate rocks situated at intervals in a field! Seeing sin as a uniform force helps the intellect direct the incensive power toward sin itself, and away from particular offenders who have succumbed to and embody demonic power.

I like how she pulls from fourth-century spiritual texts but uses them as a way to understand our own modern-day psychological responses. Modern Friends don't often explore the dynamics of sin and I think we sometimes lose out by simply discounting it. The language of temptation—and the Quaker interpretation by early ministers like Samuel Bownas--has helped me understand moments when the easy path of acclaim is not necessarily the right choice.
quaker 
january 2019
Humor in Religion
I'm a little nervous soliciting Quaker humor but it's become part of my job description... Friends Journal is devoting a whole issue to "Humor in Religion" next April. The writing deadline is January 7. A frightfully serious list of things we're looking for is below.
quaker 
december 2018
2019 FGC Gathering workshops announced
It's that time of year: FGC's announced the workshop listings for its annual Gathering, starting at the end of June at Grinnell College in Iowa.

There are 48 workshops to choose from this year, which is about the normal number for recent years. I used Archive.org to look back and the biggest year I could dig up was 2006, when 73 workshops were offered. Gathering attendance has dropped since then but I also suspect 73 selections were a bit ambitious. The current normal is more suited to the Gathering size. There are lots of familiar workshop leaders. Are there any that stand out for you? Fell free to drop recommendations (or promote your own workshop if you're doing one!) in the comment section.
quaker 
december 2018
QuakerSpeak Staff Picks
What's your favorite QuakerSpeak? To celebrate the QuakerSpeak video series' fifth anniversary, project director Jon Watts asked the Friends Journal staff to pick their favorite videos. What would be your favorite QuakerSpeak?
quaker 
december 2018
A Space for Doubt
Features on *Friends Journal* this week, Jeff Rasley's article on "stealth worshipers" and religious doubt in the professional clergy:

> Because I went to seminary, I came to know quite a few Christian ministers. As an attorney, I represented several churches and Christian ministers in legal matters. Several ministers of Protestant denominations and two Catholic priests came clean with me about their personal beliefs. I discovered that when they were not “on,” many pastors would admit to the same doubts about the dogmas and superstitions of their churches as I had about mine.

December's issue is on Christianity and there are opinions on various sides of the issue but Rasley's piece gets right to a core strength of Liberal Quakerism: its ability to so easily invite and engage with those unsure of their beliefs. Because of family, I get to a lot of non-Quaker services a lot and wonder how many of the people around me aren't following their church's teachings on various issues. One way of ordering Christian denominations is to see if they prefer a tidy and pure but small congregation or a messy big tent come-as-you-are congregation.

It seems like Quakers are taking something of a different path: come but follow your own integrity and engage in the way that honors whatever level of truth has been given you. It's a pretty powerful stance, though of course it gives us our own special set of headaches when it comes time to speaking in a collective voice.
quaker 
december 2018
Genesis: Outer Space and Inner Light, by
John A. Minahan has written this week's featured Friends Journal article, a nicely paced exploration that touches on personal memoir, human milestones, cultural memory, and the Book of Genesis:

> Now the astronauts had used that same rhetorical strategy but on a planetary and even interplanetary scale. Speaking the words of Genesis, they sent a message of healing to a wounded world; they expressed a certain cosmic humility about our place in the universe; and, most of all, they shared goodwill, jaw‐dropping in its simplicity, with “all of you on the good earth.” A moral and existential vision took hold of me in that moment and has never let go. Though I couldn’t have articulated it as such then, it was a realization of original goodness.
quaker 
november 2018
UK Quakers will not profit from the occupation of Palestine
British Friends become first church in UK to pull investments in companies profiting from the occupation of Palestine. From recording clerk Paul Parker:

> As Quakers, we seek to live out our faith through everyday actions, including the choices we make about where to put our money. We believe strongly in the power of legitimate, nonviolent, democratic tools such as morally responsible investment to realise positive change in the world. We want to make sure our money and energies are instead put into places which support our commitments to peace, equality and justice.

As you'd might expect, there's been backlash. The [Board of Deputies of British Jews](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Board_of_Deputies_of_British_Jews) has [condemned Britain Yearly Meeting's decision as a "biased and petulant act."](https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/quaker-boycott-divestment-israel-palestine-profit-from-occupation-board-of-deputies-1.472765).
quaker 
november 2018
New eBook “Remixing Faith” Now Available
From Wess Daniels:
> I have put this talk together in ebook form complete with lots of pictures and illustrations and formatting that adds to the reading experience. I wanted to share this with all of you and make it as accessible as possible, so it is free to download. It should work with most modern-day eBook readers and apps. If that doesn’t work for you, I have also turned the talk into a downloadable .PDF.
Quaker 
november 2018
Mike Shell reviews book reviews
Okay, it's not quite so referential: Mike's lifting up three books in September's _Friends Journal_ book columns that "help 'white' readers go deeper into self-awareness about the hidden dynamics of racism." He also tells a little of his own story of color-blindness.

> When my “white” friends said I couldn’t bring my “black” best friend to their lunch table, I shrugged and sat with him at a “black” table. On the minus side, when someone in the school parking lot shouted nigger lover, and my friend wanted to fight, I just told him I didn’t mind the insult. That was probably my first seriously hurtful act of “white color-blindness.” It took me decades to realize, to my shame, that it was he who was being insulted, not me.
quaker 
november 2018
Quakerspeisungen and an Oscar Schindler connection
This week marks the hundred-year anniversary of the end of the "Great War," World War I, branded as the war to end all wars. Our annual commemoration of the armistice in the U.S. largely went by the wayside in 1954 when Congress changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Instead of marking the end of a horrific war that literally consumed much of European resources and people for years in trenches that never moved, we now spend the day filling lectures with cliches of military service.

But the hundred year anniversary also means we can start remembering the aftermath of the war. The First World War set up the second. We largely think of the mistakes and half-efforts of the victorious powers but Quakers were part of more righteous storyline:

> Even more food was sent by American Quakers under the leadership of Herbert Hoover, providing daily meals for 60,0000 starving Berliners for five years. The Germans labelled this massive effort, Quakerspeisungen: “Quaker Feedings.” It saved thousands of lives, including those of the family of Oscar Schindler who famously went on to help 700 Jews to escape the gas chambers at Auschwitz in the Second World War. Schindler’s sisters spent six months recuperating with the Hall family and one even attended Thirsk Grammar School for a term.

Friends Journal Bonuses: Quaker work in Germany in the 1920s and 30s was the subject of[Quakers in Germany during and after the World Wars](https://www.friendsjournal.org/2010034/) from 2010. Relief efforts in Spain were part of a more recent story that tied it to present-day refugee assistance in [Gota de Leche](https://www.friendsjournal.org/gota-de-leche/).
quaker 
november 2018
Political queries from an almost-Quaker
Timothy Taylor on radical objectivity:

> But near what feels like an especially divisive election day, it seems worth posing his insights as a challenge for all of our partisan beliefs. While I am not a member of the Religious Society of Friends, I attended a college with Quaker roots and married a 22nd-generation Quaker. The Quakers have a term called a "query," which refers to a question--sometimes a challenging or pointed question-- that is meant to be used as a basis for additional reflection.

His list isn't really in the style of classic Quaker queries (surprise). It's the modern style of leading questions that get called queries. Too often this form ends up being a rather transparent attempt to impose a kind of political orthodoxy but Taylor's questions feel refreshingly challenging and useful for whatever side or non-side one takes in politics. .

Hattip to [Doug Bennet](https://riverviewfriend.wordpress.com) for the link.
quaker 
november 2018
Anointing
Mike Farley, of _Silent Assemblies_, writes of an early Quaker interpretation of anoiting:

> I have been struck by the word “anointing”. Elizabeth Bathurst (as quoted by David Johnson) wrote: "But I brought them the scriptures, and told them there was an anointing within man to teach him, and the Lord would teach them himself." We are not very used, I think, to the term among Friends today. Among charismatic Christians it is much more common, and seems to be used in both the sense of being given spiritual gifts... But I think Elizabeth Bathurst, following the apostle John, as she says, is using the word in a slightly different sense to either of these, and it is a sense we as Quakers should recognise.
quaker 
november 2018
The Doctrine of Discovery, white guilt, and Friends
Johan Maurer starts with "it's complicated" and goes on from there. A passage I find particularly interesting is his explanation of why looking at large-scale state-level atrocities like the stealing of native land or the kidnapping of millions of Africans is not just something to be done out of guilt:

> Whether you believe in an intelligent Satan (along the lines of Peter Wagner's ideas) or a more impersonal mechanism of demonic evil (Walter Wink), we shouldn't pretend that such nodes just go away. Their evil persists. The basis for apology and repentance is not white guilt or shame or any form of self-flagellation. Instead, it is to conduct spiritual warfare against the demons of racism and oppression and false witness, to declare them off-limits in the land that we now share, so that we can conduct our future stewardship—and make our public investments— in freedom and mutual regard.

I'm drawn to the old notion of "The Tempter" as a force that leads us to do what's personally rewarding rather than morally just. I think it explains a lot of internal struggles I've faced, even in simple witnesses. As Johan says, these massive injustices can't just be undone but they need to be recognized for the immensity of their scale. I've also seen this weird way in which progressive whites can blithely disregard Native American perspectives on these issues. Listening more and waiting for complicated answers seems essential in my opinion.
quaker 
november 2018
The freedom to seek sanctuary
From Lucy Duncan at the American Friends Service Commitee:

> What if, instead of characterizing folks seeking home as “threats” or “invaders,” we understood them to be our neighbors, that our futures are interlocked and that how they are treated is connected to the well-being of us all? What if we understood love as not constrained by borders or walls, but abundant, and that caring for one another and those most violated by systemic oppression is the pathway toward liberation for us all? What if we, as people of conscience and faith, greeted the migrants at the border as our brothers, sisters, and kin, opened our homes and communities to them, and greeted them as resourceful contributors to figuring out the planetary threats we currently face together?
quaker 
november 2018
Origins of the Check-In (Quakers)
Over on Medium, consultant Jim Ralley looks to Quakers for the original of the faciliatator's check-in:

> The ‘check-in’ is a fundamental element in the repertoire of a facilitator. There’s no better way to start a session and get everyone present, and there’s no faster way to discover what’s going on under the surface of a group. It’s such a simple an effective process tool that I figured it must have a rich and well-documented history. But it’s proved quite tricky to research, partly because its name is shared with the hotel and airline industries, but partly also, I suspect, because of its simplicity.

> Where to start? With such a basic human process, the line through history will surely be tangled and confused. But, for the sake of starting somewhere, I’ll start with the Quakers.

I've left a comment on the post with missing links. I'll leave a version of it here. Regular readers will predict that I'll start with Rachel Davis DuBois, the New Jersey-born Friend who put together racial reconciliation groups in the mid-20th century. She later turned some of the process into “Dialogue Groups” in the mid-1960s and traveled the U.S. teaching them; these evolved into modern [Quaker worship sharing](https://www.friendsjournal.org/60th-anniversary-worship-sharing-comes-to-friends/) and [clearness committees](https://www.quakerranter.org/not-ancient-quaker-clearness-committee/).

Those late-60s processes were picked up by the younger Friends, who (no surprise) were also into antiwar activism and communitarian politics. They were codified and secularized by the [Movement for a New Society](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movement_for_a_New_Society), which started in Philadelphia in the early 70s but had communities all over the Western world. Much of their work was focused on training people in their style of group process and a lot of our facilitator tools these days are disseminated MNS tools. Many MNS’ers were involved with Quakers and many more filtered back into the Religious Society of Friends in later years.

A lot of this relatively recent history has been forgotten. Many Quakers will tell you these things all date from the very start of the Friends movement. There’s definitely through-lines and echos and inspirations through our history but I’d love to see us appreciate Rachel Davis DuBois and the people who made some very useful adaptations that have helped Quakers continue to evolve and (almost) thrive.
quaker 
october 2018
In the New Yorker, an article on atheism leads with a Daniel Seeger's 1965 Supreme Court case.
A review of two books on atheism starts with the take of Dan Seeger, who's landmark Supreme Court case extended the right to conscientious objector status to agnostics and atheists:

> Daniel Seeger was twenty-one when he wrote to his local draft board to say, “I have concluded that war, from the practical standpoint, is futile and self-defeating, and from the more important moral standpoint, it is unethical.” Some time later, he received the United States Selective Service System’s Form 150, asking him to detail his objections to military service. It took him a few days to reply, because he had no answer for the form’s first question: “Do you believe in a Supreme Being?” Unsatisfied with the two available options—“Yes” and “No”—Seeger finally decided to draw and check a third box: “See attached pages.”

> Seeger’s victory helped mark a turning point for a minority that had once been denied so much as the right to testify in court, even in their own defense. Atheists, long discriminated against by civil authorities and derided by their fellow-citizens, were suddenly eligible for some of the exemptions and protections that had previously been restricted to believers.

Daniel Seeger has written for and been featured in the pages of _Friends Journal_ many times over the ensuing decades but last year he wrote a great feature for us about the court case,
[An AFSC Defense of the Rights of Conscience](https://www.friendsjournal.org/conscientious-objection-seeger/). A tip of the hat to Carol Holmes Alpern for sending this _New Yorker_ article way!
quaker 
october 2018
Michael Tsai - Blog - Safari Technology Preview Adds Dark Mode CSS
Safari Technology Preview Release 68 is now available for download for macOS Mojave and macOS High Sierra. The prefers-color-scheme media feature is used to detect if the user has requested the system use a light or dark color theme.
pocket 
october 2018
Nuts and Bolts of Prime and TPM – Talking Points Memo
A TPM Reader wrote in on Friday and asked a simple, but for me, unexpected question: what do the fees for Prime pay for? Not in the sense of what do you get but what do we use the subscription fees for? This question caught me off-guard because to me the answer is obvious: everything.
pocket 
october 2018
Staple History: Maybe Royalty Wasn’t Involved
On the market for some new gadgets? Give GearBest a quick look; they always have some offbeat gems. Click this link and use the code GBCNA to get a 14 percent discount on computers and peripherals. Wanna advertise here? Check out this page to learn more.
pocket 
october 2018
The Young Quaker Podcast: S2E1 - Shaping society and The Society: young Quakers and the future
Welcome to the Young Quaker Podcast! This episode we’re talking about young Quakers and how we can and are shaping the future of Quakerism. Below you can find a list of links mentioned in the podcast, as well as a mini glossary of any Quaker terms that were used in this episode. Enjoy!
pocket 
october 2018
Six Questions with Trew Knowledge – WordPress.com VIP: Enterprise content management platform
Ready to get started? Tell us about your needs Let us lead the way. We’ll help you select a top tier development partner. We’ll train your developers, operations, infrastructure, and editorial teams. We’ll coarchitect your deployment processes. We will provide live support for peak events.
pocket 
october 2018
YETI Presents: Cowtown - YouTube
Saturday nights in Pilesgrove, NJ promise a stacked lineup of bucking broncos, raging bulls, and some gasp-worthy moments in-between. But behind the stadium lights and hollering of the crowd, you’ll find the Harris family. Through three generations, they’ve made Cowtown Rodeo the longest running
pocket 
october 2018
“It Is Really Hard to Know What is Real” - Nieman Reports
They are not subscribing to newspapers. They are not watching television news. They seem to be on social media apps pretty much constantly, without much regard for the “grown-up” world of politics and policy. Perhaps, they are just, well, news-less.
pocket 
october 2018
Donate Plasma. Get Paid. Save Lives. | B Positive Plasma
B Positive National Blood Services was established in 2010 with the purpose of collecting high quality plasma and other blood products to be used in the creation of life-saving therapies.
pocket 
october 2018
Elvis Costello, Carole King and a Song 20 Years in the Making - The New York Times
Two decades ago, Elvis Costello and Carole King kept running into each other at a Japanese restaurant in Manhattan. “It was the lure of the sea urchin,” Costello said.
pocket 
october 2018
YouTube, Reddit, and the Ever-Tightening Orthodoxy of the Rabbit Hole | WIRED
You want the real windows into someone's soul? Look at their Reddit subscriptions. It's all there: their passions, their hobbies, their ideological leanings, their love of terrible haircuts and sublime anonymized cringe.
pocket 
october 2018
How Berea College Makes Tuition Free with its Endowment - The Atlantic
Berea College, in Kentucky, has paid for every enrollee’s education using its endowment for 126 years. Can other schools replicate the model? There’s a small burst of air that explodes from every clap.
pocket 
october 2018
An Unexpected Murder Ballad: The Hidden Meanings of Pop Music
The balloons originally weren't red. For a generation of kids who didn't grow up during the Cold War, the meaning behind the classic '80s protest song "99 Red Balloons" perhaps isn't so clear now.
pocket 
october 2018
The Glands Announces Unreleased Album, 'Double Coda' : All Songs Considered : NPR
Someone had to tell you about The Glands. No algorithms, no car commercials, no movie soundtracks (music supervisors really missed out on that one). In order to hear about one of the greatest indie-rock bands that never really made it past Athens, Ga.
pocket 
october 2018
The New PIA is Here! | Windows & MacOS Apps now available to users in our beta testing program! : PrivateInternetAccess
Scroll down, look for links to join the beta program on the right side. Follow the instructions to install the new beta version.
pocket 
october 2018
Child marriage in the U.S. is surprisingly prevalent. Now states are passing laws to make it harder. - The Washington Post
It was the day of the birthday party, and the husband and wife had invited everyone they knew.
pocket 
october 2018
GD2md-html - Google Docs add-on
Drive add-on that converts a Google Doc to simple, readable Markdown or HTML. # gd2md-html Googe Docs add-on gd2md-html converts Google Docs to simple, readable Markdown or HTML.
pocket 
october 2018
302 Found
Last week we detailed the camera hardware changes of the iPhone XS vs. the iPhone X, and I wondered why Apple’s keynote focused on changes in camera software rather than the new hardware. After testing the iPhone XS cameras for the last week, I get it.
pocket 
october 2018
Zero Degrees of Empathy - YouTube
Professor Simon Baron Cohen presents a new way of understanding what it is that leads individuals down negative paths, and challenges all of us to consider replacing the idea of evil with the idea of empathy-erosion.Listen to the full audio: http://www.thersa.org/events/audio-an...
pocket 
october 2018
2018 Westheimer Peace Symposium
Yesterday, today, tomorrow... every day in the United States, more than 115 people lose their lives in the wake of an opioid overdose. Each death tears a hole in the community, as people lose spouses, children, parents, friends, coworkers, and more.
pocket 
september 2018
Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford, and the World of 1982 - The Atlantic
We are invited now to consider the late adolescence and early young manhood of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. It seems to be a trajectory that follows a classic pattern, familiar to us from literature as well as from its pale reflection, life.
pocket 
september 2018
Exclusive: WhatsApp Cofounder Brian Acton Gives The Inside Story On #DeleteFacebook And Why He Left $850 Million Behind
hatsApp cofounder Brian Acton, 46, sits in a cafe of the glitzy Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto, California, and the only way you’d guess he might be worth $3.6 billion is the $20 tip he briskly leaves for his coffee.
pocket 
september 2018
How to stop Chrome running in the background
With the changes to Chrome 69 (Chrome 69.0.3497.81 to be precise), Google pushed out a change which stealthily signs you into the Chrome application. This means that all your browsing habits can (and Google say they’re not currently profiling people) be logged, even when not using Chrome.
pocket 
september 2018
How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump | The New Yorker
Donald Trump has adopted many contradictory positions since taking office, but he has been unwavering on one point: that Russia played no role in putting him in the Oval Office.
pocket 
september 2018
Affair at Cedar Bridge, Last Battle of the Revolutionary War, Courtesy of PineyPower
The Burlington Militia of the Patriot forces was led by Captain Richard Shreve. On Christmas Day, he left Burlington with several horsement, his sights set on Captain Bacon. After searching for 2 days, they stopped at Cedar Bridge Tavern on their way back to Burlington.
pocket 
september 2018
Society Hill’s ‘Hail, Columbia’ house from 18th century asks $2.4M - Curbed Philly
An 18th-century home where the country’s original national anthem was composed has hit the market for $2.4 million, wowing with its rich history and old-world charm.
pocket 
september 2018
Twitter
Here's a pretty cool shortcut idea: use HDMI-CEC (if your TV supports it) to turn on your TV and switch input to the TV. Use the Apple TV IP address and serial number to do this. "Hey Siri, turn on Apple TV"
pocket 
september 2018
Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong - The Huffington Post
From the 16th century to the 19th, scurvy killed around 2 million sailors, more than warfare, shipwrecks and syphilis combined.
pocket 
september 2018
iPhone XS Camera Review: Zanzibar — Austin Mann
Mambo vipi (what’s up) from Zanzibar! I’m here capturing an amazing Ker & Downey experience at Asilia’s Matemwe Lodge and have been testing the iPhone XS along the way. When I learned about the new camera upgrades this year, I was a little underwhelmed.
pocket 
september 2018
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