Quote of the Week Archive

Weekly Bulletin Cover Quote

And so, I find it well to come

For deeper rest to this still room

For here the habit of the soul

Feels less the outer world’s control:

The strength of mutual purpose pleads

More earnestly our common needs:

And from the silence multiplied

By these still forms on either side,

The world that time and sense have known

Falls off and leaves us God alone.

 

-- John Greenleaf Whittier

Quote of the Week (04/14/24)

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality." Carl Sagan 

Quote of the Week (04/07/24)

For the real difference between happiness and joy

is that one is grounded in this world, the other in

eternity. Happiness cannot encompass suffering

and evil. Joy can. Happiness depends on the

present. Joy leaps into the future and

triumphantly creates a new present out of it.

~ Elise Boulding, 1920-2010

Quote of the Week (03/31/24)

Another name for God is surprise

David Steindl-Rast

Quote of the Week (03/24/24)

The belief that divinity exists in each human soul dominates the Quaker movement and it is the bedrock of Quaker education. Despite the inevitable compromises and flaws found in every Friends school, Quaker education still seeks to draw out, nurture, and protect the dignity of human personality.
Earl G. Harrison, Jr., 1981

Quote of the Week (03/17/24)

“A little flower that blooms in May. A lovely sunset at the end of a day. Someone helping a stranger along the way. That’s heaven to me.”

Sam Cooke

Quote of the Week (03/10/24)

“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”

Michelle Obama

Quote of the Week (03/03/24)

We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other … but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound.

Edward Burrough, 1659

Quote of the Week (02/25/24)

Psalm 30:11, NIV

You turned my wailing into dancing

Quote of the Week (02/18/24)

Faith and Practice 2018, Extracts on Faith, 249
We cannot set up a religion for our children, nor can we impose a religious authority on them. Each child must be free to seek his own spiritual reality. As parents we can, nevertheless, do those things which deepen children’s awareness of God and of the human love surrounding them. Harriet Heath, 1994 

Quote of the Week (02/11/24)

“The very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being.” 

Toni Morrison

Quote of the Week (02/04/24)

Love recognizes no barries. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. Maya Angelou

Quote of the Week (01/28/24)

We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love and unity; it is our desire that others’ feet may walk in the same, and do deny and bear our testimony against all strife, and wars

Margaret Fell, 1660

Quote of the Week (01/21/24)

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - C.S. Lewis

Quote of the Week (01/14/24) 

"We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience."

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1965

Quote of the Week (01/07/24) 

"The beauty of love is that in giving it away, you are left with more than you had before."
David Simon

Quote of the Week (12/31/23) 

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” —Mary Oliver, poet

Quote of the Week (12/24/23)

“Praise God in the highest heaven! Peace on earth and loving mercy towards all people!”

Luke 2:14

Quote of the Week (12/17/23)

O Spirit of that early day,
So pure and strong and true,
Be with us in the narrow way
Our faithful fathers knew.
Give strength the evil to forsake,
The cross of Truth to bear,
And love and reverent fear to make
Our daily lives a prayer!
~ John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807-1892

Quote of the Week (12/10/23)

This is the season when people of all faiths and cultures are pushing back against the planetary darkness. We string bulbs, ignite bonfires, and light candles. And we sing.
—Anita Diamant

Quote of the Week (12/03/23)

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

Quote of the Week (11/26/23)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings

A Leading does not come to us simply so we may have one. Eventually its inwardness takes outward form and affects the rest of the human community. When we are led to the truth it is so we may live by it and do something with it. But as the examples of seasoned Friends often show, the struggles over leadings do not cease, nor do the possibilities of outrunning one’s lead. The private leading must be tested against the experience and collective leading of the worshipping community, not only to check the excesses of the wilful or the mistaken, but also to give the support and strength of the religious community to what might otherwise be a lonely, ineffective witness. At its best, such testing strengthens the testimony of both the individual and the group. Very early in Quaker history, therefore, the community of faith had to find means to discern the true from the false leading and help the individual test [its] validity...

Quote of the Week (11/19/23)

I give you this one thought to keep – I am with you still – I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awake in the morning’s hush I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not think of me as gone – I am with you still – in each new dawn. 

Author unknown

Quote of the Week (11/12/23)

Be aware of the spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experience of your daily life. Spiritual learning continues throughout life, and often in unexpected ways. There is inspiration to be found all around us, in the natural world, in the sciences and arts, in our work and friendships, in our sorrows as well as in our joys. Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come? Do you approach new ideas with discernment?

Faith and Practice Britain

Quote of the Week (11/05/23)

“In the midst of death, life persists. In the midst of untruth, truth persists. In the midst of darkness, light persists.” - Mahatma Gandhi

Quote of the Week (10/29/23)

Paradoxically, life is worth living for those who have something for which they will gladly give up life.
A. J. Muste, 1885-1967

Quote of the Week (10/22/23)

“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take a step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.”
― Patrick Overton

Quote of the Week (10/15/23)

“Traveler, there are no paths. Paths are made by walking.”
– Australian Aboriginal Proverb

Quote of the Week (10/08/23)

Faith and Practice Britain, Questions and Counsel, 1988

Do you cherish that of God within you, so that love may grow in you and rule your life?

Quote of the Week (10/01/23)

How does a Quaker Meeting work? Its foundation is the conviction that God is not a distant remote being but a living presence to be discovered in the deep centre of every human being. … The Quaker experience is that, in the silence, as we are open to one another in love, we help each other by sharing our strengths and weaknesses. The Quaker conviction is that as we go deeper into ourselves we shall eventually reach a still, quiet centre. At this point two things happen simultaneously. Each of us is aware of our unique value as an individual human being, and each of us is aware of our utter interdependence on one another.

George Gorman, 1982

Quote of the Week (09/24/23)

We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.

Desmond Tutu

Quote of the Week (09/17/23)

The World We Seek

We seek a world 

free of war and the threat of war 

We seek a society 

with equity and justice for all 

We seek a community 

where every person’s potential may be fulfilled 

We seek an earth restored 

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)

Quote of the Week (09/10/23)

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

Quote of the Week (09/03/23)

The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present. The present contains all that there is. It is holy ground; for it is the past, and it is the future.

 

Alfred North Whitehead


Queries of the Week (08/27/23)


Suggested queries out of Meeting for Learning about Vocal Ministry 2021

Quote of the Week (08/20/23)

Who sees all beings in his own Self

and his own Self in all beings,

loses all fear.

The Isa Upanishad

Quote of the Week (08/13/23)

Who has made us able ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:6

Quote of the Week (08/06/23)

It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry

Queries of the Week (07/30/23)

Quote of the Week (07/23/23)

Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation, and it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace. Kofi Annan

Quote of the Week (07/16/23)

Faith and Practice, 2018: Faith Reflected in Practice and Daily Life – Friends and Education

Friends schools and colleges today seek to include students and staff from widely varied economic and ethnic backgrounds. Bringing together various traditions, experiences and perspectives in a common search for truth requires time, thought and genuine willingness to change, and offers the rewards of deeper understanding and a vital and inclusive community.

Quote of the Week (07/09/23)

“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.”

Laurie Halse Anderson (author of ‘speak’ and ‘shout’, which are both on the list of banned books)

Quote of the Week (07/02/23)

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barack Obama

Quote of the Week (06/25/23)

“There must be amidst all the confusions of the hour a tried and undisturbed remnant of persons who will not become purveyors of coercion and violence, who are ready to stand alone, if it is necessary, for the way of peace and love among men.”

Rufus Jones (1863-1948)

Quote of the Week (06/18/23)

The fullness of the godhead

dwelt in every blade of grass.

Elias Hicks, Traveling Quaker Minister (1748-1830)

Quote of the Week (06/11/23)

Faith and Practice, Britain

There is a part of us which from childhood is absolutely alone. When we fall in love we imagine we have found an ultimate assuagement of loneliness. This is not so. In a true marriage or a near friendship what in fact is found is a companion in loneliness.

Damaris Parker-Rhodes, 1977

Quote of the Week (06/04/23)

“The duty of the Society of Friends is to be the voice of the oppressed but [also] to be conscious that we ourselves are part of that oppression. Uncomfortably we stand with one foot in the kingdom of this world and with the other in the Eternal Kingdom.” – 
Eva I Pinthus, 1987

Quote of the Week (05/28/23)

“There never was a good war or a bad peace.” - Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society of London. July 1783. 

Quote of the Week (05/21/23)

From Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice:

Do we give prayerful support for our clerks that they may be sensitive to the movement of the Spirit among us?

Quote of the Week (05/14/23)

Motherhood brings you to your knees in a way that doesn’t leave room for you to judge others. 

It makes you see that there’s no ideal – a constant struggle, constantly compromising, but ultimate love.

- Maggie Gyllenhaal

Quote of the Week (05/07/23)

“Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.”
— Greta Thunberg

Quote of the Week (04/30/23)

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Washington Thurman

Quote of the Week (04/23/23)

Away, away, from men and towns,

To the wild wood and the downs, -

To the silent wilderness,

Where the soul need not repress its music.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822)

Query of the Week (04/16/23)

Do I explain to my children about the tragedies of war, economic deprivation, environmental degradation, and prejudice, while at the same time leaving them with a sense of opportunity and hopefulness?

Quote of the Week (04/09/23)

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.”

— Basil Hume

Quote of the Week (04/02/23)

“The Earth laughs in flowers.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Quote of the Week (03/26/23)

Perhaps it is this integrity, the concept of the wholeness of creation, that will jolt humanity onto a course of sustainability, which people may see as threatening at first. Of course change is often uncomfortable, but change is a must. We need to nurture ourselves and each other, but ultimately we need to nurture the earth—our mother.
Josephine Vallentine, 1991, Faith and Practice

Quote of the Week (03/19/23)

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

Stephen R. Covey

Quote of the Week (03/12/23)

Sense of the meeting is a gift. It came to the Quakers through their commitment to continuing revelation. They discovered that the Light which had come to teach the people could lead them to revealed corporate decisions. The Quakers cherished the gift (...). For some reason, present day Quakers seem intent upon rejecting sense of the meeting. Like a sparsely watered house plant it withers. Like exposed, unattended wood it weathers and disintegrates. Before we realize what has happened, sense of the meeting is gone and consensus has taken its place.

Beyond Consensus – Salvaging Sense of the Meeting, Barry Morley

Quote of the Week (03/05/23)

“I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love

the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign

language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now because

you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the

questions now. Perhaps then, someday far into the future, you will gradually without

even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Quote of the Week (02/26/23)

Revelation 7:9 (Modern English Version)

Then I looked. And there was a great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 

Quote of the Week (02/19/23)

“One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.'”

 Ibram X. Kendi

 

Quote of the Week (02/12/23)

Our true life lies at a great depth within us. Our restlessness and weaknesses are in reality merely stirrings of the surface. That is why we must daily retire in silence far into the quiet depths of our spirits, and experience the real life within us. If we do this, our words and actions will come to be real also. 

R. Tagore

 

Quote of the Week (02/05/23)

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

– Nelson Mandela

 

Quote of the Week (01/29/23)

“Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe”

Elie Wiesel

 

Quote of the Week (01/22/23)

For all dwelling in the light that comes from Jesus, it leads out of wars, leads out to strife, leads out of the occasion of wards, and leads out of the earth up to God, and out of earthly mindedness into heavenly mindedness.

George Fox, 1657

 

Quote of the Week (01/15/23)

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."

Martin Luther King, 1968

 

Query of the Week (01/08/23)

'Do you regard your time, talents, energy, money, material possessions, and other resources as gifts from the Divine, to be held in trust and shared according to the Light you are given? How do you witness to this conviction in your life?'

 

Quote of the Week (01/01/23)

When I behold your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars which you set in place-

what is humanity that you should be mindful of us?

Psalm 8:3-4

 

Quote of the Week (12/25/22)

For it is in giving that we receive. 

Francis of Assisi

 

Quote of the Week (12/18/22)

“... all Days are alike holy in the Sight of God.”

Robert Barclay (1648 – 1690)

 

Quote of the Week (12/11/22)

In all our fervor – in all my fervor – to be doing, have I paid too little attention to the power that lies in being? Do we remember that it is the spirit of our service, the aura that surrounds it, the gentleness and the patience that marks it, the love made visible that compels it, that is the truly distinctive quality that lifts Quaker service above lobbying, above pressure, above coercion, that inspires the doubtful, and reaches the heart of the adversary?

Stephen Cary, 1979

 

Queries of the Week (12/04/22)

Among the queries that came up at our Meeting for Learning in October 2021 about vocal ministry

 

Quote of the Week (11/27/22)

For the beauty of the earth,

For the glory of the skies,

For the love which from our birth

Over and around us lies;

Lord of all, to thee we raise

This is our hymn of grateful praise

 

Hymn by Folliot Pierpoint, 1864

 

Quote of the Week (11/20/22)

Gratitude (the free dictionary)

 Definition


Synonyms

 

Quote of the Week (11/13/22)

The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit..

Wade Davis, 2014

 

Query of the Week (11/06/22)

What does love require of you?

From Chapter 11 of Faith & Practice, New England Yearly Meeting.

 

Quote of the Week (10/30/22)

From an Epistle Issued by Yearly Meeting 1943 London Yearly Meeting, during the Second World War

All thoughtful men and women are torn at heart by the present situation. The savage momentum of war drags us all in its wake. We desire a righteous peace. Yet to attain peace it is claimed that, as Chungking, Rotterdam and Coventry were devastated, so the Eder and Moehne dams must needs be destroyed and whole districts of Hamburg obliterated. The people of Milan and Turin demonstrate for peace but the bombing continues. War is hardening our hearts. To preserve our sanity, we become apathetic. In such an atmosphere no true peace can be framed; yet before us we see months of increasing terror. Can those who pay heed to moral laws, can those who follow Christ submit to the plea that the only way is that demanded by military necessity? True peace involves freedom from tyranny and a generous tolerance; conditions that are denied over a large part of Europe and are not fulfilled in other parts of the world. But true Peace cannot be dictated, it can only be built in co-operation between all peoples. None of us, no nation, no citizen, is free from 

some responsibility for this situation with its conflicting difficulties. To the world in its confusion Christ came. Through him we know that God dwells with men and that by turning from evil and living in his spirit we may be led into his way of peace. That way of peace is not to be found in any policy of 'unconditional surrender' by whomsoever demanded. It requires that men and nations should recognise their common brotherhood, using the weapons of integrity, reason, patience and love, never acquiescing in the ways of the oppressor, always ready to suffer with the oppressed. In every country there is a longing for freedom from domination and war which men are striving to express. Now is the time to issue an open invitation to co-operate in creative peacemaking, to declare our willingness to make sacrifices of national prestige, wealth and standards of living for the common good of men.

The way of Christ is followed not by those who would be mighty and powerful, but by those who would serve. His peace for the world will be won by those who follow him in repentance and willingness to forgive.

 

Quote of the Week (10/23/22)

The leaves fall, fall as from far,

Like distant gardens withered in the heavens;

They fall with slow and lingering descent.

 

And in the nights the heavy Earth, too, falls

From out the stars into the Solitude.

 

Thus all doth fall. This hand of mine must fall

And lo! the other one: —it is the law.

But there is One who holds this falling

Infinitely softly in His hands.

 

Rainer Maria Rilke 1875-1926, translated from German by Jessie Lamont


Quote of the Week (10/16/22)

We see that the teachings of [the] divine spirit have been the same in all ages. It has led to truth, to goodness, to justice, to love. Love was as much held up among [the] old [Testament] writers, [the] old religious teachers, and as clearly set forth, as in the later days. Their testimony fell upon ears that heard not, upon eyes that saw not, because they had closed their eyes, shut their ears, and hardened their hearts. They had substituted something else for this divine light; this word, which … Moses declared to his people was “nigh unto them, in the mouth, and in the heart.” … Believe not, then, that all these great principles were only known in the day of the advent of the Messiah to the Jews—those beautiful effects of doing right.

Lucretia Mott, 1858

 

Quote of the Week (10/09/22)

Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrew 11:1

 

Query of the Week (10/02/22)

How do I show my concern for the improvement of public education in my community and in the world?

 

Quote of the Week (9/25/22)

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. Maya Angelou

 

Quote of the Week (9/18/22)

[Our] work is based on the thought that ‘What you have inherited from your forefathers you must acquire for yourselves to possess it’. That is to say that each generation of young Friends by its experiments must discover for itself the truths on which the Society is built if it is to use those truths and to continue and enlarge the work of the Society. Hence the occasional separate meetings of younger Friends and our desire to have means of expressing corporately our own experience.

Young Friends Committee, 1926

 

Quote of the Week (9/11/22)

“I am reminded of a lady of about my age who was asked by an earnest, little granddaughter the other day 'Granny, can you remember the Stone Age?' Whilst that may be going a bit far, the older generation are able to give a sense of context as well as the wisdom of experience which can be invaluable.”

Queen Elizabeth II

 

Queries of the Week (9/4/22)

Faith and Practice 2018

Quaker faith and practice can be compared and combined with a wide variety of other traditions: such as Buddhism, or ethical humanism. But we will find our deepest and fullest resonances with the biblical Christian traditions that nurtured early Friends and with the Jewish traditions that nurtured Jesus.

Douglas Gwyn, 2013

 

Queries of the Week (8/28/22)

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

Quote of the Week (8/21/22)

Prayer for Peace

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth

Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust

Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace

Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe...

 

Peace, Peace, Peace

 

Queries of the Week (8/14/22)

 

Quote of the Week (8/7/22)

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.

Thomas Carlyle

 

Quote of the Week (7/31/22)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 7th Month 24

If we are not free, generous, tolerant, if we are not up to or above the level of the age in good works, in culture and love of beauty, order and fitness, if we are not ready recipients of the truths of science and philosophy, - in a word, if we are not full-grown men and Christians, the fault is not in Quakerism, but in ourselves...

 

Quote of the Week (7/24/22)

 

Quote of the Week (7/17/22)

I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.

Anne Frank, 1942

 

Quote of the Week (7/10/22)

"We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever; and this is our testimony to the whole world. The spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ, nor for the kingdoms of this world."

Declaration of Friends to Charles II, 1660

 

Quote of the Week (7/3/22)

"In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and foolish build dams."

- Nigerian Proverb

 

Quote of the Week (6/26/22)

What brings us fulfillment when we find that attaining wealth and status, by themselves, will not? How do we make sense of the lives we are living? What values can give a satisfying shape and purpose to our lives? Where can we find insights on these questions? With whom can we share this search?

The Religious Society of Friends began with persons (“seekers”) looking for answers to remarkably similar questions. The times were very different, but the spiritual dynamics were much the same. When one of those seekers, George Fox, encountered the Divine directly, he began articulating a new vision of the Christian faith. He shared that vision with other seekers, and a new religious movement—Quakerism—was born.

That movement and its members were characterized by three vital features. First: an understanding rooted in experience, that it was both possible and necessary to have an immediate, direct relationship with the Divine, with God, that would give one’s life meaning, purpose, and wholeness. Second: a fervent desire to live out, to fully embody these spiritual insights—“the Truth”—they had discovered in that relationship. And third: a recognition that they needed one another, and so a commitment to form and sustain the spiritual communities necessary to live such a life of faith and integrity.

Thomas Jeavons, c. 2002

 

Queries of the Week (6/19/22)

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

From ‘Still I rise’ by Maya Angelou

 

Queries of the Week (6/12/22)

What are we doing as a Meeting to interpret to non-friends our religious principles and beliefs?

What are you doing to invite persons not in membership to attend your meetings for worship, and how do you encourage their continued attendance?

 

Quote of the Week (6/5/22)

Faith and Practice 2018, VI Extracts from the Writings of Friends

Living out the immanent and transcendent aspects of spirituality as a Friend has never been a private matter. Quaker structures depend on the shared inward experiences of members as the basis for worship, the ordering of business, and social and humanitarian action. The Quaker way takes on faith the seemingly irrational proposition that the inspirations of individuals can lead a community to unity and spiritual power, not to chaos and dismemberment. 

Ursula Jane O’Shea, 1993

 

Quote of the Week (5/29/22)

Let us no longer be blinded by the dim theology that only in the far seeing vision discovers a millennium, when violence shall no more be heard in the land wasting nor destruction in her borders; but let us behold it now, nigh at the door lending faith and confidence to our hopes, assuring us that even we ourselves shall be instrumental in proclaiming liberty to the captive.

Lucretia Mott

 

Quote of the Week (5/22/22)

Faith and Practice 2018

What is the Quaker faith? It is not a tidy package of words which you can capture at any given time and then repeat weekly at a worship service. It is an experience of discovery which starts the discoverer on a journey which is life-long. The discovery in itself is not uniquely a property of Quakerism. It is as old as Christianity, and considerably older if you share the belief that many have known Christ who have not known His name. What is unique to the Religious Society of Friends is its insistence that the discovery must be made by each man for himself. No one is allowed to get it second-hand by accepting a ready-made creed. Furthermore, the discovery points a path and demands a journey, and gives you the power to make the journey.

Elise Boulding, 1954 


Query of the Week (5/15/22)

How do I strive to maintain the integrity of my inner and outer lives – in my spiritual journey, my work, and my family responsibilities? How do I manage my commitments so that over-commitment, worry, and stress do not diminish my integrity?

 

Quote of the Week (5/8/22)

The sun never says

 

Even

After

All this time

The sun never says

To the Earth

“You owe me.”

Look what happens 

With a love like that,

It lights the

Whole

Sky.

 

Rumi

 

Quote of the Week (5/1/22)

A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 

John 13:34, New International Version

 

Quote of the Week (4/24/22)

Honor the sacred,

Honor the Earth, our Mother,

Honor our Elders,

Honor all with whom we share the Earth —

the four leggeds, two leggeds,

the winged ones,

swimmers, crawlers,

plant and rock people,

walk in balance and beauty.

~ Native American Elder

 

Quote of the Week (4/17/22)

The great gift of Easter is hope.  Basil Hume

 

Quote of the Week (4/10/22)

How does our Meeting help to create and maintain a society whose institutions recognize and do away with the inequities rooted in patterns of prejudice and economic self-centeredness?

Faith and Practice, 1997

 

Quote of the Week (4/3/22)

An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.

 Mahatma Gandhi

 

Quote of the Week (3/27/22)

Faith and Practice 2018

Dear Friends, keep all your meetings in the authority, wisdom and power of Truth and the unity of the blessed Spirit. Let your conduct and conversation be such as become the Gospel of Christ. Exercise yourselves to have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all people. Be steadfast and faithful in your allegiance and service to your Lord, and the God of peace be with you.

Elders of Balby, 1656

 

Quote of the Week (3/20/22)

Take time to learn about other people’s experiences of the Light. Remember the importance of the Bible, the writings of Friends and all writings which reveal the ways of God. As you learn from others, can you in turn give freely from what you have gained? While respecting the experiences and opinions of others, do not be afraid to say what you have found and what you value. Appreciate that doubt and questioning can also lead to spiritual growth and to a greater awareness of the Light that is in us all.

Faith and Practice Britain, Advices and Queries

 

Quote of the Week (3/13/22)

“In this time of hardened ideological differences, how does the meeting support its members in developing ways of maintaining relationships with family, friends, co-workers, etc. so that those relationships can still be loving respectful and rewarding?" - Jerry, 2022

 

Quote of the Week (3/6/22)

All that dwell in the light, their habitation is in God, and they know a hiding place in the day of storm; and those who dwell in the light, are built upon the rock, and cannot be moved, for who are moved or shaken, goes from the light, and so goes from their strength, and from the power of God, and loses the peace and the enjoyment of the presence of God.

~ Edward Burrough, 1634-1663

 

Quote of the Week (2/27/22)

The choice is really between basing our civilization on faith or fear... - Marian Cripps, Quaker War Resister (1878 - 1952)

 

Quote of the Week (2/20/22)

“Truth is powerful and it prevails.” - Sojourner Truth

 

Quote of the Week (2/13/22)

Quaker Faith and Practice, Britain, Advices and Queries

Do you respect that of God in everyone though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or be difficult to discern? Each of us has a particular experience of God and each must find the way to be true to it. When words are strange or disturbing to you, try to sense where they come from and what has nourished the lives of others. Listen patiently and seek the truth which other people’s opinions may contain for you. Avoid hurtful criticism and provocative language. Do not allow the strength of your convictions to betray you into making statements or allegations that are unfair or untrue. Think it possible that you may be mistaken.

 

Quote of the Week (2/06/22)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 2nd Month 6.

You who read these words already know this inner Life and Light. For by this very Light within you, is your recognition given. In this humanistic age we suppose man is the initiator and God is the responder. But the Living Christ within us is the initiator and we are the responders. God the Lover, the accuser, the revealer of Light and darkness presses within us. “Behold I stand at the door and Knock.” And all or apparent initiative is already a response, a testimonial to His secret presence and working within us. 

Thomas Kelly, 1939 

 

Quote of the Week (1/30/22)

 

Jesus said, "Recognize what is before your eyes, and the mysteries will be revealed to you.  For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."

Gospel of Thomas, 5

 

Quote of the Week (1/23/22)

Recognition that God’s Light is in every person helps us to overcome our apparent separation and differences from others; it leads to a sympathetic awareness of their needs and a sense of responsibility towards them. Friends believe that the more widely and clearly the Light is recognized and followed, the more the human family will come into harmony and peace. “Therefore,” wrote George Fox, “in the Light wait, where unity is.”

Faith and Practice, 2018

 

Quote of the Week (1/16/22)

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Queries of the Week (1/9/22)

 

Quote of the Week (1/2/21)

Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

Desmond Tutu

 

Quote of the Week (12/26/21)

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.

George Fox, 1656

 

Quote of the Week (12/19/21)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me...”

John 14:6

 

Quote of the Week (12/12/21)

Faith and Practice Britain, Advices and Queries

Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join with others in seeking clearness, asking for God’s guidance and offering counsel to one another?

 

Query of the Week (12/05/21)

Faith and Practice, 5th edition, Britain

However one views it, and for whatever reason it is carried out, an abortion is a deliberate taking of a potential life. The arguments around the right to life versus the right to choose do little to help those who believe in personal morality yet whose religion lays down no hard and fast rules about moral issues such as abortion.

As a nurse who was asked to become involved in the procedure of therapeutic abortion I was forced to decide. My final decision, made after much heart-searching, was to say ‘No’. As a result I had to move to a less conveniently placed hospital, but my decision was accepted and at no time was my livelihood threatened.

The right of medical personnel to choose not to become involved in the procedure of therapeutic abortion is enshrined in law. In my case I used my right to choose, but this left me with a dilemma. Where should I stand on another’s right to choose to have an abortion? My choice was respected and my rights maintained. My responsibility had to be to respect another’s choice and maintain their right to my compassion and understanding. To do less would make my decision nothing more than a pious declaration which ignored the very real pain suffered by many women who decide to have an abortion.

Pauline Condon, 1994

 

Quote of the Week (11/28/21)

This is the day that the Lord has made; 

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

 

Quote of the Week (11/21/21)

War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.

John F. Kennedy

 

Quote of the Week (11/14/21)

“How long are we to watch them die of thirst in the droughts? And gasp for air in the floods? What is the state of the hearts of the world leaders who watched this happen and allow it to continue? Our leaders are lost and the planet is damaged.”

Vanessa Nakate, Pre-COP26 Youth Summit 2021

 

Quote of the Week (11/07/21)

O Spirit of that early day,

So pure and strong and true,

Be with us in the narrow way

Our faithful fathers knew.

Give strength the evil to forsake,

The cross of Truth to bear,

And love and reverent fear to make

Our daily lives a prayer!

~ John Greenleaf Whittier, 1807-1892

 

Quote of the Week (10/31/21)

There is no way to find yourself until you discover how utterly to lose yourself.

~ Rufus Jones, 1863-1948

 

Query of the Week (10/24/21)

Am I open to seeking clearness on matters of conscience and to assisting others in doing so? How do I respond and support one who acts of a clear leading when I am under the weight of another?

 

Quote of the Week (10/17/21)

The love of money is apt to increase almost imperceptibly. That which was at first laboured after under pressure of necessary duty, may, without great watchfulness, steal upon the affections, and gradually withdraw the heart of God. The danger depends not upon how much a man has, but upon how much his heart is set upon what he has, and upon accummulating more.

Yearly Meeting in London, 1858

 

Quote of the Week (10/10/21)

“Go forward with courage. When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; When doubt no longer exists for you then go forward with courage. So long as mists envelop you, be still; Be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists. As it surely will. Then act with courage.”

–Ponca Chief White Eagle

 

Quote of the Week (10/3/21)

“Quakers are not ‘for peace’ 

but rather know, in the deepest sense of the word, that peace is a holy imperative as part of a just society.”

Ben Pink Dandelion

 

Quote of the Week (9/26/21)

We are not for Names, nor Men, nor Titles of Government, nor are we for this Party, nor against the other, because of its Name and Pretence; but we are for Justice and Mercy, and Truth and Peace, and true Freedom, that these may be exalted in our Nation.

Edward Burrough, 1634-1663

 

Queries of the Week (9/19/21)

 

Quote of the Week (9/12/21)

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.” — Barack Obama

 

Quote of the Week (9/5/21)

We, like every generation, must find the Light and Life again for ourselves. Only what we have valued and truly made our own, not by assertion but by lives of faithful commitment, can we hand on to the future. Even then, we must humbly acknowledge that our vision of the truth will, again and again, be amended.

Britain Yearly Meeting, Preface

Quaker Faith & Practice, p. 17, 1995

 

Quote of the Week (8/29/21)

Still, as of old, in Beavor's Vale, 

O man of God! our hope and faith 

The Elements and Stars assail, 

And the awed spirit holds its breath, 

Blown over by a wind of death. 


Takes Nature thought for such as we, 

What place her human atom fills, 

The weed-drift of her careless sea, 

The mist on her unheeding hills? 

What reeks she of our helpless wills? 


Strange god of Force, with fear, not love, 

Its trembling worshipper! Can prayer 

Reach the shut ear of Fate, or move 

Unpitying Energy to spare? 

What doth the cosmic Vastness care? 


In vain to this dread Unconcern 

For the All-Father's love we look; 

In vain, in quest of it, we turn 

The storied leaves of Nature's book, 

The prints her rocky tablets took. 


I pray for faith, I long to trust; 

I listen with my heart, and hear 

A Voice without a sound: 'Be just, 

Be true, be merciful, revere 

The Word within thee: God is near! 


'A light to sky and earth unknown 

Pales all their lights: a mightier force 

Than theirs the powers of Nature own, 

And, to its goal as at its source, 

His Spirit moves the Universe. 

'Believe and trust. Through stars and suns, 

Through life and death, through soul and sense, 

His wise, paternal purpose runs; 

The darkness of His providence 

Is star-lit with benign intents.' 


O joy supreme! I know the Voice, 

Like none beside on earth or sea; 

Yea, more, O soul of mine, rejoice, 

By all that He requires of me, 

I know what God himself must be. 


No picture to my aid I call, 

I shape no image in my prayer; 

I only know in Him is all 

Of life, light, beauty, everywhere, 

Eternal Goodness here and there! 


I know He is, and what He is, 

Whose one great purpose is the good 

Of all. I rest my soul on His 

Immortal Love and Fatherhood; 

And trust Him, as His children should. 


I fear no more. The clouded face 

Of Nature smiles; through all her things 

Of time and space and sense I trace 

The moving of the Spirit's wings, 

And hear the song of hope she sings.


John Greenleaf Whittier, 1800s

 

Queries of the Week (8/22/21)

 

Quote of the Week (8/15/21)

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 1937

 

Quote of the Week (8/08/21)

“We live in a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, in a world that has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We have solved the mystery of the atom and forgotten the lessons of the Sermon on the Mount. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about dying than we know about living.”

― Omar N. Bradley, Five-Star General, United States Army

 

Quote of the Week (8/01/21)

I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. - The Journal of George Fox

 

Queries of the Week (7/25/21)

Do I listen to messages with an open heart, love and without judgement?

Do our Meetings for Worship refrain from being conversational?

Is there enough space and silence between messages?

 

Quote of the Week (7/18/21)

I’ve gone to many kinds of schools, but of all the courses in the University of Life, The course in old age is the hardest; the one with the most lessons to learn. Your own generation is gone. You can no longer count on your intellect or your memory. Your hearing lets you down. You can’t keep track of things and you’re constantly misplacing them. But you learn so much. You learn to accept help and to remember with your heart. To live always with the generations that went before, with those alive now, and with the generations to come – all that we must surely learn. In one way life is like a mountain climb, and we keep going steadily upward toward our death. And when we meet it, when brother Death comes and gives us permission to go on across the frontier, then we must meet him with thankfulness, only with thankfulness. -Emilia Fogelklou  1985

 

Quote of the Week (7/11/21)

I believe there is something in the mind, or in the heart, that shows its approbation when we do right. I give myself this advice: Do not fear truth, let it be so contrary to inclination and feeling. Never give up the search after it: and let me take courage, and try from the bottom of my heart to do that which I believe truth dictates, if it leads me to be a Quaker or not.

~ Elizabeth Fry, 1780-1845

 

Quote of the Week (7/04/21)

"There is in every person a still voice that teaches sacrifice, love and service, that warns of every catastrophe and protects from all danger." - Edgar Cayce (ECRL 262-11)

 

Query of the Week (6/27/21)

 

Quote of the Week (6/20/21)

Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another. - Toni Morrison, “Beloved”

 

Query of the Week (6/13/21)

Am I teaching my children, and do I show through my way of living, that love of God includes affirming the equality of people, treating others with dignity and respect, and seeking to recognize and address that of God within every person?

 

Quote of the Week (6/06/21)

Integrity is one of the virtues for which Quakers in the past have been praised. It is a quality worth having, but it is doubtful if it can be reached by self-conscious effort or by adherence to a principle... Integrity is a condition in which a person’s response to a total situation can be trusted: the opposite of a condition in which he would be moved by opportunist or self-seeking impulses breaking up his unity as a whole being. This condition of trust is different from the recognition that he will always be kind or always tell the truth. The integrity of some Dutch Friends I have met showed itself during the war in their willingness to tell lies to save their Jewish friends from the Gestapo or from starvation.

Kenneth C Barnes, 1972

 

Quote of the Week (5/30/21)

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Young girls have picked them, every one

Oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn? 

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?

Where have all the young girls gone?

Gone for husbands, every one

Oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?

Where have all the husbands gone, long time passing?

Where have all the husbands gone, long time ago?

Where have all the husbands gone?

Gone for soldiers, every one

Oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?

Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago?

Where have all the soldiers gone?

Gone to graveyards, every one

Oh when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?

Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?

Where have all the graveyards gone?

Gone to flowers, every one

Oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?

Pete Seeger, 1955 (first three verses), Joe Hickerson, 1960 (additional verses)

 

Quote of the Week (5/23/21)

Faith and Practice, 2018

Looking at the historical expressions of gospel order raises provocative questions for the community of faith, particularly in regard to the nature of corporate commitment and the role of structure in faithful living. If, indeed, a living relationship with Christ is the basis of gospel order, what does it mean today to be a committed people in covenantal relationship with Christ? What does it mean to practice the mutual accountability that keeps this relationship alive? Do our lives with each other in our meetings and homes reflect fidelity, love, and trust? Can we reclaim the socio-economic and political dimension of gospel order? Can we participate corporately in God’s new order in a way that will allow our love to speak to a world dying from environmental destruction, violence, hatred, and entrenched systems of economic exploitation and injustice?

If the historical experience of Friends is applicable today, then corporate life needs pattern and structure to support faithful living. In turn, structures need care to prevent them from withering or becoming oppressive. Communities of commitment need to see what forms the patterns of faithfulness and the ministry of caring oversight will take today.

Sandra Cronk, 1991

 

Query of the Week (5/16/21)

Are Meeting decisions directed by prayerful consideration of all aspects of an issue and are difficult problems considered carefully with patient search for truth, unhurried by the pressures of time?

 

Quote of the Week (5/9/21)

We are born of love;

Love is our mother.

Rumi

 

 

Quote of the Week (5/2/21)

Oh Lord, may I be directed what to do and what to leave undone.

– Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845)

 

Quote of the Week (4/25/21)

Only when we see that we are part of the totality of the planet, not a superior part with special privileges, can we work effectively to bring about an earth restored to wholeness.

Darkness is no less desirable than light. It is rather, a rich source of creativity… First there is the darkness of the earth in which the seeds wait all through the winter. Second, there is the darkness of the womb in which the young mammal grows into sufficient viability to be born and take its place on earth, as a separate being…. And third, there is the darkness of night, when the garish sun has gone down and the things of earth are blotted out, and we may glimpse the vastness of the universe of which we are part…

We say that God is the Inner Light, but I want to affirm that also the Inner Darkness, and I do not mean desolation or evil, but a quiet waiting and creativity. “The darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

– Elizabeth Watson, “Your God is Too Small”, 1996

 

Queries of the Week (4/18/21)

 

Quote of the Week (4/11/21)

If we better studied and understood God’s creation, this would do a great deal to caution and direct us in our use of it. For how could we find the imprudence to abuse the world if we were seeing the great Creator stare us in the face through each and every part of it?

William Penn (1644-1718)

 

Quote of the Week (4/4/21)

“ . . . the promise of resurrection is not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." Martin  Luther

 

Quote of the Week (3/28/21)

I was plain, and would have all things done plainly; for I did not seek any outward advantage to myself.

George Fox, 1624-1691

 

Quote of the Week (3/21/21)

“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”- Unknown

 

Quote of the Week (3/14/21)

"Are our meetings for worship held in stilled, expectant waiting upon God?"

"How does our meeting encourage vocal ministry that spiritually nurtures the worshiping community?"

 

Quote of the Week (3/07/21)

I Dream A World

I dream a world where man

No other man will scorn,

Where love will bless the earth

And peace its paths adorn

I dream a world where all

Will know sweet freedom's way,

Where greed no longer saps the soul

Nor avarice blights our day.

A world I dream where black or white,

Whatever race you be,

Will share the bounties of the earth

And every man is free,

Where wretchedness will hang its head

And joy, like a pearl,

Attends the needs of all mankind-

Of such I dream, my world!

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

 

Query of the Week (2/28/21)

How does our meeting help members get access to information that can help them address the short- and longer-term adjustments they may need to make in their living conditions as their circumstances change?

 

Quote of the Week (2/21/21)

Faith and Practice 2018, Extracts 105

The resurrection, however literally or otherwise we interpret it, demonstrates the power of God to bring life out of brokenness; not just to take the hurt out of brokenness but to add something to the world. It helps us to sense the usefulness, the possible meaning in our suffering, and to turn it into a gift. The resurrection affirms me with my pain and my anger at what has happened. It does not take away my pain; it still hurts. But I sense that I am being transfigured; I am being enabled to begin again to love confidently and to remake the spirit of my world.

S. Jocelyn Burnell, 1989

 

Query of the Week (2/14/21)

What practices and strategies are employed by our Meeting to help members and attenders of all ages prepare for worship — whether in Meeting for Worship or in Meeting for Business?  

 

Quote of the Week (2/7/21)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings (2nd Month 7)

Why is my mind with sorrow thus opprest?

Where shall I go to find the balm of rest?

There is nothing in this world can give relief,

For all is mingled with the cup of grief.

Then may my soul retire unto that power.

Which calmed the tempest in a trying hour,

The wind and sea obeying His command, 

The raging storm became quiet calm!

Sarah Talcot, 1810

 

Quote of the Week (1/31/21)

The place of prayer is a precious habitation . . . I saw this habitation to be safe, to be inwardly quiet, when there was great stirrings and commotions in the world. John Woolman, 1770

 

Quote of the Week (1/24/21)

We will not be turned around

or interrupted by intimidation,

because we know our inaction and inertia

will be the inheritance of the next generation.

Our blunders become their burdens.

But one thing is certain,

If we merge mercy with might,

and might with right,

then love becomes our legacy,

and change our children's birthright.

So let us leave behind a country

better than the one we were left with.

…..

When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid,

the new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light,

if only we're brave enough to see it.

If only we're brave enough to be it.

“The Hill We Climb” Amanda Gorman at the inauguration 2021

 

Quote of the Week (1/17/21)

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.

“Beyond Vietnam, A Time to Break Silence,” Dr. Martin Luther King, 1967

 

Query of the Week (1/10/21)

“To what priorities does God call our meeting?  How do our annual budget, our meeting’s standing committees and other aspects of the meeting’s life reflect those priorities?”

 

Quote of the Week (1/03/21)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 1st Month 3.

   I THOUGHT back on the inspiration that came to me in the Lenten series from the speakers of different religious traditions who were attempting to share with the rest of us the highest that they knew. Their expressions may have varied, but we were on a common quest, on different trails up the same mountain. There was unity in the motives that had set each of us on this course, and even greater unity at its end. I felt this undergirding unity very strongly, aided by much practice in our meetings for worship in sensing our basic oneness through our diversity. What is primary for Friends is our direct experience with the Divine. How one may be moved to bespeak this in ministry is secondary.

   Trying to know God experimentally, to be in touch with an infinite power of love and goodness that pervades our universe and our very being, we know that any attempt to define God in words, including this one must fall short. As we try to contemplate God’s infinite qualities, we are like blind men and the elephant. In all humility we are aware that we can know God only partially.

   Moreover, in our ministry we speak each in our own tongue. Even the words of those most clearly “in the Spirit” are culture-bound, limited by background and vocabulary. It is the Spirit, not the words, that touches our hearts and draws us together and upward.

   In a word, the essence of Quaker spirituality is right listening. - Irwin Abrams, 1987

 

Quote of the Week (12/27/20)

I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. George Fox

 

Quote of the Week (12/20/20)

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.

Statement of 1656, from The Works of George Fox (1831)

 

Quote of the Week (12/13/20)

What are the challenges to and opportunities for enhancing the worship of our meeting, and what are we doing to address these?

 

Quote of the Week (12/06/20)

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  It will not lead you astray. Rumi 

 

Quote of the Week (11/29/20)

Sing and rejoice,

you children of the day and of the light;

for the Lord is at work in this thick night of darkness that may be felt.

And truth flourishes as the rose,

and the lilies do grow among the thorns,

and the plants atop of the hills,

and upon them the lambs do skip and play.

And never heed the tempests nor the storms, floods nor rains,

for the seed Christ is over all, and reigns.

~ George Fox, 1624-1691

 

Quote of the Week (11/22/20)

How can I share power, wealth and access today?

From 30 days of queries, PYM Young Adult Friends

 

Quote of the Week (11/15/20)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 11th Month 13.

   DO WE PRAY, or does God pray through us? I know not. All I can say is, prayer is taking place, and we are graciously permitted to be within the orbit. We emerge from such experiences of infused prayer shaken and deepened and humbled before the Majesty on High. And we somehow know that we have been given some glimpse of that Life…

   I have tried, in these words, to keep very close to the spirit and practice of my three dearest spiritual friends and patterns, outside of Jesus of Nazareth. They are Brother Lawrence, and St. Francis of Assisi, and John Woolman.

   Of these, Brother Lawrence, who lived in Lorraine three hundred years ago, is the simplest. He spent his life in the practice of the presence of God, and a priceless little book of counsels, by that name, has come down to us.

   John Woolman, A New Jersey Quaker of two hundred years ago, really so ordered his external life as to attend above all to the Inner Teacher and never lose touch with Him.

   But greatest of all is Francis of Assisi, whose direct and simple and joyous dedication of soul led him close to men and to God till he reproduced in amazing degree the life of Jesus of Nazareth. It is said of St. Francis not merely that he prayed, but that he became a prayer.

   Such lives must be reborn to-day, if the life of the Eternal Love is to break throught the heavy encrustations of our conventional church life, and apostolic life and love and power be restored to the church of God. He can break through any time we are really willing. -Thomas R. Kelly, 1939

 

Query of the Week (11/8/20)

“What is most needed to strengthen the communal witness of the meeting to the local community and beyond?”

 

Quote of the Week (11/1/20)

The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it. John Lewis

 

Quote of the Week (10/25/20)

‘We are all thieves, we are all thieves, we have taken the Scriptures in words and know nothing of them in ourselves’… Margaret Fell, 1694

 

Quote of the Week (10/18/20)

I was plain, and would have all things done plainly; for I did not seek any outward advantage to myself. George Fox

 

Quote of the Week (10/11/20)

“ What is our understanding of unity? ”

 

Quote of the Week (10/04/20)

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Quote of the Week (09/27/20)

Faith and Practice 2018, Extracts, 196

Instead of asking “How are you?” Quakers traditionally asked one another about their spiritual lives when they met. They wanted to know about each other’s spiritual condition and relationship with the Divine. This practice is relevant today! It helps us attend to our own journey and to keep our lives in alignment with Spirit. Additionally, by inquiring into our friends’ experiences we learn more about them and we help them stay attuned to the Divine. Try it out. Ask someone to tell you their story. Listen. Share your spiritual journey with a friend!

– How does Truth fare with thee?

– How does Light shine in your life today?

– What is important in your life these days?

– What gives you joy?

Christie Duncan-Tessmer, et al.

2015

 

Quote of the Week (09/20/20)

"Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has. To do something, as my colleague David Souter would say, outside myself. ‘Cause I’ve gotten much more satisfaction for the things that I’ve done for which I was not paid."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on how she would like to be remembered

 

Quote of the Week (09/13/20)

“What specific issues of concern has your community experienced in the past year?”

 

Quote of the Week (09/06/20)

“At its best the Quaker method does not result in a compromise. A compromise is not likely to satisfy anyone completely. The objective of the Quaker method is to discover Truth which will satisfy everyone more fully than did any position previously held.” Howard Brinton

 

Quote of the Week (08/30/20)

Faith and Practice Britain, advices and queries

Be aware of the spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experience of your daily life. Spiritual learning continues throughout life, and often in unexpected ways. There is inspiration to be found all around us, in the natural world, in the sciences and arts, in our work and friendships, in our sorrows as well as in our joys. Are you open to new light, from whatever source it may come? Do you approach new ideas with discernment?

 

Quote of the Week (08/23/20)

Faith and Practice 2018, Extracts 103

We see that the teachings of [the] divine spirit have been the same in all ages. It has led to truth, to goodness, to justice, to love. Love was as much held up among [the] old [Testament] writers, [the] old religious teachers, and as clearly set forth, as in the later days. Their testimony fell upon ears that heard not, upon eyes that saw not, because they had closed their eyes, shut their ears, and hardened their hearts. They had substituted something else for this divine light; this word, which … Moses declared to his people was “nigh unto them, in the mouth, and in the heart.” … Believe not, then, that all these great principles were only known in the day of the advent of the Messiah to the Jews—those beautiful effects of doing right. Lucretia Mott, 1858

 

Quote of the Week (08/16/20)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 8th Month 17.

   IN CASES WHERE our activism is carried out through coalitions or agencies organized in an ecumenical spirit, where the work draws together people of many faiths and backgrounds, it can happen that we often deliberately dilute the faith content of the atmosphere so as not to seem dogmatic or sectarian. Our correct understandig that the God of our universe is the loving shepherd of many flocks, and that none has an exclusive monopoly on the truth, rather than leading to an enriching sharing of insight, somehow causes us to remove all faith issues whatsoever from the agenda….

   Our capacity for faith, for spiritual knowledge, is nourished by the preaching and writing of people of holiness, and most especially by scripture. All great spirits derive sustenance from some source of truth external to themselves. St. Francis of Assisi was steeped in the four Gospels; George Fox, in the sweep of the Old and New Testaments; Gandhi and Thomas Merton, in the great scriptures of both the East and the West. Rufus Jones found intense and living nourishment in the church fathers and in certain of the women and men of towering spirituality who flourished in medieval times, and he in turn spoke inexhaustibly to the condition of modern humanity. He was an activist, too, and a key founder of the American Friends Service Committee….

   The burden of evidence is that seeking an authentic realization of the Gospel of Hope in our activism without providing for periodic, programmed reaffirmations of the content of our faith is highly risky. Most of us, unless we are extraordinarily far advanced in spiritual realization, need some outside reinforcement, some upliftment. 

– Daniel A. Seeger, 1983

 

Quote of the Week (08/09/20)

We do distinguish betwixt the certain knowledge of God and the uncertain, betwixt the spiritual knowledge and the literal, the saving heart-knowledge and the soaring airy head-knowledge. The last, we confess, may be by divers ways obtained; but the first, by no other way than the inward immediate manifestation and revelation of God’s Spirit, shining in and upon the heart, enlightening and opening the understanding. Robert Barclay, 1678

 

Quote of the Week (08/02/20)

FGC Quakercloud, advices and Queries

 

Quote of the Week (07/26/20)

“May the warm winds of heaven blow softly upon your house. May the Great Spirit bless all who enter there. May your mocassins make happy tracks in many snows, and may the rainbow always touch your shoulder.” ― American Indian Cherokee Blessing

 

Quote of the Week (07/19/20)

Faith and Practice, Extracts 192

I have been learning…. that when we accept our finiteness realistically and without bitterness, each day is a gift to be cherished and savored. Each day becomes a miracle. I am learning to offer to God my days and my nights, my joy, my work, my pain and my grief. I am striving to keep my house in order, and my relationships intact. I am learning to use the time I have more wisely…. And I am learning to forget at times my puritan conscience which prods me to work without ceasing, and instead, to take time for joy.

Elizabeth Watson, 1979

 

Quote of the Week (07/12/20)

"Be yourself. Everybody else is taken." Author Unknown

 

Quote of the Week (07/05/20)

“Loving your enemy is manifest in putting your arms not around the man, but around the social situation—to take power from those who misuse it, at which point they can become human too.” Bayard Rustin

 

Quote of the Week (06/28/20)

Faith and Practice 2018, Advices

Friends are reminded that our Religious Society took form in times of disturbance, and that its continuing testimony has been the power of God to lead men and women out of the confusions of outward violence, inward sickness, and all other forms of self-will, however upheld by social convention.


Quote of the Week (06/21/20)

By Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

THE SLAVE MOTHER

     Heard you that shriek? It rose

So wildly on the air, 

It seem’d as if a burden’d heart 

Was breaking in despair. 

     Saw you those hands so sadly clasped— 

The bowed and feeble head— 

The shuddering of that fragile form— 

That look of grief and dread? 

     Saw you the sad, imploring eye? 

Its every glance was pain, 

As if a storm of agony 

Were sweeping through the brain. 

     She is a mother pale with fear, 

Her boy clings to her side, 

And in her kyrtle vainly tries 

His trembling form to hide. 

     He is not hers, although she bore 

For him a mother’s pains; 

He is not hers, although her blood 

Is coursing through his veins! 

     He is not hers, for cruel hands 

May rudely tear apart 

The only wreath of household love 

That binds her breaking heart. 

     His love has been a joyous light 

That o’er her pathway smiled, 

A fountain gushing ever new, 

Amid life’s desert wild. 

     His lightest word has been a tone 

Of music round her heart, 

Their lives a streamlet blent in one— 

Oh, Father! must they part?

     They tear him from her circling arms,

Her last and fond embrace.

Oh! never more may her sad eyes

Gaze on his mournful face.

     No marvel, then, these bitter shrieks

Disturb the listening air:

She is a mother, and her heart

Is breaking in despair.

 

Quote of the Week (06/14/20)

“This will not be a teaching of getting what you want. This will not be a teaching of being holier than thou. This will be a teaching directly to your inherent divinity and your precious humanity, everything before you not only an opportunity to learn, but an opportunity to lift. If you wish mayhem, you may have it for some time. But rearticulation, the process that an individual undergoes, is also happening at the level of the collective. And what this simply means is that what has been hidden from light, what has been denied light, any structure that denies the worth of another, must and will be re-known. Nothing is healed until it is seen, and nothing is seen until it is unveiled.

“The witnessing you undergo now, as individuals and as a collective, is indeed opportunity. No one wants to look at what they have sought to deny. No one seeks a window to shed light on their own misfortune. You prefer to sit in the dark. The times have come when you cannot deny your worth. But in order to claim your worth, you have to see where you have denied it. You have to see where you have been complicit in the denial of others' worth. You have to witness what the collective has claimed, because it cannot be healed if it is denied. You want a reckoning, a true reckoning, to be polite. There is very little polite about a reckoning. Imagine the basement light is suddenly turned on. All the creepy-crawlies that have been hiding are seen finally. But nothing is seen when it is denied. There is no aspect of the self, no aspect of a culture, no aspect of a world, that can be lifted when it is being suppressed.

“Now, some of you say, ‘Oh, I will bear witness. I will make sure people get what they deserve.’ That is not truth. That is retribution. Every man, every woman, every being born, is accountable to their actions. Indeed, that is karma. And you have claimed laws or structures to support the idea of penance, but few structures support redemption. And, until you understand that if one is alive, no matter what he has done or she has borne witness to, whatever it may be, whoever it may be, may be re-known.


“Now, to re-know another is not to condone their acts, not to let them off the hook for their behavior. But it is to re-see them. And, in this facing of the Divine that must — underline must — must be present in your fellow, you claim it for yourself. What you deny in another, you deny in yourself. And, if the world is to be lifted, if the world is to change or ascend to a higher order, you must come into agreement that all things may be re-known.”

~ the Guides through Paul Selig


Re-seen, re-known is described as knowing all beings as divine. This doesn’t require you to approve, condone or like their acts or intentions or beliefs - it requires you to see beyond those to their intrinsic divinity. In seeing them this way, you lift them to you in your own divinity. What you bless, blesses you.  — Natalie Sudman

 

Quote of the Week (06/07/20)

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Quote of the Week (05/31/20)

Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand. Isaac Penington, 1667

 

Quote of the Week (05/24/20)

Faith and Practice 2018, VI Extracts, 54

When I read that I was supposed to make 'a place for inward retirement and waiting upon God' in my daily life, as the Queries in those days expressed it, I thought: "Oh, those stuffy old Friends, they don't understand! Do they think I'm going to be able to sit for an hour, or half an hour, or a quarter of an hour, or for any time at all, in my very busy life, just to have some kind of feeling ' inward retirement'?" I felt irritated and misunderstood, and I tried to put the whole thing out of my mind. At last I began to realise... that I needed some kind of inner peace, or inward retirement, or whatever name it might be called by.... I began to realise that prayer was not a formality or an obligation; it was a place which was there all the time and always available. Elfrida Vipont Foulds, 1983

 

Queries of the Week (05/17/20)

 

Quote of the Week (05/10/20)

“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” – Erich Fromm

 

Quote of the Week (05/03/20)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 5th Month 3.

Much of the work of the meeting  lies in what in former times has been designated as meditation and contemplation... Millions of persons before us have sought for truth along the paths of religion. The worshiper does not start as though theses spiritual guides do not exist. It is important that one discover and profit by what may be learned from these through meditating upon the great revelations and insights available in the writings of distant and recent past, particularly in the Bible, whose truths are deeper ones than those of science and philosophy. Other sources of spiritual insight may be called upon, but, as understood by Christianity and Quakerism, the New Testament is basic for us. Used as starting points for meditation, these Scriptures have the power to awaken and deepen insight and faith. 

Finally, Friends meeting as group worship exists for and is dependent upon each person who attends. It is a fragile form of worship containing the potentiality of great strength and weakness just because it depends so thoroughly upon each individual. Since the structure, trained leadership, and ritual of other Christian bodies is lacking, it follows that when attenders fail to carry the responsibility of worship in its most basic form spirit will be largely absent, distractions will be sensed, and spoken messages, if there are any, will tend to be shallow and superficial. It is in this regard that it is true that no form of religious expression makes so great a demand upon the worshiper as does the Friends meeting for worship... However, words are not essential for those worshiping in silence to experience the Presence in the midst and to be strenghtened and uplifted to serve the Lord. Calvin Keene, 1981

 

Quote of the Week (04/26/20)

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead

 

Quote of the Week (04/19/20)

“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”

Gaylord Nelson

 

Quote of the Week (04/12/20)

When life is heavy and hard to take,

    go off by yourself. Enter the silence.

Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:

    Wait for hope to appear.

Lamentations 3 from translation of the bible 'The Message'

 

Quote of the Week (04/05/20)

“Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; rather, it means never living apart from one’s self. It is not about the absence of other people - it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others. Community does not necessarily mean living face-to-face with others; rather, it means never losing the awareness that we are connected to each other. It is not about the presence of other people - it is about being fully open to the reality of relationship, whether or not we are alone.” - Parker Palmer 

 

Quote of the Week (03/29/20)

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can,

and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebur 1932-33

 

Quote of the Week (03/22/20)

"When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take a step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly." Patrick Overton

 

Quote of the Week (03/15/20)

Faith and Practice 2018, 252

Quakers should be testing everything against their understanding of the Spirit. By bringing the scientific, and Quakerly, process to bear, we can reach an understanding, and, we hope, a truth. Our mystical bent toward the Spirit need not be at odds with a scientific approach to the world. "This I know experimentally" can encompass both. Adam Segal-Isaacson, 2012


Quote of the Week (03/08/20)

"Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?


That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?


Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?


Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.


If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.


Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say."

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain't I A Woman? Delivered 1851 at the Women's Rights Convention, Old Stone Church (since demolished), Akron, Ohio

 

Quote of the Week (03/01/20)

And whilst the sense of conscious sin,

My trembling soul with anguish shakes,

And hope thy pardoning love to win,

My fainting, sinking heart forsakes. 

- Amelia Opie

 

Quote of the Week (02/23/20)

Faith and Practice 2018, Extracts, 213

I went back to my meeting with my reservations, and I was eldered: they encouraged me to say what I knew to be the truth, my truth. I was empowered to speak my truth, to push and be led by the Light to fight for change. Gabbreell James, 2014

 

Quote of the Week (02/16/20)

Faith and Practice 2018, 7. Grounding for Transformed Lives: Peace and Alternatives to Violence

 

 

Quote of the Week (02/09/20)

"Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters."    - African Proverb

 

Quote of the Week (02/02/20)

Daily Readings from Quaker writings, 1st Month 31

CHRIST'S major point throughout the Sermon on the Mount is to get rid of fears and anxieties. It might almost be said that the substance of his mission as a teacher was to set men free from the slavery of fears. "Why are ye so fearful?" he keeps saying. Stop your unnecessary worries. Cut out your excessive anxieties. It has been well said that the most ruinously expensive of all our emotions is fear. It is that very emotion of fear that has thrown our world out of joint and brought us to this unspeakable calamity...

Be not anxious for your life. He is not against ownership as such, only against excessive worry over things that moth and rust corrupt and thieves and depressions sweep away... The real issue which Jesus is discussing here is: in what does your life really consist?...

He is making a powerful plea for clarity of vision, for a place for inspiration in our lives, for insight of real values. If your eye is single you can find your way to life, but if you see double and are clouded in your estimate of true values your whole life will be full of darkness. What matters most is the recovery of the radiance of life. We need to have buoyance and radiance in place of worry and anxious care. That is the substance of the great sermon of the man who, in two years, was going to be crucified and who has strangely been called "the man of sorrows." - Rufus Jones, written between 1939 - 1942

 

Quote of the Week (01/26/20)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts 1232

The Society of Friends can make its greatest contribution to community by continuing to be a religious society - I mean by centering on the practice of a corporate worship which opens itself to continuing revelation. Again, community is simply too difficult to be sustained by our social impulses. It can be sustained only as we return time and again to the religious experience of the unity of all life. To put it in the language of Friends, community happens as that of God in you responds to that of God in me. And the affirmation that there is that of God in every person must mean more than "I'm okay, you're okay." The silence of the Quaker meeting for worship can be an experience of unity. I am an orthodox, garden variety Christian; I find the image of God first in Jesus the Christ. But it is my joy in the silent meeting to seek with those who find different ways to express the inexpressible truths of religious experience. Words can divide us, but the silence can bring us together. Whatever kinds of community the world needs, it surely needs the kind that embraces human diversity. Parker J. Palmer, 1977

 

Quote of the Week (01/19/20)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts 165

Friends recognize that much of the misunderstanding, fear, and hatred in the world stems from the common tendency to see national, religious, and racial groups as blocks, forgetting the varied and precious individuals who compose them. Differences between individuals, and between groups, are to be prized as part of the variety of divine creation. Every person should be free to cultivate his individual characteristics and his sense of belonging to a racial or cultural group as long as by so doing he does no violence to any one in the human family. Only when differences are the basis for feeling of superiority do they become barriers of hate and fear. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1969

 

Quote of the Week (01/12/20)

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"  George Santayana (1863-1952)

 

Quote of the Week (01/05/20)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts 78

Over the years, praying for others and holding them in the Light has become a frequent practice for me. I've explored many ways of doing it. Sometimes I address a mental request to God for health or well-being of another, usually acknowledging that I don't fully understand the situation, and that I'm really asking for the best for that person, whatever that may be. Often, however, my prayer doesn't include mental words or any specific requests. Sometimes I visualize that person filled and surrounded with light or imagine them being held by God or experiencing radiant health, peace, or joy. On other occasions, I visualize the light within them - divine love and wisdom - shining brightly. Often my prayer feels simply like love, without images: I focus on the other person in a tender, grateful way, from the place of my own deepest connection to the Spirit... Prayer on behalf of others is mysterious, but fundamentally it seems to be an opportunity to participate in divine love. Marcelle Martin, 2006

 

Quote of the Week (12/29/19)

“May Light always surround you;

Hope kindle and rebound you.

May your Hurts turn to Healing;

Your Heart embrace Feeling.

May Wounds become Wisdom;

Every Kindness a Prism.

May Laughter infect you;

Your Passion resurrect you.

May Goodness inspire 

your Deepest Desires.

Through all that you Reach For, 

May your arms Never Tire.” 

D. Simone

 

 

Quote of the Week (12/22/19)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings

 "You are the light for all the world," he (Jesus) said, placing us on a level with himself. "When a lamp is lit, it is not put under the meal tub, but on the lamp stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. And you, like the lamp, must shed your light among your fellows." (Mt. 5:14)

This, then is the promise, that as we come to dwell more closely within the Light, we become agents of the Light...(and can) change the world.... Barry Morley, 1981

 

Quote of the Week (12/15/19)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 12th Month 13.

THERE was a common practice among Friends, toward the weekend, to prepare themselves, hours before "First Day" morning meeting for worship, for that coming gathering, in the quiet closet of personal devotion - to cleanse the mind of selfish motives (can that ever be fully done?) and then gather with others equally prepared in spirit. How different from the modern scene where, at the last minute, we hastily dispatch our corn flakes and "go to the meeting" at fifty miles an hour!

There are still Quaker concerns which are alive with contemporary relevance, but the calm, confident, serene facade, reflecting inner poise and depth, actually composed of faith and suffering, is today likely to be colored by tension and nervous fears, in spite of confident words... Do not mistake - the Quaker face, so unperturbed, so peaceful, so staid and serene never had any taint of resignation. It was calm and stern and confident, and lest you mistake, meant serious business. That by-product of Quietistic intimacy with Spiritual Truth which was raised to its highest in John Woolman, had its imprint in varying degrees across the Society, so that calm confidence in God who is in control of things, was revealed in the countenance of individuals, and the group. Elden H. Mills, 1981

 

Quote of the Week (12/08/19)

Faith and Practice Yearly Meeting in Britain, Advices and Queries, 1.02, 38

If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it? Our responsibilities to God and our neighbour may involve us in taking unpopular stands. Do not let the desire to be sociable, or the fear of seeming peculiar, determine your decisions.

 

Quote of the Week (12/01/19)

Faith and Practice, Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain, 2.10

In this humanistic age we suppose man is the initiator and God is the responder. But the living Christ within us is the initiator and we are the responders. God the Lover, the accuser, the revealer of light and darkness presses within us. 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.' His secret presence and working within us. The basic response of the soul to the Light is internal adoration and joy, thanksgiving and worship, self-surrender and listening. Thomas R. Kelly, 1941

Thomas Kelly (1893-1941) was a scientist from Ohio who taught philosophy at Earlham and Haverford colleges. Towards the end of his life he had vivid experiences of the love of God, of which he spoke and wrote in his 'Testament of devotion'.

 

Quote of the Week (11/24/19)

THE ETERNAL GOODNESS

 

O FRIENDS! with whom my feet have trod

The quiet aisles of prayer,

Glad witness to your zeal for God

And love of man I bear

 

I trace your lines of argument;

Your logic linked and strong

I weigh as one who dreads dissent,

And fears a doubt as wrong.

 

But still my human hands are weak

To hold your iron creeds:

Against the words ye bid me speak

My heart within me pleads.

 

I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground

Ye tread with boldness shod;

I dare not fix with mete and bound

The love and power of God.

 

I see the wrong that round me lies,

I feel the guilt within;

I hear, with groan and travail-cries,

The World confess its sin.

 

And so beside the Silent Sea

I wait the muffled oar;

No harm from Him can come to me

On ocean or on shore.

                        - John Greenleaf Whittier

 

Quote of the Week (11/17/19)

God is never far away.  God's Spirit is always so close - closer than breath. But unless we stop and listen, we might not notice. We practice listening. We listen with our whole selves - with our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our imaginations, our souls. Faith&Play Working Group, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 2008

 

Quote of the Week (11/10/19)

Church government, London Yearly Meeting 1980, 714

Our method of conducting our meetings for church affairs is an experience which has been tested over three hundred years. In days of hot contest and bitter controversy, the early Friends, knot together by the glorious experience of the Holy Spirit's guidance in all their affairs, came into the simple understanding of how their corporate decisions should be made. Decisions arrived at after subtle lobbying and clever debate were not for them. They had discovered that there were deeper satisfactions and greater certainties in finding their way ahead in love and understanding and in the conscious presence of God.

 

Quote of the Week (11/03/19)

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. Mahatma Gandhi

 

Quote of the Week (10/27/19)

DAILY READINGS from Quaker Writings, 10th Month 27

Each of us can be a theologian. We can enrich our spiritual lives and those of people around us by articulating our spiritual experiences. In drawing on theological writings from the past, we can find continuity and wipe out feelings of isolation. We can define answers to our toughest concerns... We can dare to find out what God is saying to us.

Once I sat in meeting for worship absolutely certain that I had a message which needed to be shared. However, I felt no leading whatsoever that I was the one to give the message. I waited and waited, feeling I would burst from the tension, until a woman across the room got up and gave my message much better than I could ever have given it. What was happening here? What did this mean in terms of the movement of the Spirit in our lives? These are questions for theology. Shirley Dodson, 1980

 

Quote of the Week (10/20/19)

The two qualities which are most important to children of today are hope and imagination. Hope to believe they can change the world they live in and imagination in finding ways to do so. Janet Gilbraith, 1986

 

Quote of the Week (10/13/19)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 10th Month 12.

FRIENDS speak of "right sharing of the world's resources," rightfully connecting the concept to both simplicity and stewardship, but primarily to stewardship. Use is necessary for stewardship, but it is not itself stewardship. Citizens of the United States today can afford to use considerably more of the world's resources than the citizens of other nations - and we do use them - but that is not stewardship, that is greed. It has not led us to care for the things we use, but to be careless with them. The waste dumps of our industrial society suggest just how much.

Perhaps the real problem is not how we use our possessions, but how we interpret that phrase "our own possessions". Are the things we "own" really ours? Does this make any difference in how we use them? There is a well-known saying in the environmental community to the effect that we do not own the world; we are merely borrowing it from our children. How do we use our children's world, and that of our children's children? How do we use our neighbor's world, and the world of the raccoon and the squirrel and the pine and the butterfly? Do we remember that they need to use their worlds, too? The query on stewardship reminds us that all of this - our world, our children's world, the world of the raccoon and the squirrel and the pine - is really all one world, the world of God. How do we use God's world?

Bill Ashworth, Oregon, 1986

 

Quote of the Week (10/06/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, VI Extracts form the Writings of Friends, 43

During a silent meeting for healing at a gathering attended by sixty women, I experienced a profound silence inside me and in the room. It was as though time stopped and I was aware of our existence in eternity. Marcelle Martin, 2006

 

Quote of the Week (09/29/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, VI Extracts form the Writings of Friends, 206

As a Liberal Friend, I know that trying to name the Divine or become specific about the nature of 'GOD' is theologically inappropriate, that our words stumble to match the depth of all we experience. Thus, at one level, we don't want to use any term. At another level, however, we need to talk quite a lot about what we are connecting with, and we have lost a common tongue, a primal language, to do this in when we start to locally reinterpret our book of discipline in a multiplicity of ways on the basis of the 'need' for inclusivity, or ignore it altogether. Ben Pink Dandelion, 2014

 

Quote of the Week (09/22/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, 1. Deepening our Faith: Meeting for Worship 

 

Quote of the Week (09/15/19)

"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."

Alexander Hamilton, 1775

 

Quote of the Week (09/08/19)

Faith and Practice Britain, Yearly Meeting 1995

When we find ourselves teaching - as we alldo in our relationships within meeting - can we draw jupon that respect for one another and faith in one another's potential that will enable the other to feel taller and more capable? At Rufus Jones's memorial meeting one of this students simply said: ' He lit my candle'. That is a high aim for us all to aspire to in educating ourselves and our young people.  Barbara Windle, 1988

 

Quote of the Week (09/01/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, Guidelines and Procedures pg 207

Deepening our Faith: Spiritual Nurture

 ·       In what ways do we support each other in our spiritual journeys, in our search for God's will and in our efforts to increase understanding of humanity's relationship to life on earth?

 ·       How do we recognize, develop and nurture the spiritual gifts of all in our meeting?

 

Quote of the Week (08/25/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts pg 202

Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness and bearing with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand. Isaac Penington, 1667

 

Quote of the Week (08/18/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts pg 171

Perhaps it is this integrity, the concept of the wholeness of creation, that will jolt humanity onto a course of sustainability, which people may see as threatening at first. Of course change is often uncomfortable, but change is a must. We need to nurture ourselves and each other, but ultimately we need to nurture the earth-our mother. Josephine Vallentine, 1991

 

Quote of the Week (08/11/19)

DAILY Readings from Quaker Writings

Man certainly has the talents and resources adequate to reduce drastically the frustrations which generate violence. Of course, constructive programs and reforms will never completely eliminate tensions and frustrations. Hence we must devise and employ effective alternatives to violence for handling conflicts which arise. Strictly speaking, every action except a violent one is nonviolent. It is necessary, therefore, to indicate what types of nonviolent means one advocates. 

A very effective nonviolent approach was that of John Woolman, Quaker leader in Colonial America, who did more than any other individual to awaken his fellow Quakers to the evils of slavery. His method was primarily one of face-to-face persuasion. His character was so infused with humility and love that he aroused very little resentment as he drove home his message. In any age and situation those who oppose evil can derive considerable insight from an understanding of Woolman's personality as reflected in his Journal. Whatever other nonviolent methods one might employ, to exercise the sort of influence Woolman did through personal character and forceful persuasion would strengthen one's total impact tremendously. Yet his methods alone would not be adequate in the far more complex world of the late twentieth century...

Gandhi...concentrated on the purity of the means and considered the realization of truth and enhancement of personality more important than the attainment of specific ends. Martin Luther King emphasized the coherence of means and ends: the means represent the end in process...the end is preexistent in the means. Hence an evil means cannot produce a good end. Phillips P. Moulton, 1971.

 

Quote of the Week (08/04/19)

Faith and Practice of the Religious Society of Friends in Britain

... And this is the comfort of the good, that the grave cannot hold them, and that they live as soon as they die. For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. Death, then, being the way and condition of life, we cannot love to live, if we cannot bear to die... William Penn, 1693

 

Quote of the Week (07/28/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, "Extracts", pg 138

Over the years, praying for others and holding them in the Light has become a frequent practice for me. I've explored many ways of doing it. Sometimes I address a mental request to God for health or well-being of another, usually acknowledging that I don't fully understand the situation and that I'm really asking for the best for that person, whatever that may be. Often, however, my prayer doesn't include mental words or any specific requests. Sometimes I visualize that person filled and surrounded with light or imagine them being held by God or experiencing radiant health, peace, or joy. On other occasions, I visualize the light within them - divine love and wisdom - shining brightly. Often my prayer feels simply like love, without images: I focus on the other person in a tender, grateful way, from the place of my own deepest connection to the Spirit... Prayer on behalf of others is mysterious, but fundamentally it seems to be an opportunity to participate in divine love. Marcelle Martin, 2006

 

Quote of the Week (07/21/19)

“Once I had asked God for one or two extra inches in height, but instead he made me as tall as the sky, so high that I could not measure myself.” Malala Yousafzai

 

Quote of the Week (07/14/19)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings

ALL OF US come with various experiences from which we need to be released, things which we have done, or left undone, which we sense as soiling, weakening, but often on our own we can not summon up the strength, or open our wills wide enough, so that we can be released. Yet when we gather in worship we can draw strength from one another, and through each other and the sense of the presence of God working among the group, be enabled to let go, to be cleansed in the pool of silence. So, we need to be at meeting to help one another towards that healing place, and as we help one another, we may find our own burden being lifted. Yet, I wonder whether the most significant thing which holds us back from going to meeting, and which affects the quality of worship once we are there, is not our lack of a spiritual discipline during the week? Thomas Green put the matter succinctly and clearly: "We have put upon Sunday meeting a burden which it can not stand". What he had in mind was those very weekday rituals or patterns which used to mark the lives of Friends, and in which I, like so many others of my generation was surrounded, silence at meals, family reading, private meditation and prayer. These regular times of redirection which provided release and nourishment for each individual so that he came to meeting with a store from his inward journeyings, have now well-nigh disappeared. Now, we are like Mother Hubbards who arrive at meeting to find our store is almost bare... I am convinced that the vitality and practical effectiveness of our Society, as of any church, is directly related to the degree to which each of us manages to find time to explore our inner space during the week. Christopher Holdsworth, 1985

 

Quote of the Week (07/07/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, extracts, 53

[Dig] deep, ...carefully cast forth the loose matter and get down to the rock, the sure foundation, and there hearken to the divine voice which gives a clear and certain sound. John Woolman, c. 1770

 

Quote of the Week (06/30/19)

I pray thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within. Socrates

 

Quote of the Week (06/23/19)

Faith and Practice, Britain Yearly Meeting

Creeds are milestones, doctrines are interpretations: Truth, as George Fox was continually asserting, a seed with the power of growth, not a fixed crystal, be its facets never so beautiful.

John Wilhelm Rowntree, 1904

 

Quote of the Week (06/16/19)

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Rumi, 13th century

 

Quote of the Week (06/09/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, Grounding for transformed lives: Equality and Justice

 

Quote of the Week (06/02/19)

Daily Readings, 6thMonth 2

The more Fundamental testimony of strict veracity and honesty had an impact far beyond the limits of the Society of Friends. Friends are credited with introducing the convention of the fixed price in retailing and the reduction of bargaining. Friends evidently felt that bargaining could not be done without lying, saying you were going to do something when actually you were prepared to do something else. Quaker shopkeepers and merchants, therefore, adopted the custom of the fixed price, leaving it up to the buyer as to whether to buy at that price. This not only saved a great deal of time and energy that otherwise might have been spent on haggling, but it made something to do with the rise of the market economy...

 

Quote of the Week (05/26/19)

"... and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Isaiah 2:4

 

Quote of the Week (05/19/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, Deepening our faith: Meeting for Business

- How do we sustain prayerful consideration of all aspects of an issue and address difficult problems with a search for truth that is unhurried by the pressures of time?

- Do we recognize that we speak through our inaction as well as our action?

 

Quote of the Week (05/12/19)

Mother's love is peace.It need not be acquired.It need not be deserved. Erich Fromm (1900-1980)

 

Quote of the Week (05/05/19)

"Nothing is revealed truth to me, as doctrine, ...until it is sealed as such in my mind, through the illumination of ... the word of God, the divine light, and intelligence, to which the Scriptures ... bear plentiful testimony." Hannah Barnard, ca 1800

 

Quote of the Week (04/28/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts 200, p. 186

True worship may be experienced at any time in any place - alone on the hills or in the busy daily life - we may find God, in whom we live and move and have our being. But this individual experience is not sufficient, and in a meeting held in the Spirit there is a giving and receiving between its members, one helping another with or without words. So there may come a wider vision and a deeper experience. London Yearly Meeting, 1925 and 1994

 

Quote of the Week (04/21/19)

New England Yearly Meeting's Faith and Practice. 

The Person and Work of Jesus Christ

Early Friends thought of the Light Within as the Light of Christ Within. With the gospel of John and the letters of Paul, Friends in speaking of Christ mean both an historical person in Galilee whose life and death and resurrection are thought of as a revelation of God, and a present experience of being guided and sustained by an inward power. Thus Friends have a deep appreciation for the human Jesus, the young Jew who showed such remarkable insight into the ways of God, and who met his death on a cross at the hands of the Roman executioners. But also at the very heart of the Quaker faith there is a first-hand acquaintance with the living spirit of God, whom some Friends have referred to as the Light Within and others have spoken of as the Risen Christ or the Holy Spirit. Howard H. Brinton: Friends for 300 years, 1952

 

 

Quote of the Week (04/14/19)

"I believe in being kind to yourself, letting go of mistakes, and allowing yourself to move forward. You should never let a temporary failure or setback stop you. These are chances to get better, to learn and grow. This I believe." Lansdowne Friends School graduate, June 2018

 

Quote of the Week (04/07/19)

Faith and Practice, Religious Society of Friends in Britain

Peace begins within ourselves. It is to be implemented within the family, in our meetings, in our work and leisure, in our own localities, and internationally. The task will never be done. Peace is a process to engage in, not a goal to be reached. Sidney Bailey, 1993

 

Quote of the Week (03/31/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts, 30

Is our belief in the Spirit "unscientific"? As a matter of definition, yes. Science by definition makes predictions about phenomena that can be manipulated by experiment with measurable results. The Spirit is not predictable, it cannot be manipulated, and it cannot be measured. It is a gift of grace. However, we can lay our non-scientific belief in the Spirit beside our acceptance of science and see compatibility. Here's how.... We observe the universe is governed by the interplay of opposites. We also observe the universe is falling apart. Dark energy accelerates the expansion of the universe, flinging all the stars farther and farther away from each other. Eventually entropy will condemn the whole universe to heat death. It's all falling apart, it's all futile. The apparent law of the universe is dissolution. If this is so and the law of balance also holds, shouldn't there be a law of unification to balance the law of dissolution? This, I believe, is what the Spirit is. - Fred Jensen, 2012

 

Quote of the Week (03/24/19)

DAILY READINGS from Quaker Writings, 3rd Month 24.

We are called upon to love the loveless and the unlovable, to reach out to the racists and the torturers, to all who hurt and damage, cripple and kill. They are God's unhappy children who need especial care. They have harmed themselves, but not irredeemably; and God through us, and in many other ways, offers them healing love and divine pity and takes their hurts away. 

We are called to that obedience which freely gives up self, possessions, life, beliefs, in following that vision, that greater love in which alone is life and peace. This does not mean that we lie down like doormats to be trampled on, or that we give up our freedom or our grasp of truth - it means that we join ourselves to the risk of creation, to the venture of authentic human being, that we "stand in the Light", reveal that measure of truth that is know to us...that we face the pain of the world, and match it with forgiveness. Janet Scott, 1980

 

Quote of the Week (03/17/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, 49

There are times of dryness in our individual lives, when meeting may seem difficult or even worthless. At such times one may be tempted not to go to meeting; but it may be better to go, prepared to offer as our contribution to the worship simply a sense of need. In such a meeting one may not at the time realise what one has gained, but one will nevertheless come away helped.

Ministry and Extension Committee, Berks and Oxon Quarterly Meeting, London Yearly Meeting, 1948

 

Quote of the Week (03/10/19)

Church government, London Yearly Meeting, 703 - 13

Are you patient and considerate, even towards those whom you find it hard to like and those who seem to you unloving or ungrateful? Do you avoid and discourage hurtful criticism and unkind gossip? Do you respect that of God in each one, though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or may be difficult to discern?

 

Quote of the Week (03/03/19)

"This year, I have many friends who encourage me to speak up and speak louder. That isn't easy for me to do and I'm a little worried about next year. I know that it is going to take time, patience, and courage and a little bit of getting out of my comfort zone to find my voice next year. I will struggle, but I know that one day I will be able to raise my voice in my new school and it will be heard. Quakers believe that everyone holds a piece of the truth, so all voices need to be heard. Each person's voice matters. My voice matters. This I believe."

- June 2018. Lansdowne Friends School graduate, class of 2018

 

Quote of the Week (02/24/19)

Faith and Practice 2017, extracts 246

Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand. Isaac Penington, 1667

 

Quote of the Week (02/17/19)

Continuing Revelation

“It is not lawful for Christians to use games, sports, plays, comedies, or other recreations which are inconsistent with Christian silence, gravity, or sobriety. Laughter, sports, games, mocker, or jests, useless conversation, and similar matters are neither Christian liberty nor harmless mirth” Robert Barclay 1676

“We look back with mild pity on the generations of Haverford students who were deprived of the joy of music and art. The strong anti-aesthetic bias in the minds of the Quaker founders and the early managers was, I think, an unmitigated disaster.”  Rufus Jones, 1933

“The artist and the Quaker are on the same internal journey. Each is seeking a relationship with the Divine, and each is seeking a way to express that relationship. . . The process of working with and forming material things can lead beyond them to the spiritual, and shape of clay or colors of paint can be a window into another world.”  Janet Mustin (member LFM), 1992

(References taken from Beyond Uneasy Tolerance, Murer, 2000)

What do Quakers mean by continuing revelation?  This seems an obvious example. This "revelation" doesn’t mean we throw out the value of silent worship and inner reflection, simply that we now see that there is no inherent conflict between these different aspects.

 

Quote of the Week (02/10/19)

Faith and Practice 2017

Nurturing our community: Care for the Meeting

 

Quote of the Week (02/03/19)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 1st Month 11.

I have found that the more I enjoy living - the more I learn to lift up my heart - the easier it is to accept life cheerfully, because it means living from the deep joy of inward peace. But the price is to feel the pain of the world more acutely. But if we live in the flow of balanced inbreath and outbreath nothing is too difficult. That is why much of the teaching of the New Age is so rewarding to study. It is toward balance and must be studied from known truths so that unknown thoughts can be tested by wisdom.

How to distill this outpouring of wisdom into a working blueprint? The following have become my basic essentials;

There has never been a time in human development when so many paths, and so many truths, have been so freely available.

There will be no one, as David Spangler reminds us, "suddenly appearing and saying, this is the right path".

We must each of us define our own path out of the truths which we have been exposed to and follow it in practice, never forgetting that we must be open to change. - Margaret E. Wilkinson, Australia, 1978

Because of her seriously defective eyesight Margaret E. Wilkinson did not commence her formal education until the age of twelve, and discontinued study after five years on the advice of a specialist. Unable to take up any academic profession, she worked with children, and for the next thirty-five years was involved in their care - in charge of a Children's Home - nursing victims of poliomyelitis - and assisted in the rehabilitation of the victims of the great bushfire disaster in Tasmania in 1967.

 

Quote of the Week (01/27/19)

Quaker Faith and Practice, Britain Yearly Meeting 1994

Conscientious objection is not a total repudiation of force; it is a refusal to surrender moral responsibility for one's action.

Kenneth C Barnes, 1987

 

Quote of the Week (01/20/19)

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.

 

- Martin Luther King Jr.


Quote of the Week (01/13/19)

DAILY READINGS from Quaker Writings

HE THAT easily credits an ill report, is almost as faulty as the first inventor of it: for though you do not make, yet you commonly propagate a lie. Therefore never speak evil on any upon common fame, which for the most part is false; but almost always uncertain whether it be true or not.

Wm. Crouch to his children

 

Quote of the Week (01/06/19)

Faith and Practice, 2017, Extracts 127

 ...our testimonies are not a pre-packaged set of values. Our spiritual experience, our openness to being led and to living a guided life, leads us to a life we have little choice over. Testimony is the outflowing life we cannot help but lead. 

Ben Pink Dandelion, 2014

 

Quote of the Week (12/30/18)

The future of the family is a subject often approached with great anxiety in these times. I propose to strike a new tone of inquiry, and to ask what discoveries lie before us about the family. Since family-type togetherness is the oldest and longest continuing human experience, it is not unlikely that what lies ahead for us as members of the human race will be arrived at in the context of having been formed as persons in family-type settings in the past and in the present. As a futurist, I have long been convinced that families are the primary agents of social change in any society. It is in this setting that individuals first become aware that the passage of time means growth and change, that tomorrow is never like yesterday. It is in this setting that one's first daydreams about a different future take place....In this view the family is not a barrier between us and a better society, but a path to that better society.

Elise Boulding, The Family As A Way Into the Future (Pendle Hill pamphlet, no. 222, 1978)

 

Quote of the Week (12/23/18)

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one.

George Fox, 1656

 

Quote of the Week (12/16/18)

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.

Attributed to Stephen Grellet since 1869

 

Quote of the Week (12/09/18)

Church Government, London Yearly Meeting 1980, 724

 

It is not expected of any Friend that he should attend every meeting or sit upon innumerable committees. Decide what is within your physical and spiritual capacity, and be responsible in your attitude to what you do select. Be as regular, faithful and punctual as possible in your attendance.

 

 

Quote of the Week (12/02/18)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings, 12th Month 2.

I felt that the way to become good was to go to work in the power of God to help make others good, and to help solve the problems of those among whom we live.                                                                          

I got a further impression of this truth from an event which came at first as a calamity. I went out one morning in early winter to feed our cattle and horses in the barn, and found to my horror that a fearful storm in the night had blown the barn down with almost everything we possessed in it... The news carried fast, and before the day was over men from near and far gathered in our yard. They were all hard-working people like ourselves, with little wealth beyond their own strong hands. But before they separated they had decided to go to work at once and replace what the storm had destroyed. The entire neighbourhood went to work, and a new structure rose. It was a simple deed, which perhaps many towns could parallel, but it affected me in a strange way. I saw, as I had not seen before, that the religion of these men was not merely an affair of the meeting-house; not merely a way to get to heaven. It was something which made them thoughtful of others and ready to sacrifice for others. I saw how it works itself out in practical deeds of kindness and righteousness. During those days that I worked in the cold of a Maine winter, among those men with their rough clothes and hard hands, I was helping build more than a barn; I was forming a wider view of the religion which such men as these were living by.  - Rufus Jones, 1926

 

Quote of the Week (11/25/18)

Faith and Practice 2017, Extracts 187

My sunrise meditation means more to me now than ever. At dawn it is easier to feel the universe is one organic whole, held together by that Radiating Power of Love which flows through everything—including thee and me. …

By using the power of mature, redemptive love we can show each individual that we need his or her uniqueness to make us whole. We will then see that we have something to give others and that others have something to give us.

Rachel Davis DuBois, c. 1978

 

Quote of the Week (11/18/18)

Faith and Pracitice 2017, Grounding for Transformed Lives: Integrity and Simplicity

What is the interplay between simplicity and integrity in the life of our meeting?

How does our meeting embody simplicity and integrity in its structures and practices?

How has our meeting considered humanity’s impact on the earth’s ecological integrity and the ways in which violence and injustice exacerbate this impact?

 

Quote of the Week (11/11/18)

Daily Readings from Quaker Writings

Being peacemakers is essentially an affair of the heart, rather than of the mind. For whether a person decides to use the energies of this body and mind for building weapons and thinking the unthinkable, or whether a person dedicates herself wholly to a search for peace, is probably ultimately determined by a quality of the heart for which the mind is but a servant.

It is unlikely, therefore, that we shall debate each other, or our fellow citizens, into the ways of love. For we touch people's hearts not by what we debate with them about, but rather by the quality of our being - by who we are, and by how we live, and by what we do. Thus, all of our merely verbal efforts in education or politics have meaning only insofar as they spring out of our own very direct experience of joyfully seeing what love can do in practice...

Indeed, there is a profound sense in which the higher capacity of human nature...is beyond the power of manipulation. We cannot devise legislative programs, military campaigns, or rational debates to awaken in people these higher capacities; there is absolutely no way we can force others, whether our contemporaries or those in future generations, to be better human beings. No revolutionary campaign we can devise will assure that the people of the future will be more "awake", more virtuous, than we are...

The past is but a memory; the future but a dream. The present moment is every person's equal possession. Each moment affords a choice between life and death, between good and evil. All to which we aspire can find expression in time present. Indeed, there is no time but this present.

Daniel A. Seeger, 1986

 

Quote of the Week (11/04/18)

We ought to be willing to work for causes which will not be won now, but cannot be won in the future unless the goals are staked out now and worked for energetically over a period of time.

E. Raymond Wilson, first FCNL executive secretary, 1943

 

Quote of the Week (10/28/18)

Faith and Practice 1997, Extracts, 67

         I think that it's extremely important that we learn to listen. Listening is a lost art. And when I say learn to listen I mean listen to our spouses, listen to our children, listen to our fellow believers in our communities of faith. But I also want us to learn to listen to God. I know from personal experience that God speaks through the Scriptures. He speaks through preaching. He speaks through friends. But he also speaks directly. We can know that, but we must make time and space and silence in our lives if we are to learn this in real ways and be the beneficiaries of His leading and His guidance directly. We are told in the 46th Psalm, "Be still and know that I am God." In another translation it says, "Stop fighting and know that I am God." Let's take time to listen to God.

Kara Cole Newell, 1982

 

Quote of the Week (10/21/18)

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

- Mahatma Gandhi, Jun 5, 2015

 

Quote of the Week (10/14/18)

Faith and Practice, 2017

Can our Friends meetings be free of privilege and be a living sanctuary where all of God's self is free to minister to us in all of her offices as teacher, priest, and prophet? Can our Friends meetings be those thin places in which our relationships, regardless of race or class, are a sacrament of grace and wholeness? Can our Friends meetings be the body and hands of the Holy Spirit in the world today?

Christina Repoley, 2006

 

Quote of the Week (3/19/17)

“We are much concerned about the whole content of human relationship, about the meaning of ‘Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself’ in the full range and depth of its implications.”

“The life of society desperately needs this warmth of giving and receiving. Everywhere we see sociability without commitment or intimacy, and especially in our towns, intense isolation and loneliness. We see human energy that should be creative and loving deflected into activities that are coldly power-seeking; we see love inhibited, frustrated, or denied, turning into its opposite—into ruthlessness and aggression.”

251~Quaker Home Service, London Yearly Meeting, 1961

 

Quote of the Week (11/13/16)

The catch is, we can’t love God without loving our neighbor: whoever is next to us at the moment in time. We have to love, really love with the same love we feel pouring into and loving us. Some are easy to love…The love we feel loving us is as much for those who wound and betray us, and for those we perceive as “enemies”, as it is for ourselves. This love is for the lost and the broken; the cantankerous, ugly, and lonely; yes, and even the brutal, the murderous, and cruel. If we are to love God we must love them as well, not for their cruelties, but for the hidden Seed that would live and grown in them. We, who are loved with a love that will not let us go, are to let that same love flow through us into the world.

~Carol Reilley Umer, 1994.

 

Quote of the Week (5/22/16)

A Quaker social concern seems characteristically to arise in a sensitive individual or very small group ... The concern arises as a revelation to an individual that there is a painful discrepancy between existing social conditions and what God wills for society and that this discrepancy is not being adequately dealt with. The next step is the determination of the individual to do something about it - not because he is particularly well fitted to tackle the problem, but simply because no one else seems to be doing it.

Dorothy H. Hutchinson, 1961

 

Quote of the Week (5/15/16)

Be still in thy own mind and spirit from thy own thoughts, and then thou wilt feel the principle of God to turn thy mind to the Lord God, whereby thou wilt receive his strength and power from whence life comes, to allay all tempests against blustering and storms.  That is it which moulds up into patience, into innocency, into soberness, into stillness, into stayedness, into quietness, put to God, with his power.

George Fox, 1658


Quote of the Week (5/8/16)

There is that near you which will guide you. O wait for it and be sure you keep to it.

Isaac Penington, 1678


Quote of the Week (5/1/16)

Love, silence, even in mind…Much speaking, as much thinking, spends; and in many thoughts, as well as words, there is sin. True silence is the rest of the mind; and is to the spirit, what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.

William Penn, 1699


Quote of the Week (4/24/16)

Now is where we live, now is where the past must be overcome, now is where we meet others, now is where we must find the presence of God.

Carol Murphy, c. 1993


Quote of the Week (4/17/16)

There is a time of preaching faith towards God; and there is a time to be brought to God.

George Fox, 1657


Quote of the Week (4/10/16)

It is one thing to understand words, testimonies, and descriptions; and it is another matter to understand, know, enjoy, possess, and live in that which the words relate to, describe, and bear witness of.

Isaac Penington, c. 1670


Quote of the Week (4/3/16)

We know ourselves as individuals but only because we live in community.  Love, trust, fellowhip, selflessness are all mediated to us through our interdependence.  Just as we could not live physically without each other, we cannot live spiritually in isolation. We are infividually free but communally bound.  We cannot act without affecting others and others cannot act without affecting us.  We know ourselves as we are reflected in the faces, action and attitudes of each other.

Janet Scott, 1980


Quote of the Week (3/27/16)

Friends find their essential unity in their profound and exhilarating belief in the pervasive presence of God and in the continuing responsibility of each person and worshipping group to seek the leading of the Spirit in all things. Obedience to the leading of the Spirit rather than to any written statement of belief or conduct is the obligation of their faith.

New England Yearly Meeting, 1985