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question and introduction [27 Feb 2012|09:21am]

Hello, I'm posting for a couple reasons. One is because it would be nice to see this online forum of Quakers get going again.

The second is to just quickly introduce myself. While I am not a member of a Quaker meeting I have been attending Quaker meetings on and off for the past dozen years. I have also studied at Earlham School of Religion because of my interest in Quakerism.

My question for thoughtful answers is for any Quakers out there, on a personal level, how do you recommend talking to relatives during times of family emergency who hold, in my mind, harmful theologies about what sickness or debt may mean?

I'm thinking of cross posting this question.
2 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

Where'd everyone go? [22 Feb 2012|09:17pm]

What happened to this community? I remember that it used to be fairly active. Granted, that was several years ago, but still. No new post since 2010? That seems very odd to me. I've noticed it with a lot of spiritual communities, though--they were active in the mid-2000s but now have largely dried up.

I wonder what that's about.

Anyway, I hope you're all doing well. Love to you, and much peace.
2 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

UPDATE on International Talk Like a Quaker Day [24 Oct 2010|06:26pm]

International Talk Like a Quaker Day is now on the radar of linguists (anthropologists who study language). My wife wrote in under my name and her question made language log: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2732

So go celebrate ITLaQ Day!
1 motion of the spirit | speak from the silence

Facebook. [24 Oct 2010|09:16pm]

I don't know if anyone would be interested in this or not, but I've started a FB page to post a bit of F&P every day (ish). At the moment I plan to concentrate on Britain YM's book of discipline but I would like to look at some of the others too, and it's all food for thought, right?

2 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

International Talk Like a Quaker Day [23 Oct 2010|10:19am]

Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Quaker Day. In the spirit of Quakerism, the interpretation of what this means is left up to the individual. Tomorrow is, not coincidentally, also William Penn's birthday and United National day.

Examples of how to talk like a Friend:

Tomorrow is Tenth Month 24, 2010

Friend Omaba, thy policy in Afghanistan is not in keeping with the peace testimony.

Today is Seventh Day (of the week).

Three is a good friend.

(or if you want to combine with Pirate day) Give us all thy gold so we can use it for peace.
speak from the silence

About Today [11 Sep 2010|02:46pm]

This is crossposted from my blog and journal, it was suggested that this may be interesting/appropriate to the community. So here goes!

There are certain aspects of Quakerism that I work on interpreting and embracing. One is the low- or no-key way holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and the like are handled. No one day is more important, special, or holy than another. God should be honored all the time. You love your spouse even on days you did not marry your spouse. Things like that.

So today, I am not observing the loss of life years ago, any more than I do any other day. The people that died that day were loved every day. They are missed each day too. Saving up for a loss, on just special days, doesn’t acknowledge those holes that happen during the rest of the year. When you miss breakfast on Sundays. Skiing in the winter. The way they said goodnight. The loss was a tragic loss no matter when they died. Loss hurts, missing someone hurts. It is a wound on any day afterwards, and on any day you suffered the loss of a loved one.

People who died on the tenth, or the twelfth, from whatever cause are missed. Sudden ones are jarring, especially the young for so many. But as time goes on, it’s simply a void in your heart and your life. Way of death doesn’t change that. The lack of closure would be especially hard, but I think it is important for those who did not get closure (from any loss) to seek it out. Honor the memory and not the loss. Have their memories fill that void, ease that pain, soothe that heartache.

I also do not mourn the loss of buildings, ‘way of life’ as a whole (although of course my beliefs do feel strongly about how things are and should be), planes. They’re symbols for a tragic event. And it isn’t as if there is no sacred ground; rather, all ground is sacred. All ground is reverent. To me, if I were to think of sacred spaces to remind me of loved ones, places like the beach, the ocean, certain parks and the like would come to mind. Now, I understand the loss, in that I did feel like so many memories (I worked there for some time) just went away. I remember how hard it was to look in that direction for the longest time. I do understand it, but actively work to remember they were buildings. Buildings filled with people, and that’s what matters the most. What is or isn’t built there does not matter. The subways those people rode, the homes they lived in, the places they hung out were all parts of their lives and important. There is more to them than their deaths.

And it’s been reduced to that, hasn’t it? Some do miss people, but mostly it’s been an exercise in how many times you can say “never forget” (co-opted from Holocaust survivors), cover yourself in a flag, and beat your breast? And just once a year? When will it become a day of sales at department stores, and a day off from school? Will people have cookouts and decorate their homes? Will there be parades? Maybe a “very special episode” of your favorite TV show?

It’s losing meaning without effort, but not in the way I am trying. I am trying to put the day aside by making the days around it matter, by making every day important and holy. The other way of doing it is by making the day meaningless and mundane by focusing on the decorations, the buildings, the grounds, the politics, the religion, the spin. If you do observe it, which I respect and understand and may again one day, then it should be for the people lost in such a heartbreakingly tragic way. Including those first responders and rescuers and workers who are dying NOW because of it.

I have my own personal heartaches because of this day, and I found for me that setting it aside and going ahead is the only way to have light come of it. It was a dark and bleak and evil day. Bringing light to it is healing, to me. Making it positive, and doing positive works and thoughts will fight that darkness.

I do hold everyone hurting today in the light. I do that every day I can. It’s my part to eliminate all that is bad, wicked, evil, painful in the world. Bringing about good to get rid of the bad. The healthiest way to heal us all.
speak from the silence

[27 Aug 2010|10:57pm]

Hello everyone.

I've been drawn to Quakerism for a while now. I've been thinking about buying a new Bible, as my old one is a "youth bible" and I'm 22. What I want to ask is this:

What particular translation of the Bible do you use? Is there a translation that is more, if you will, "Quaker-friendly" than others?

Thank you for any input you have!
6 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

Saddened [23 Aug 2010|10:52pm]

[ mood | distressed ]

- So, I am often saddened by the content of the emails I get from Christian Peacemaker Teams. This one is particularly distressing. http://bit.ly/d3X8A7

speak from the silence

Message in Meeting [14 Jun 2010|11:03am]

Yesterday I gave this message in Meeting for Worship:

Friends, I find that I'm having difficulty praying as I should. Yesterday the wife, my mother and I went to Lansing (Michigan) Pride. There was one protester there. I felt sorry for him. Here we were having a wonderful party while we was spewing hatred. He must be miserable, so consumed by anger and bigotry.

The Light is telling me that I must pray for him. I'm picturing him surrounded by the Light, which is soaking up his hatred like a sponge, transforming it into love and giving it back to him. Maybe someday he will not longer be in the hurt space that he now occupies.

Perhaps someone will be able to pray for him better than I can.
1 motion of the spirit | speak from the silence

Minute on BP Oil Spill [02 Jun 2010|12:37pm]

[ mood | sad ]

Rough draft:

We at Third Haven Friends Meeting watch with horror, outrage, and immense sadness as the oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. We believe this disaster is a direct result of our society's dependence on oil, addiction to consumption, and willful ignorance of the risks associated with non-renewable resources.

We second Amnesty International's call for the US government to:

  • Ensure that those responsible for the disaster provide a fair and expedited claims process for those affected by the economic impact of the disaster, including the cost of clean-up and any damage suffered by affected communities;

  • Provide the resources necessary for state and federal environmental agencies to monitor air quality and the impacts of the spill and the efforts to contain the spill on marine and coastal wildlife, including the potential impact on the human food-chain;

  • Ensure that ongoing monitoring is maintained and assistance provided in respect of any public health impacts of the spill and the efforts to contain the spill;

  • Make information and data collected from the environmental and health monitoring available to the public; and

  • Review the adequacy of the regulatory system to prevent similar offshore drilling incidents occurring in future.

We also call on our society and our government to investigate renewable energy alternatives to oil, to support companies that provide renewable energy, and to do everything in our power to aid with the clean-up of this oil spill, including financial support and joining the volunteer effort.

We hold those who are suffering as a result of this oil spill in the Light and pray for healing.

Have any of your Meetings recorded minutes about the oil spill? I'm curious to hear what other Meetings are doing about this.
speak from the silence

Memorial Day [31 May 2010|10:41am]

I feel called to say something, in a sea of tweets, posts, status updates, about Memorial Day.

Is that insensitive? Has anyone seen relevant quotes about it, that are sensitive and meaningful? Should I leave it be for another day (since I don't observe holidays really)? Has anyone done something like this?

I'm still formulating things in my head, but felt that the shared experiences of other Quakers might help me with this, as not all of my friends feel similarly. The capital F ones would, I bet.
9 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

I could use some help . . . [27 May 2010|10:09pm]

[ mood | pensive ]

Hi, friends. I don't post too often in this community, but I am a regular reading. I'm posting tonight seeking guidance, input, etc.

My storyCollapse ) 

I'm still struggling with this, and I thought this community might be a place to hear suggestions, ideas, etc. If you were to write some Quaker-based affirmations, what would you write? What do you think of the idea?

Thank you very much.

Peace, Salaam, Shalom

18 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

Tracts/Pamphlets [23 May 2010|03:45pm]

I looked on Quakerbooks.org for tracts/pamphlets for our worship group.

We may be doing something in the community (a food drive at the Farmer's Market so the local rescue mission could have fresh, wholesome food) and we'll have a table and all that (if it goes according to plan). I thought that having tracts/pamphlets about who we are would be nice.

How many of you do this? Which, if any, pamphlets do you use? I saw a couple of useful ones, but if you have other sources or suggestions, I'm all ears.
2 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

When is abortion justified? [20 May 2010|04:53pm]

[ mood | curious ]

Hi, guys.

There's been a discussion on a locked post in my LJ about the recent incident involving the nun at the Phoenix hospital who was excommunicated because she allowed an abortion to save a woman's life. If you haven't heard about it, there is an article here:


I know there are readers here who are pro-life Quakers (actually, I think that's a bit redundant, but whatever), so I'd like to ask you this: do you think it is right to allow the mother to die so that an abortion is not performed?

The reason I'm asking is because, on the discussion mentioned above, I have a friend who is Catholic and thinks that performing the abortion, even if the woman dies, is not alright. I guess I've been coming at it from the perspective that allowing a person to die when you are capable of healing them, is tantamount to murder. (I do realize this puts a doctor in a horrible position: murder the child or murder the mother...which is worse?) And my personal opinion is that if the child will die either way, best to save one life than lose both. My friend is arguing from Catholic theology, however. Her understanding is that murdering the child would be worse than allowing things to take their course. The intent to kill the child is an unforgivable sin, so it's better for everyone to just let them both die so that no one is carrying that sin.

I would like to get the perspective of my Quaker Friends. I know that several Friends argue against abortion both from the equality and peace testimonies, and I'm curious if pro-life friends also think it would be best to not abort the child and let the mother and child die.

Please note that I am NOT posting this to start an argument, so please keep any responses civil. I would really genuinely like to hear what other Friends think, especially pro-life Friends.


42 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

Latin America Concerns Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting [12 May 2010|02:15pm]

The Latin America Concerns Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting announces its new web site, located at http://LatinAmerica.pacificyearlymeeting.org.

The site was developed to meet the committee's goal of sharing information about projects in Latin America related to the meetings in Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM) and about other unprogrammed meetings. We hope it will help Friends interested in working and worshiping in Latin America to be able to contact each other, both through information on the site and by linking with Friends World Committee on Consultation. It has a larger purpose of making public what we do in the world, in order that we can better serve people. To accomplish these goals, this is a bilingual site.

-- Via Mailing List Announcement

I believe the site is looking for a Friend to maintain it. If you contact me by email, using my LJ address, i can put you in touch with the committee clerk.
speak from the silence

[11 Apr 2010|09:50pm]

Music and Ministry: An Interview with Jon Watts

Jon Watts is a friend of mine and a very talented Quaker musician/hip-hop artist. This interview really spoke to my condition in a big way, so I wanted to share it. (x-posted to peaceofpie)
speak from the silence

Letter Requesting Membership [06 Apr 2010|10:30am]

So. I belong to a TINY worship group, under the care of a large meeting a couple of hours away.

I've decided, finally, to apply for membership.

Our other convener (I am the one for issues that concern the group on its own, she handles all the outside contacts) contacted our liaison with the Monthly Meeting who gave us the details on the procedure (we only once had someone from the group do this -- either they were Members when they came here, or are Attenders), including who the contact person was in the Monthly Meeting.

Great. Fine. It looks, on paper, quite doable, friendly, and reassuring.

Of course, now, I am obsessing over what exactly to PUT in the letter! If anyone here ever did that, what was their letter like? A simple one to start, I'm Kibbles, I'm convinced? Or something more like an essay, I'm Kibbles, this is who I am, this is why I want to be a Member?

The impression so far is not to worry, that it usually is a smooth process. But I'd still like input, if only to share the experience with others.

22 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

Quakerism [25 Mar 2010|12:45pm]


I continue to find quakerquaker.org to be thought-provoking and at times downright inspiring.

I've just read two recently linked articles and enjoyed them immensely.

An outsider's view: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/18/quaker-religion-jesus-christianity
A plea for civility: http://johanpdx.blogspot.com/2010/03/meeting-jesus-halfway.html.

No particular theme to the post, just sharing some thoughts from and on the RSF.
1 motion of the spirit | speak from the silence

Friendslist [01 Mar 2010|09:35am]

Maybe this is obvious, but this came to me when commenting to a friend on livejournal, when I was discussing something said at Meeting for Worship yesterday.

Isn't reading your friendslist similar to a Meeting for Worship? You really don't know what is going to be said or who will speak, although you do know some people are more likely to speak than others. You don't know what they will say, but know sometimes that some friends (Friends) will have a focus on some subjects more than others. Some days there are more posts/more speaking than other days. Some days are nothing but little fluffy things, some weigh heavy on your heart from the sadness, and some make you think for ages, and even change your life.

And it is a community of people that you've chosen to be around, and who chose to be around you. And you don't always agree, but you can usually see how they got to the point where they are.

Some days, reading my friendlist on LJ is very much like having a visual Meeting for Worship. And I can reflect on what they say, and I know in Meeting you really don't REPLY to what people said, but you still can talk at least after Meeting or later on or something, and experience it with them. But then LJ isn't immediate either, not always, so even that can be very similar.
2 motions of the spirit | speak from the silence

How many Quakers... [08 Jan 2010|02:02pm]

How many Quakers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Friends don't need lightbulbs. We have the Inner Light.

Above is the short answer to the questions.
Here's the long answer: http://www.quaker.org/chestnuthill/lightblb.htm
1 motion of the spirit | speak from the silence

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