Homesick

Homesick

I get asked, “How can we create a safe place for people in the margins?” I point out that it might be nice to have it stated somewhere that “we will not discriminate.” I also point out that it might make sense to have people of color involved in creating a safe place for people of color. Instead, I just get talked at. Or if I’m not getting talked at, I don’t get acknowledged at all.

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Bullies

Bullies

Quakers are somewhat diverse, but we don’t really handle diversity very well. It makes us nervous the moment we encounter Quaker who really don’t think the way we do. Quakers talk a lot about unity, but the record shows that we have a sorry history of division over the last 200 years.

Will the real Quakers please stand up?

Will the real Quakers please stand up?

Quakers are somewhat diverse, but we don’t really handle diversity very well. It makes us nervous the moment we encounter Quaker who really don’t think the way we do. Quakers talk a lot about unity, but the record shows that we have a sorry history of division over the last 200 years.

Meeting response to individual concerns

Meeting response to individual concerns

Many meetings do not really know the faith and practice of traditional Quaker ministry. All they know how to do is write a minute, and that often with a rather shallow understanding—or maybe they don’t. They often don’t know how to conduct a clearness committee for discernment. They may not know about the resources available for guidance in creating support committees for Friends with leadings.

Awakening to the Prophetic Call of Quakerism at Pacific Yearly Meeting

Awakening to the Prophetic Call of Quakerism at Pacific Yearly Meeting

My message to Friends who want to make a difference is simply this: No matter how inadequate we may feel, God will give us the words we need to say if we put our confidence in the One who calls us from the depths of our souls. My prayer is that we will do our best to be faithful to that inward call. David Hartsough was favored with the following message which makes clear how much Friends need to speak out loudly and clearly against the injustices of our time, just as early Friends and prophets did during their time.

It Breaks My Heart

It Breaks My Heart

It broke my heart and still breaks my heart that so many Quaker meetings have either gone down this path and lost the original intent of what George Fox had revealed to him or have taken a path totally eliminating Christ in favor of political activism… I am at a loss for where those of us displaced by this contentious battle are to go and unable right now to keep seeking.

Building a Permission-Giving Culture

Building a Permission-Giving Culture

Our younger Friends are absolutely right when they look at these patterns of behavior and declare them absurd, and many times, instead of sticking around and pushing through it, they (and the Light they are carrying) either leave our communities entirely or, at the very least, put the majority of what is often deeply-grounded, well-led energy into some other organization, somewhere else.

Seeking a People

Seeking a People

I’ve met others who need a Spirit-led Society. We share this vision, and we share the disappointment of being drowned out in meeting by classism, ageism, and racism. Some of us wonder if Quakerism isn’t all that different from the rest of liberal religion. From what we’ve seen, it isn’t apocalyptic. It isn’t radical. It doesn’t sound like Fox or look like Jesus. It works at incremental transformation while simultaneously shushing those who need the system overthrown.