Articles

Author(s): Michael Eastwood

Friends:  Western Young Friends New Year's Gathering is the spiritual retreat that I look forward to the most every year. Having time to worship and look inward, reconnecting with old friends, meeting wonderful new people, and having the space to listen and be heard, to follow those emotional threads, is so important. It's something that I too rarely get in my busy life.

One of the other highlights of my year is the annual backpacking trip I take with my dad and sister Faith, often... Read more.

Author(s): Pablo Stanfield

Howard and Anna Brinton: Re-Inventors of Quakerism in the Twentieth Century

by Anthony Manousos

Reviewed by Pablo Stanfield

Everyone in Intermountain, North Pacific, and Pacific Yearly Meetings should read this biography and get a better idea of our history and our position on the spectrum of Quaker faiths and practices. In these three yearly meetings, which descended from Pacific Yearly Meeting (born 1947), the faith tradition is commonly labeled... Read more.

Author(s): Talley Kenyon

The Quaker Way: A Rediscovery by Rex Ambler

reviewed by Talley Kenyon

So just what is The Quaker Way? What is going on when we sit in silence? Why do we need a Meeting for Worship?  How does all this play out in our everyday lives? These questions are explored and explained in the seven short chapters of this new book by British Friend, Rex Ambler.  

I found myself underlining passages throughout this book, from the introduction all the way to the end – a sign that I... Read more.

Author(s): Mary Klein

Dear Friends, Many of you have heard the story: Two old Quaker farmers are working together, repairing a fence. One farmer pauses, looks up, and comments that among a flock of white sheep, he sees a black one. The other farmer looks up at the flock and replies, “Well yes, it is black on this side.”

We never see anything completely or purely. Studies in cognitive science and moral psychology tell us that the nature of our neurology places rose-colored contact lenses on our... Read more.

Author(s): Bob Runyan

“There is that near you, which will guide you; oh! wait for it, and be sure ye keep to it.” - Isaac Penington (1616-1679)

I’ve been drawn to this quote since I first read it several years ago. It now hangs above the door to the library at Ben Lomond Quaker Center, where I work. Isaac Penington was a prominent early Friend, one of the “valiant 60.” He was a wealthy man with a large estate when he and his wife Mary joined the Society of Friends in 1658. They forfeited their... Read more.

Author(s): Mark Holdaway

George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, disapproved of creeds, as they are divisive rather than unifying. He also thought that mere words could not encapsulate the transcendence of the Divine. Quakers have always interpreted the words and symbols of Christianity and the Divine in novel ways, and our understanding of Quaker faith has also evolved over time. That the Religious Society of Friends does not have a creed permits this evolving group understanding of our faith.

Instead of... Read more.

Author(s): Joyce Zerwekh

We simply can’t always speak out. But there are critical times within Friends’ communities when failing to speak truth can cause great damage. Trying not to offend, trying to maintain a surface calm, can cause a disastrous loss of trust and can betray our commitment to answering the Light in everyone. Often it enables cruel behavior to continue. When problems remain unnamed, it can threaten our ability to address them. This kind of silence can undermine integrity, cause profound personal... Read more.

Author(s): Diane Pasta

I united with the Quaker testimony of Integrity very naturally when I first learned of it. I had developed a deep need to discern the truth as a child, when I experienced the pain of telling the truth and yet not being believed. My excellent academic education in math and law taught me many methods for seeking the truth – scientific experimentation, logic, debate and more. So when I became a Quaker in my thirties, a deep respect for the value of Truth and Integrity were already well... Read more.

Author(s): Anthony Chang

Dear Friends: I decided to attend Western Young Friends New Year’s Gathering from December 28, 2012 to January 2, 2013 after attending Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session in the summer of 2012, not wanting to wait one full year before I saw all my friends again. I feel a stronger connection with the greater community of the Religious Society of Friends than I do with Honolulu Friends Meeting alone.  

The Western Young Friends New Year’s Gathering alternates locations between... Read more.

Author(s): Palo Alto Friends Nominating Committee

Dear Friends:  The Nominating Committee of Palo Alto Friends Meeting has faced challenges recently in filling the position of Clerk of the Meeting and Recording Clerk.  Two Friends have been sharing the Clerk position for what is now the third year.

We recognize that different meetings handle these positions in different ways and would like to hear from anyone about what has worked, what you have tried, what you are doing now, and what challenges your Meeting has faced in this area... Read more.

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