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Zae Asa Illo

Articles

Spiritually Clean – A Social Laundromat Ministry For a few years, San Francisco Quaker meeting has been meeting Christ outside its doors, literally. The voiceless, forgotten, and politically marginalized gather outside our building to seek refuge. We welcome them to service on Sundays, make sandwiches and food, and charge their phones on Fridays, and that’s all needed. Another quiet ministry is the washing of laundry – which a few Friends take back to their places to wash and return.

Issue: On Dignity (July 2023)

23rd-Century-Ready Quaker Institutions Upon my arrival in Richmond, Indiana – after years of ministry in San Francisco, California – I would often walk the campus in the awareness that Earlham College had been standing at the time of the Civil War. I think often about the tension between spectacular, Ezekiel-like revelations from God and what happens when we attempt to translate such revelations into structured communities.

Issue: On Words (November 2021)

Fulton & Larkin This evening, we were witness to a large community that has grown at Fulton and Larkin streets. There are at least sixty persons currently living at this location.

Issue: On Wealth (May 2020)

Ulysses (review) Many Friends are unaware that James Joyce included a Quaker librarian, Lyster, in Ulysses. As the Religious Society of Friends gropes out of its colorless stasis, Ulysses reminds us that Friends carry a cultural presence beyond the confines of minutes, meetings, and social concerns.  Even so, [pullquote]I encourage Friends to read Ulysses not for its utility, but as a brutally honest exploration of our inner condition.[/pullquote]

Issue: On Mediation (January 2020)

Black. Christian. Anarchist. I am an African American whose encounter with God is more an attitude than belief system, a certain swagger and daring in the face of what black liberation theologian James Cone would refer to as “obvious failure.” By all quantitative standards, the post-Reconstruction experience of African Americans would meet the definition of failure. Today, the median wealth of single Black women is – prepare yourself – five dollars. In San Francisco, African Americans are only five percent of the population. If all religious practice is a response to a set of particular historical circumstances what can speak to this collective misery? The African American religious experience is ultimately about the quest for freedom and self-determination.

Issue: On Control (July 2019)

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