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Not Silent or Complacent

Published: June 6, 2020


Dear Friends:  Once again, our country is reeling from the deaths of Persons of Color. These are persons who are too often seen as “less than,” not worthy of life, respect, or the presumption of innocence by those with less melanin in their skin. I lift up the recent names of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many for whom no video footage is available.

Friend, deal plainly with yourselves, and let the eternal light search you, and try you, for the good of your souls; for this will deal plainly with you; it will rip you up, lay you open, and make all manifest that lodgeth in you; the secret subtlety of the enemy of your souls, this searcher and tryer will make manifest.

– Margaret Fell (1614-1702)

As Quakers, are we hearing the call from God to witness racism, feeling the injustice in our bodies, and then discerning ways to live into mending the harm? We cannot be silent or complacent. By virtue of our faith, we are called to witness to white supremacy, domination, and disregard for humanity. We are called to discern how we will live and speak, so that all people have the space and air and choices that we all have been given by God.

 We must look consciously for and weed out the ways within the Religious Society of Friends of the Truth that constrict us in patterns of oppression or silencing of other human beings. I ask that we reflect deeply, ask for guidance, and follow that guidance.

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

– Psalm 139: 1, 4, 23-24 KJV


from Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk of Pacific Yearly Meeting (5/30/2020)