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Quaker Culture: Hospitality And hence came the worthy family [of Judge Thomas and Margaret Fell] to be so renowned in the nation, the fame of which spread so much among Friends. And the power and the presence of the Lord being so much there with us, it was a means to induce many, even from far, to come thither, so that at one time there would have been Friends out of five or six counties . . . I was cherished and encouraged in the way of life by my entirely beloved friend Margaret Fell, who as a tender-hearted nursing-mother cared for me and was tender of me as if I had been one of her own children . . .

On Neighbors (September 2019)

Quaker Culture: Accordance We do not come alone to the meeting. For the needs of those within and without the meeting sit down with us . . . in the person of our bodies which connect us with the whole of the natural creation and every exchange of breath reveals our profound dependence on the rest of nature and discloses to us our responsibility for it. They sit down with us in the persons of those who actually sit with us, each of whom is the center of a world . . . and who yearns as I do for the great tendering, the new angle of vision, the regrouping within, that would respond to the deepest thing we know. They sit down with us, the wretched and the poor of the earth, both in spirit and in body, and a new feeling sense of our unity with them may be opened in that sitting.

On Mediation (January 2020)

Quaker Culture: Simplicity Simplicity does not mean that all conform to uniform standards. . .  The call to each is to abandon those things that clutter his life and to press toward the goal unhampered. This is true simplicity. Friends are watchful to keep themselves free from self-indulgent habits, luxurious ways of living and the bondage of fashion. . . But this does not mean that all life is to be poor and bare, destitute of joy and beauty. . . Simplicity, when it removes encumbering details, makes for beauty in music, in art, and in living.

On Art (March 2020)

Quaker Culture: Understanding Oh, that men could . . . not lean to their own understandings, nor idolize their own apprehensions and conceivings, but wait to receive understanding from God, who giveth liberally of the true wisdom to those that ask and wait aright! . . . He that will be truly wise must first become a fool, that he may be wise; that is, he must not strive to learn in the comprehensive way of man’s wisdom and prudence the things of God’s kingdom; but feel the begettings of life in his heart, and in that receive somewhat of the new and heavenly understanding . . .

On Secrets (July 2020)

Quaker Culture: Education The attitude of the Society of Friends towards education has been determined by their belief in the Inner Light. Holding as they do that there is something of the divine in every [person], they have regarded education (in the broadest sense) as the developing of the Divine Seed, or the fanning into a flame of that Divine Spark . . . To Friends, therefore, education is an intensely religious thing; it means the training and development of the spiritual life, the liberating of the Divine that is within us.

On Teachers (September 2020)

Quaker Culture: Guidance Dearly beloved Friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by; but that all, with a measure of the Light, which is pure and holy, may be guided: and so in the Light walking and abiding, these things may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not in the letter, for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.

On Rules (November 2020)

Quaker Culture: Creativity We hate to admit that we are confused, desperately longing for direction. We seem to deny that man was made in the image of God and that we are meant to be creative too, each in our own way. . . If the artist’s work is his worship, [then]. . . Greed will have to go. Greed, which is hunger for the power that money can buy . . . Speed will have to go. Speed, which kills the craftsman and his work, which spoils the enjoyment of nature, dulls our senses, prevents meditation and the maturing of a growing mind. . . We must recapture what we have lost; we must fight for our faith, fight our way back to God. We must become creative again, whole again, and aware of our responsibilities for a new moral order. (1952)

On Vision (January 2021)

Quaker Culture: Challenge We are sometimes told that the only way to change society is to change its members individually. But this is not only unduly pessimistic; it involves a disregard of man’s nature as a social being and what is implied by our membership one of another. Because man is a social being, the spiritual level of a whole society can be lifted permanently by a few dedicated individuals, and a great reform such as the abolition of slavery can be brought about even though in other respects the ethical development of the mass of its members remains substantially unchanged. This fact is at the same time an encouragement and a challenge to all who are working for human progress.

On Tricks (May 2021)

Quaker Culture: Transparency We counsel less mystery and more openness towards those who are worthy of confidence. If men conceal from their nearest connections in life a knowledge of the actual state of their affairs, they may deprive themselves of helpful advice, and kind participation in trouble; expenses may be incurred, and subsequent distress may ensue, which might have been avoided.

On Debt (July 2021)

Quaker Culture: Practice [We] must remember that there is one worse thing than failure to practice what we profess, and that is to water down our professions to match our practice.

On Alternatives (March 2022)