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Rekindling the Fire Looking towards the future of Quakerism, we see that the power to rekindle our fire for social justice lies within our local meetings. Supporting individuals to pursue the spirit’s leadings to work for peace and social justice will strengthen the Religious Society of Friends overall and connect us back to our historical roots.

On Power (March 2013)

Charting Our Way Tockhwock (AKA Geoffrey Kaiser) produced “The Chart” that hangs as a poster in many Quaker meetinghouses, depicting Quaker history as a tree. Beginning in the late 1960s, he revised and updated The Chart continually until 2010. During that time, he and his husband Bruce traveled widely among Friends in North America and gave lectures about Friends’ 350 years of schisms and associations. Tockhwock is a member of Appleseed Meeting in Sebastopol, CA (PYM), grew up in Gwynedd Meeting in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and was a founding member of Friends for Lesbian and Gay Concerns in 1970. He spoke with Western Friend by phone on January 23, 2014. Following are edited excerpts from a transcript of that interview.

On Time (March 2014)

The Inner Boss I have had the privilege to spend my life attending to leadings of Spirit. My young adult years were largely spent living very simply, moving from an internship to an activist position to part-time jobs in the non-profit and education sectors, which allowed me to follow my own artistic leadings while paying attention to what might be next. I had the benefit of spiritual mentors who sometimes also happened to be my bosses and jobs in which I had little supervision and much freedom to live into my leadings. My spiritual life as a Quaker and my work life were closely intertwined, and were often also intertwined with my personal life as well. I co-founded an activist and ecumenical intentional community during this period.

On Bosses (July 2018)

Gasoline and Leadings William Penn became a Quaker in 1666, and immediately realized he had a problem. He was a member of the court of King Charles II. As a courtier, he was expected to wear a sword; as a Quaker, he had abjured the sword’s use. What to do? Legend says that he approached George Fox with this conundrum, and Fox cut through it with a simple test: Wear thy sword as long as thou canst.

On Wealth (May 2020)

The Gathered Meeting I began my spiritual journey toward “the gathered meeting” when my wife and I visited her youngest son in Durham, North Carolina, in January, 2018. While there, we attended Durham Friends Meeting one Sunday when maybe a hundred adults and thirty-five children were present. The meeting felt settled and centered. Early in the hour, someone offered a message about how important it is for Friends to follow the Light and be gathered, and about how important it is for Friends to take those two practices out into the world. The message was matter-of-fact, stated in words that were simple and direct. Several more messages followed, all of them tagging along with the first. I could feel that people trusted one another. I could feel that something huge was happening.

On Relevance (March 2021)

The Veil, The Shadow, and the Abundant Life Excerpts from the keynote presentation to Intermountain Yearly Meeting; June 11, 2015; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiú, New Mexico

On Play (September 2015)

Work Not in Vain Lloyd Lee Wilson’s words to Pacific Yearly Meeting, July 14, 2015; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California; as reported by Western Friend

On Play (September 2015)