Continuing revelation

On Freedom

A thrill is in the air when a storm is on the way. Some creatures run and shout and seek the highest vantage point. Others look for the nearest root cellar. Reckless versus responsible, selfless versus selfish – any reaction to danger can be seen in various lights. Some good neighbors rush to warn the rest to hurry up and take cover.

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The Ground from which Miracles Spring

I didn’t want to join the committee. As a “released Friend,” my role is to follow the leadings of my music ministry out in the world, freed from responsibility for the business of Multnomah Monthly Meeting. But I have found myself reckoning lately with a firehose of Spirit blasting a message through me that has nothing to do with songs or cello.

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On Words

Language is a technology, a means of employing experience-based knowledge for practical purposes. Words are torches that beam from mind to mind, prompting individuals to turn their attentions in the same direction and to coordinate their efforts for survival. Many species rely on communication systems in this way.

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Not Impossible Standards

Dear Editor: Thanks to Sharon Doyle for her interesting and informative article in the Nov/Dec 2020 Western Friend about the evolution of the peace testimony. She walked us through centuries with a thumbnail sketch that managed to contain the essence of our inconsistencies, both successes and failures. I have a truer and humbler appreciation for our past.

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Next Year in Bunnytown

A couple years ago, I took my white family to see the Langston Hughes production Black Nativity in a small church in a historically Black neighborhood in Portland. The pews were packed, and the performance space overflowed into the audience. We were specifically invited to sing and stand and move as we felt led.

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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.

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On Puzzles

Organelles, cells, organs, organisms, families, cultures, planets – these bodies nest within each other in irregular concentricity, one within the next, each encased by its own semi-permeable boundary. In the jigsaw puzzle of incarnation, all the pieces slip and slide, expand and contract, ignite and extinguish, push, pull, infiltrate, and emerge. There, but for the grace of God, go I.

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Quaker Culture: Speaking Up

“Have you anything to declare?” is a vital challenge to which every one of us is personally called to respond and is also a challenge that every meeting should consider of primary importance. It should lead us to define, with such clarity as we can reach, precisely what it is that Friends of this generation have to say that is not, as we believe, being said effectively by others.

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