Culture

On Play

Let’s be friends. Let’s play a game, or play make-believe, or play around just to see what happens. Let’s play the Massively Multiplayer Offline Game called The Valley of the Shadow of Death. Each of us gets two characters – InnerFriend and OuterFriend – and the goal is to keep them together, as closely as we can, while we move them through The Valley toward The Eternal Mystery.

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Those Other Quakers

The majority of liberal Friends in the West share similar traits: First, very few of us grew up among Quakers; we arrived as adults, often fleeing dogmas or religious paths that we now reject. Second, many of us feel a sense of “homecoming” in Friendly traditions like our Peace Testimony, silent expectant worship, and the general spirit of tolerance in our meetings.

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Quaker Culture: Speaking as Equals

Friends (of the non-pastoral sort, at least) do not have a hierarchy.  No chain of command.  No higher-ups.  No in-group.  No pyramid of authority.  No ultimate decision-maker, where the buck always stops.  Nobody on the bottom, who must keep his/her head down and mouth shut for fear of retaliation.  Nobody who is powerless.  Nobody more powerful than whomever fills the temporary and limited ro

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Raising Quaker Voices about Race

When I was in high school, some friends and I snuck into a neighborhood swimming pool that was closed after dark. We tried to keep quiet, but we were having too much fun, and a neighbor called the cops. An officer showed up and calmly asked us to please leave, which we did. Those friends and I are white.

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Moving Forward Together – In A Good Way

Quaker Oaks Farm is a place where we, Darlene and Melissa, children of families from very different backgrounds, are creating new stories together. We are characters in the stories, and we are authors.

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Not the Final Word

Part of my dad’s job with the American Friends Service Committee was to take speakers around to various college campuses, churches, and summer institutes. As a kid, I sometimes went along and got to meet such spiritual giants as peace activist A.J. Muste and civil rights leaders Bayard Rustin and Ralph Abernathy.

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