Faith

A Lesson for Three Characters

Three members of a Quaker meeting answer the question, “Why are you here?” The first says, “To benefit from group meditation, which helps my personal well-being.”  The second says, “To be part of a community that benefits the world.”  The third says, “To seek and serve God.”

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From Despair to Strength and Joy - Excerpts

Excerpts from the keynote presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 14, 2016; Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington

by Diane Randall

Good morning Friends. Thank you for welcoming me here this week as a Friend in Residence.

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Who We Are

Heritage is an inheritance, a kind of gift, good or bad, we receive from the past – cannot avoid receiving, since it’s ingrained in our character and being. Even when we may not recognize it or admit it (and especially if we do), it’s an essential element in who we are. As Quakers, we carry our generally unwritten heritage forward, especially in unprogrammed meetings.

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Be Not Afraid

Dear Friends: When an angel, according to biblical records, encounters a living human being, the first thing the angel says is. “Fear not!” or “Be not afraid!” or words to that effect.

An angel would be terrifying up close and personal. But listen again. The angel doesn’t say, “Fear me not!” or “Be not afraid of me!” It is a general advice to abandon fear.

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Before “Things”

The language we necessarily use shapes our experience of the everyday world as a world of “things,” objects that we view from the outside. This is the case whether the “things” are apples, worlds, ideas, relationships, plans, or even the entire universe. We view and manipulate “things” as if we face them from a separate, outside position in which we seem to live.

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Quaker Culture: Right Action

For Friends the most important consideration is not the right action in itself but a right inward state out of which right action will arise. Given the right inward state right action is inevitable. Inward state and outward action are component parts of a single whole.

Howard Brinton, 1943.

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The Economy of Unknowing

As an economist, I study and teach about money, markets, and the economy. Given that I have been on this professional journey for nearly half a century, something makes me feel that I should have it all pretty much figured out by now. But I don’t. In some ways, I know less now than I once did. Perhaps this is good.

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