Church hoppers visit Friends4

A “church-hopping” couple visit Friends. She “was surprised by how spiritually nourishing those fifteen minutes felt. I imagined myself opening a conduit directly to God” while he talks of his astonishment at learning about liberal Quakers: “I had no idea there was such a thing! Of course, the first thing that came to mind was oatmeal.”

climate change and heart changes4

John Edminster on climate and human selfishness: “You and I know that these could be our last years on earth, and our children’s too. We’ve known since the 1970s that our greenhouse gas production is driving climate change, with nightmare sequels that may include global famine from cropland desertification and collapse of the marine food chain from souring of the seas by CO2. Thankfully, concerned world citizens aren’t taking all this lying down, but are lobbying, demonstrating, educating and entreating their governments and neighbors to act responsibly. But the mitigations put in place are consistently too little, too late, evidently because mass demand for an ever-higher standard of living, and capital’s drive to milk that demand for ever-higher levels of profit and power, trump any sustained effort to intervene for the common good. In a word, we’re choking on human selfishness: there are just too many people saying Me First.”

A five-year plan for Friends?4

Zachary Dutton argues U.S. Friends organizations should be less siloed: “It is time to acknowledge that the future and life of Liberal Quakerism rests in our coordination. Organizations have become siloed, but this is easily remedied. Our yearly meetings, external organizations, and educational institutions need to begin setting broad strategy together.”

Simplicity as equality in a U.S. courtroom4

North Carolina lawyer Scott Holmes explains why he doesn’t wear a tie in court: “What I started learning really quickly was that it wasn’t about simplicity, it was more about equality. That the tie is this symbol of male power and I started learning from my female attorney friends as they were laughing at my experiment—how women attorneys have to think about their dress everyday.”

Followers of a gentle agent of peace4

Emerging Diane reports from Ohio Yearly Meeting: “Nevertheless, and for all our blunders, we represent a form of Christianity with a message that the world desperately needs. We are not the Christianity of power, politics and prestige that Dorothy Sollee has deemed “Christo-fascism.” Instead, we are a group following a gentle agent of peace and forgiveness who cared for the broken and called them his friends.”

A warning against Quaker secularism and individualism4

A report on Ben Pink Dandelion’s major talk at the British Quaker Gathering from Craig Barnett:
It includes an explicit call to resist secularism and individualism, and to recover a clearer sense of our identity as a religious community with a specific understanding of our shared faith; ‘Maybe we’ve too much said ‘we love you and who would you like us to be?’ rather than, ‘we love you and this is who we are – you’re welcome to join if that works for you.’
Update: Audio of Ben’s talk has been posted to Soundcloud: