A Letter from the Editor

Hello dear readers,

We’re trying out something new this week. Instead of a longer Sunday message (you got that yesterday), I’m writing a short letter to summarize the week and share what struck me. This also gives more space for your query responses to shine! I get a valuable spiritual education from reading through your responses every week, and I sincerely thank you for sharing them.

Although I collected messages for this week without a theme in mind, the topic of peace kept bubbling up, perhaps because the war in Gaza has been on my heart. Monday’s message about nonviolence towards each other and the earth stood out to me especially. I had an “a-ha” moment when I read Jennie M. Ratcliffe explain that violence is actually born from a feeling of disconnection. 

On Thursday we read how English Friends responded to the Napoleonic Wars, and Friday had Margaret Fell writing publicly about the Quaker peace testimony for the first time in history. In turbulent times, our principles can make us brave, as Fell said, “to follow after righteousness and the knowledge of God, […and do] that which tends to the peace of all.”

Since we began the Daily Quaker Message in April, we have considered this to be a pilot project. We’re going to take a scheduled break from daily emails in July and August to focus on redesigning the Daily Quaker, informed by reader feedback. Please take our survey to let us know how we can improve! We’ll still send you emails on Sundays during the break.

The Daily Quaker Message is Jon Watts’ brainchild, and next week he will be guest editing the messages. He’s a lifelong Friend, musician, and media creator. I’ve had a sneak peek, and you’re in for a week of spiritually deep messages with poetic invitations.  

In friendship,
Maeve Sutherland
Editor of the Daily Quaker Message

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How does your body help you connect to spirit?

My beautiful aging is my response: I enjoy much health and enough pain to remind me of my end; The pairing is spiritually guided by any light I may hold within; I am my body — all that it is and all of my acts can be worship. My awareness of impermanence, joy, suffering and bliss IS my life.

Jean N., Ingleside, IL, USA
I am a long-distance athlete. In my younger years, it was running marathons or triathlons. Now it’s mostly swimming. Especially early-morning, open-water swims in fresh lakes. The repetitive movement of my breathing and strokes center me. The first third of my swim, my mind is everywhere, then I settle in. During my last third, I’ve usually connected to my inner light. When I’m done and sitting on the dock drying off, I feel immense gratitude and connectedness to the natural rhythms of the world around me. I then begin my day, knowing I will be guided.

Peggy H., Vassalboro, ME, USA
I think realising that my body and what I consider my soul/spirit were connected really helped me learn to love myself and helped me heal. It also gave me a physical connection to spirituality that was more than just symbolic. For me, being fully present in the spirit means being present in my body and not trying to separate the two. Feeling my heart and focusing on my breathing not only helped me calm down physically, but allowed me to slow down spiritually and really appreciate and connect with what was around me.

Nicole L., Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

How do you live your life to affirm the sacredness of the everyday?

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