Something Much Older and Deeper Than Quakerism

Something Much Older and Deeper Than Quakerism

My experience is that there is a single root of our faith and life as a religious society — a taproot much older and runs much deeper than Quakerism. The taproot of a tree runs straight down from the trunk into the deepest soil, anchoring the tree against storms and providing nurture from the very deepest of sources. There may be hundreds of secondary roots, but only the taproot is necessary for the tree to survive and thrive. The Big Story — the Cosmic Story — is the story of creation’s eternally repeated encounters with its taproot.

A Deeper Understanding of Quaker Practice

A Deeper Understanding of Quaker Practice

I remember when I first encountered Elise Boulding’s idea that joy can be rooted in something deeper than happiness – it was a revelation that set me free to be at peace with my range of emotions and not to try and suppress or control them, but to appreciate each as it comes, grounded in joy. Monday’s message from Boulding set us on a path this week of inward exploration, further punctuated by Margaret Fell’s description of the Light on Tuesday.

Room for the Infinite

Room for the Infinite

There is a profundity and subtlety in such pictures that we never should have missed. Such painting carries the universe in its bosom. It sets forth the Infinite, the Everlasting Background and Source of all things, and shows us the infinite particulars as out-jutting revelations of Itself. Out from It they came, back into It they retire. There is no disconnection; the finite is a fragmentary disclosure of the Infinite, a rhythm-filled continuation of that unspeakably full Life which gives it birth.

Do Not Fear Truth

Do Not Fear Truth

I give myself this advice: Do not fear truth, let it be ever so contrary to inclination and feeling. Never give up the search after it; and let me take courage, and try from the bottom of my heart to do that which I believe truth dictates.

The Heart of the Quaker Tradition

The Heart of the Quaker Tradition

When George Fox was initially on his spiritual quest to understand the true nature of faith and Christianity, he was living in the midst of full-on Christendom, that is state-sponsored Christianity or Christianity twisted to become comfortable acting as ‘the religion of empire.’

The Whole of Life is Sacramental

The Whole of Life is Sacramental

It is a bold and colossal claim that we put forward — that the whole of life is sacramental, that there are innumerable ‘means of grace’ by which God is revealed and communicated — through nature and through human fellowship and through a thousand things that may become the ‘outward and visible sign’ of an ‘inward and spiritual grace.’

Let the Light Search You

Let the Light Search You

Now, Friends, deal plainly with yourselves, and let the eternal Light search you, and try you, for the good of your souls. For this will deal plainly with you. It will rip you up, and lay you open, and make all manifest which lodges in you; the secret subtlety of the enemy of your souls, this eternal searcher and trier will make manifest.

The Difference Between Happiness and Joy

The Difference Between Happiness and Joy

The real difference between happiness and joy is that one is grounded in this world, the other in eternity. Happiness cannot encompass suffering and evil. Joy can. 

A Letter from the Editor

A Letter from the Editor

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.

We Are Called to Perform Miracles

We Are Called to Perform Miracles

No one of us is asked to save the world by ourselves. And yet collectively, the Religious Society of Friends is a covenant people charged with building the kingdom of God on Earth. This is not a small task. This will take miracles, and what I want to put forth today is that miracles do not happen when we declare them to be impossible.