“Duck Duck Goose” Turned Into a Prayer Circle

“Duck Duck Goose” Turned Into a Prayer Circle

On Saturday of the Young Quakes gathering, a group of us were playing duck duck goose in a nearby field during our free time in the afternoon. We had just started to play when another young Friend from the conference came running down the road in tears and proclaimed the news: President George W. Bush just announced that the United States had officially begun bombing Afghanistan.

Conflict is an Opportunity for Growth

Conflict is an Opportunity for Growth

We start with the premise that conflict is normal and natural, wherever people are working and living together. It often happens that our behavior or response to conflict may cause us to regard it as a negative experience, perhaps even dangerous. But conflict itself is simply a condition in which peoples’ needs, wishes, and perceptions appear to be in opposition.

A More Painful Path

A More Painful Path

A mark of the liberating community is a radical commitment to a critical contemplation of one’s own life and the life of one’s faith community. This commitment is important for all groups and and especially important for communities like my own which have made small beginnings in aligning themselves with the oppressed, and are somewhere concretely involved in the struggle for justice.

Seeking the Truth of a Person

Seeking the Truth of a Person

The listening we advocate requires a particular mode: the questions are non-adversarial. The listening is nonjudgmental. The listener seeks the truth of the person questioned, seeks to see through any masks of hostility and fear to the sacredness of the individual, and to discern the wounds at the heart of any violence.

A Common Fear

A Common Fear

The individual whose commitment to the community is based on a sense that these community members are somehow special human beings, who have the right concerns and values and live the right lives, will find great difficulty when members of the community fail to live up to these standards and expectations. Being human, we all fail repeatedly to live up to our own standards and expectations, and are bound to disappoint other people’s on occasion.

We Are an Imperfect Human Community

We Are an Imperfect Human Community

The individual whose commitment to the community is based on a sense that these community members are somehow special human beings, who have the right concerns and values and live the right lives, will find great difficulty when members of the community fail to live up to these standards and expectations. Being human, we all fail repeatedly to live up to our own standards and expectations, and are bound to disappoint other people’s on occasion.

Less Like a Utopia and More Like a Crucible

Less Like a Utopia and More Like a Crucible

Community comes as a byproduct of commitment and struggle. It comes when we step forward to right some wrong, to heal some hurt, to give some service. It always means the collision of egos. It is less like Utopia than like a crucible or a refiner’s fire.

The Quaker Practice of Embracing Difference

The Quaker Practice of Embracing Difference

I don’t think our understanding of ‘what we call God’ will ever be complete. Moreover, whatever is of God is bound to be beyond any clever myth we humans can devise. Yet, I do think that the divine gives us windows (decisive views) onto itself.

Painting Sanctuary

Painting Sanctuary

This artwork takes its title, “Beloved Community, Sanctuary Cities”, from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideas of a beloved community, where all are equal and accepted, and the proclamation to be a place of sanctuary made by cities across the U.S., this painting is meant to be a hopeful vision to hold onto in our hearts and minds.

Uniqueness Makes us Whole

Uniqueness Makes us Whole

By using the power of mature, redemptive love we can show each individual that we need his or her uniqueness to make us whole. We will then see that we have something to give others and that others have something to give us.