Children of the German School at Eerde … America is rounding up and imprisoning people labeled as so-called “illegal aliens,” taking children from families and detaining people in crowded, sometimes abusive conditions. Increasingly, the arrested include American-born…
“The Church, the Draft Board, and Me” recounts my conflicts with the Catholic Church, whose ethics were called into question by the war in Vietnam, and the U.S. Selective Service System, which refused to honor my conscientious objection to participation in war.
In telling that story, it sketches my evolution, despite encounters with predatory priests and a vindictive draft board, from youthful candidate for the Catholic priesthood to adult a-theistic Quaker who still asserts that “God is love.”
In the last few months in the U.S., we are testing our language, searching for the right words. For examples, do we use “not guilty,” exoneration, vindication, exculpation, absolution, assoil, absolve, or acquittal? These are all related, but each is different in nuance and significance for our future.
Selecting the right words is a universal human challenge. How do we to find and use language to express and communicate to others in public discernment processes?
Quaker’s faith is all about practical Christianity, both in personal and communal prayers, and personal and communal good works.
Faith can’t be complete without good works. Mere good work without faith to God, the creator, author, and the beginning and end of all things, isn’t also enough. These are inseparable as intertwining. Real faith is walking with good actions in genuinely free-will practice.
THEMES FOR 2019
During Quaker Universalist Fellowship’s annual steering committee meeting in October, we affirmed that our focus is on Quaker faith and practice underneath a broad theological umbrella. Overarching questions are:
- How do we manifest the interaction between faith and practice?
- How do we make the transition from faith into practice, making the “and” into an ongoing process of discernment that moves between the two?
We developed five general areas in which to focus, with queries. These are the areas that are the most alive for us, and for which we have the most sense of S/spirit-led clarity.
Inside our fortifications, ideally, scarcity and excess are minimized as we “give us this day our daily bread;” but in actuality, scarcity and excess are the pumping pistons of empire, trampling our planet today.
In this time when the news is hard to watch or listen to, finding the Light in all and common ground among us is more important than ever.
During our annual Steering Committee meeting in October, we again affirmed that we seek truth to guide practice in the Quaker tradition.
We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!
Gail Rogers, Clerk
The Quaker Universalist Fellowship engages seekers of all religious, spiritual, and secular approaches in a dialog of free expression and active listening. Our aim is to learn from each other, and to identify the common truths and understanding that guide our lives and actions.
QUF welcomes participation from all branches of Friends (Quakers), as well as from the wider world community. We create opportunities for learning and dialog through such resources and forums as publications, website, blog, conferences, lectures, and social media.
How can I remove myself from the war economy? Jesus’ message is to drop the sword and find wholeness. Can I embody Truth — to become a clear bell — to offer concrete love? I need to take my money out of the US federal bank account. On Tax Day, April 17, 2018, I will not voluntarily pay a nickel for war.
How does a Quaker meeting or church prepare for its ministry to immigrants in the U.S. in 2017? Here is a beginning for discernment in one meeting. It is a matter of discernment. See how the Duluth-Superior Friends Meeting in Minnesota is approaching discernment and including…