Quaker Universalist Conversations

Worship as an Act of Love: The experiment of online worship

Online meeting for worship can be a blessed door into our practice of unity, just like ordinary meeting for worship is. So, if anyone is so moved, please join. Let’s us join in love. Let’s come together with the glorious intention of making our worship an occasion for bliss…. Worship regenerates. Worship enlivens. If it becomes tiresome or frustrating, we might need to look into our inward disposition – how much love do I bring into our meeting?

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An Exposition of Laozi’s “Essence of Dao”

From a monotheistic culture without direct revelation, Laozi was trying to make sense of what was going on in his time in China, when the country was divided and fighting one another. Is it the will of heaven, or it is just the corruption of humankind?

His ideas are very interesting when compared with those of a monotheistic culture which does describe direct revelations: law given by the God without a name; spiritual communities developed by the law of the Spirit; and a new commandment to love one another according to the love of Christ.

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Spiritual life is physical

Classical Greeks imagined a separation between mind and body, between spirit and matter.

The Jewish missionary Paul borrowed this notion—by his time dominant in the Greco-Roman world—as he tried to translate the more holistic Jewish spirituality for non-Jewish worshipers in the first century synagogues and congregations where he taught….

Sadly, the absolute spirit-versus-matter dichotomy of the Greeks has… persisted throughout the centuries of Christian dominance and into the empirically-minded science of the modern Western world.

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Loss of shared space: the second pandemic

But, our brains are in bodies in the material world. And our bodies need more than that minimal sight on a screen in order to feel—to know in the blood—that we are really in the midst of other people.

When we begin to experience cabin fever and loneliness, when we start to feel more discouraged, disoriented, and cut off than fear of the disease itself can account for, might we be uncovering a deeper spiritual pandemic: the loss of shared space?

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Who is Jesus for me?

Bringing Jesus out of the shadows

I believe Jesus was “sent” by God in the sense that he walked fully with God – acted out of that place of love at all times, fully lived as we are meant to live. He was our model for all we are capable of being and doing…. I think Jesus had the impact he did because he was showing us what kind of attitude and behavior makes us right with the world, how the world and we really work.

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“On Mediation” by Mary Klein

“From the Editor’s Desk,” Jan/Feb 2020 Western Friend

Love and truth spring forth in all times and all places – even in the hearts of chaos and corruption. We strive to follow the Good Way, but only in vain can we define it. Dust devils of DNA whirl down the generations, rampaging, making things new, making things fit, breaking eggs to make omelettes. To our surprise, we arrive in this life. Then we do our best to do the right thing, never really knowing all the good and all the damage we are causing.

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“Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself:”
Discourse on the Nature of Christ

Today’s “Christianity,” and the Gospels, do not focus on the true beliefs of the message of Jesus, but instead on his “Resurrection,” his supposed divinity, salvation, and other divine aspects. This focus tends to make the true ethical and moral message of Jesus secondary to an attempt to fulfill the Jewish messianic prophecy. It is not that divine aspects are wrong or bad, but that the message and true values of Jesus are lost to the divine message.

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Whistleblowing: A Universal Challenge

The New Whistleblower’s Handbook
by Stephen Martin Kohn – A review

This is a serious book addressing the motives and the emotional burdens on whistleblowers. Kohn conveys an enthusiastic, can-do theme and attitude. He is clearly supportive of whistleblowing as a benefit to private and public good governance.

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Help for Moral Injury: Strategies and Interventions, by Cecelia Yocum – A Review

The phenomenon of moral injury is currently being explored seriously in the areas of military service and torture experience, and it has been recognized as a genuine challenge by leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces branches and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It is also becoming the object of broader serious discussion in areas of human experience relating to sexuality, abortion, child abuse and poverty.

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