Quaker Universalist Conversations

A Quakerly Dance Form

Reprinted from Western Friend

During the Contact Improvisation class at Intermountain Yearly Meeting 2018, we explored ways to connect and move through the language of touch, how to vary pressure to create stability or momentum, how to touch reassuringly to communicate trustworthiness.

We explored ways of giving and taking weight, and generating three-dimensional aspects to dancing. People rolled onto the floor and onto each other’s bodies. All this was done through deep listening, responsiveness to others’ physical invitations, and checking in with one’s own essential self for boundary making.

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Understanding Belief

The fact that religious systems include a substantial element of magic thinking and mythology does not disprove their usefulness in a difficult world. Religious belief has been common in all cultures since the beginning of human time because, from an evolutionary point of view, it has demonstrable survival value. At all times of history, human life has been a dangerous and fearful proposition. Religion has often functioned well to abate fear, instill intention, promote courage, and protect from despair.

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Words, Words for World Communication

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?

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Rational Spirituality and How I Got Here

Excerpts from a post on Secular Liturgies Network and Forum

Genuine spirituality demands honesty, freedom, tolerance and equality, values running counter to the religious power structures that have been dominant for so long. It is a process of rediscovering and having a renewed appreciation of our place in nature, an emphasis which contrasts with the efforts of traditional religion to set humanity apart from its natural origins and even to set us apart from the needs and pleasures of our own physical bodies.

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Existence After Death

A Review of J. Garrison’s Shakespeare and the Afterlife

John S. Garrison’s Shakespeare and the Afterlife is, on the surface, a study of the views and devices used by William Shakespeare in his plays and poetry in treating the nature and activities of existence after death. More deeply, though, this book is a meditation on the variety of contemporary views about existence after death….

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Quaker Universalist Friendly Studies
& Bible Translations

6 sets of Friendly study resources (free PDF downloads)

The Quaker Universalist Friendlies are practical procedures for productive Bible study, Faith and Practice Study, and universal scripture study in a manner consistent with Friends’ testimonies. Their purpose and that of the spiritual life inventory is to provide practical assistance to Quakers in their spiritual journeys.

The Bible translations are coupled with downloadable commentaries to assist readers and the participants in discussion. The commentaries emphasize the significant, distinguishing elements of these accurate translations, and should be particularly helpful to children.

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Reflections on QUF’s 2019 Themes

A response from the Philippines

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.

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Welcome to the Quaker Universalist Voice

Our Themes

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.

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Myths are truths

The perspective of Rabbi Neil Gillman

Rabbi Neil Gillman used the term “myth” to mean an organizing principle into which we fit certain facts and experiences, a narrative structure that communicates a community’s master-narrative.

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