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.
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?
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.
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….
I’ll Dress You in Silken Wings
by Abraham Chalfi
I’ll dress you in silken wings
Coloured perhaps bird-green
And perhaps a legendary crimson
And you’d be so beautiful
Children of man….
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.
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.
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.
Global Meeting for Worship via Zoom web conferencing
Beginning Wednesday, March 6, 2019, and each Wednesday thereafter.
6-7:00 pm Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time (UTC/GMT)