Quaker Ranter (Martin Kelly)

Syndicate content Quaker Ranter
An Email Newsletter & Blog from Martin Kelley
Updated: 5 weeks 4 days ago

Disappointment, frustration, and betrayal

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 4:27pm

From Johan Maurer:

What choices do we have? The most obvious and most glib answer is: leave! Escape! In fact, after prayer and consultation and weighing options, that may end up being the best answer.

This seems like a very grounded look at some of the oft-recurrent dysfunctions in churches. Check out the list of problems. I suspect thet most seekers have run into at least a fee of these in congregations.

Trustworthy, part three: choices

Political and cultural observations in light of Quaker discipleship. Recurring themes: Russia, peace, evangelism, blues.

Categories: Blogs

The Lamb’s War and dietary non-violence

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 4:11pm

On Friendly Fire:

I am thinking of those pretending compassion and love whilst consuming products of cruelty and brutality. We say with St. Paul: ‘I will eat no flesh whilst the world stands, because I will not hurt my brother.’ All creatures are our sisters and brothers, as Saint Francis of Assisi recognised centuries ago.

The Lamb’s War and dietary non-violence

‘The Lamb was always on the offensive’ wrote John Punshon. Refusing to consume meat and dairy is one…

Friendly Fire Collective
Categories: Blogs

QuakerSpeak season 6 is starting

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 8:11pm

Six seasons of the awesomest video series about Friends. There’s also a newly reenergized podcast version so subscribe to that if audio is your favorite medium!

Welcome to QuakerSpeak || Season 6

We’re back from our break! And we have a few announcements.

Categories: Blogs

A more modern commission

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 7:51pm

As an East Coast unprogrammed Friend, Quaker mission work is still a bit exotic. We’re used to reading of well-meaning nineteenth century Friends whose attitudes shock us today. But here’s a story of some Midwest mission work with the Shawnee in the 1970s and 80s.

Their “mission” work consists of farming, teaching, music and woodworking and language translating, lots of transporting children and teens. It also involves preaching each week, and participation in funerals, weddings, and other traditional pastoral duties, all aimed at introducing people to Jesus.

Their “mission” work consists of farming, teaching, music and woodworking and language translating, lots of transporting children and teens. It also involves preaching each week, and participation in funerals, weddings, and other traditional pastoral duties, all aimed at introducing people to Jesus. 

our-great-commission | Opinion

MY PERSPECTIVE, Gary Damron In high school I ran cross country at Shawnee Mission North. At least once…

Categories: Blogs

What Does the Outside Say?

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 7:34pm

Also in Friends Journal’s issue, “Outside the Meetinghouse,” a piece from Brad Stocker of Miami Meeting in Florida:

Most Friends have an understanding of the architectural message that our meetinghouses express. We understand the simplicity of the structure. We understand the reason there are no steeples or crosses on the outside and why we have clear windows placed so as to invite the light to enter. We are equally sensitive to interior design. While we come into frequent, intimate contact with the meetinghouse exterior, and the land it sits on, we may be less aware of the message they convey.

There may be a little whiplash to talk about butterfly gardens after the recent article on Quaker worship from prison but I like the intentionality of Stocker’s observations: we are always making statements with the care (or non-care) of our physical space. Miami’s the kind of coastal city where climate change is very much not a theoretical issue and Stocker is very involved in his yearly meeting’s earthcare education initiatives. The meetinghouse grounds are a place to model good stewardship; taking the care to have them be inviting and quietly demonstrative of Quaker values is important outreach.

Categories: Blogs

A bit of racism at Sidwell

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 7:34pm

Not cool: some students at the ritzy DC Quaker school made up racist usernames in a projected in-school discussion:

School officials say several of the student’s usernames were racist toward Asians and Native Americans and two of the usernames included images of swastikas. As soon as the names and images were recognized the projector was turned off and the presentation was ended.

Not many of the students at Sidwell are Friends so it’s highly unlikely that these were Quaker kids. But it’s never good to hear of behavior like this.

Racist words, swastikas displayed at Sidwell Friends School student presentation

Racist words and swastikas were displayed during an assembly at an elite Washington, D.C. school where one of…

Categories: Blogs

Young Friends in UK write a Trans and Non-binary Statement

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 12:42pm

This seems partly in response to controversies around anti-trans feminists booking Quaker meetinghouses for talks.

YFGM aims to be a welcoming and accessible space for people of all gender identities where people feel included and oppressive behaviour is not accepted. We recognise we have further work to do including some more immediate changes, and creating space to nurture deeper cultural changes within both YFGM and the wider Society of Friends.

Trans and Non-binary Statement

Trans and non-binary inclusion Introduction As Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM), we have been aware of, and sometimes…

Young Friends General Meeting
Categories: Blogs

Never Having Set Foot in the Meetinghouse

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 3:41pm

Yohannes “Knowledge” Johnson is a member of Bulls Head—Oswego Meeting even though he has never set foot in the meetinghouse. He hasn’t because he’s been a guest of the New York State prison system for almost forty years (murder and attempted murder in 1980). Johnson talks about how he centers and participates despite the walls and bars surrounding him:

Centering is always a welcome challenge, for, as one would expect, prison can be a noisy place and competing conversations can be overwhelming. What I do is draw myself into the pictures and focus upon the images and people therein. I have accompanying pictures of places visited by Friends and sent to me over the years with scenery that, for me as a person raised on the concrete pavements of New York City, gives me visions of natural beauty without the clutter of building structures and the like.

Never Having Set Foot in the Meetinghouse

When the meetinghouse is on the other side of state prison walls.

Friends Journal
Categories: Blogs

Why are Kenya’s Quakers ‘noisy’?

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 1:42pm

From the BBC of all places:

While known as a traditionally quiet community within Christianity, in Kenya their gatherings are loud and proud. For some, being ‘noisy’ is the reason young people are still being attracted to the Church.

BBC World Service — Heart and Soul, Kenya’s Quakers: Best of Friends, Why are Kenya’s Quakers ‘noisy’?

Quakers are traditionally quiet

Categories: Blogs