3rd mo. 2014 Blog Posts (32)

The Case of Certainty vs. Truth

Certainty: Perhaps the Court of Quaker Opinion knows the importance of certainty for belief.

Truth: Perhaps certainty is not truth, and is less important than doubt for arriving at truth.

Certainty: The joy accompanying certainty witnesses to its personal worth.

Truth: The strength accompanying truth witnesses to the world its lasting endurance.

Certainty: My experience is validated by certainty.

Truth: Love is the only true validation of a human life.…


Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 3rd mo. 31, 2014 at 7:30am — No Comments

My mentors: "If you are interested in it, don't read what others say, experience it yourself."

As a young man, I had a number of  natural history mentors. These men and women were woods-people who organized their lives in such a way that they experienced the natural world to the fullest. They didn't read about the natural histories of the various species in the natural world, they experienced the natural histories personally. They knew the natural history of a species because they observed a species' natural history directly ... immediately ... without borrowing their experience from…


Added by Keith Saylor on 3rd mo. 28, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments

A Sunny Fund

I call for a Sunny Fund.  The fund's goal is to inhibit climate change through product innovation.

In the 1950s the purpose of the March of Dimes was to end polio.  They funded the Salk vaccine, then the Sabin vaccine.  Then they declared victory over polio and moved on.

I know of a number of tinkerers in the U.S., all underfunded or self-funded, who do good work.  I want them funded and better organized.

At the FGC gathering in River Falls a lone engineer set up…


Added by Paul Klinkman on 3rd mo. 28, 2014 at 8:13am — No Comments

A Response to Madeline Schaefer from a Quaker Mystic

A Response to Madeline Schaefer from a Quaker Mystic

First, I appreciate the willingness to both name and discuss the division between the Mystics and the Activists in the Quaker Community of our day.  It is an issue that is close to me, as I think of myself as a mystic and often feel, to varying degrees, alienated from the activist focus of so many Quakers individuals and Quaker organizations.

My take on this is that contemporary Quaker activism is a part of the largely…


Added by Jim Wilson on 3rd mo. 27, 2014 at 10:56am — 30 Comments

Kevin Camp A Quaker Ex-Athlete Renounces Violence


Over dinner a few weeks ago, a group of Quakers in their 20’s and 30’s discussed the game Wink. It is difficult to describe if you haven’t played it, but in some ways the game is similar to the childhood pastime Red Rover. I have more experience with the latter than the former.

In my childhood, we played Red Rover on the school playground each…


Added by Kevin Camp on 3rd mo. 26, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments

A Note re Systemic Evil

First off, the disclaimer: “Capitalism, as an economic system, is not intrinsically evil as such.” [How I hate having to say that!]

Now, the disdisclaimer: “Capitalism, Socialism, or any blend or variant thereof, becomes intrinsically evil the moment it becomes an object of worship. Thou shalt hold no economic and/or political system above the Lord thy God.”

 There is no question but that capitalism (of the worst sort) has become the major object of worship for some large but …


Added by Forrest Curo on 3rd mo. 26, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Divine Spark

In his recent column,  Among Friends in Friends Journal, Gabriel Ehri wrote; "When we are privileged to experience great art, we experience wonder: wonder at sheer beauty, at discovering a novel avenue of our own perception, and often wonder at the seemingly impossible fineness of the artist's execution. Art, like…


Added by Roger Vincent Jasaitis on 3rd mo. 25, 2014 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

In and Outside of Presence

I have spent much of my time, mostly voluntary, helping preserve and restore natural areas. I do not expect that people share my conscience in this matter. Many people might wish to pave over a natural area I wish to see preserved.

Presence experiences any number of ugly and horrible things will happen. Presence experiences any number of wonderful and pleasant things. They happen in Presence and always will; as they always have.  In Presence, it is not that you…


Added by Keith Saylor on 3rd mo. 24, 2014 at 2:43pm — No Comments

In the reflection of a Allen's Hummingbird feathers.

I observe the habits of the male Allen's Hummingbird on territory. 

Sometime, as I watch, he turns his throat in just the right way so that his gorget blazes forth in brilliant hues of orange.…


Added by Keith Saylor on 3rd mo. 24, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Christ's News Team

OMG - did you sense and understand that?!

This is Christ's News Team: Local managers/overseers, reporters/prophets, and editors/elders at God's service. For the God of loving communication has a fierce way of providing it.

No stone/emotion/thought/betrayal left unturned; no inside scoop barred from exposure; and no complacency left unchecked. This is a crackerjack team of publishers of truth.

They are only mystical in the sense of trying to solve, not propagate, the…


Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 3rd mo. 24, 2014 at 8:00am — 1 Comment


I found Micah Bales post about the reluctance some Friends have to talk about, to name, God and Jesus in our witness to be resonate with my own experience.  I wrote this sonnet about the current situation vis a vis this kind of speaking.  I wrote it a few years ago, not as a direct response to Micah, but it feels to me pertinent to that topic:


It's difficult to talk about Jesus.

Ev'ryone seems to have an opinion.

With so much conflict…


Added by Jim Wilson on 3rd mo. 23, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments

When have you encountered the Light through music?

Chapter 17 of Minding the Light: Our Collective Journal is now available online and attached as a PDF file, below. For this chapter, we invited Friends to respond to the query,"When have you encountered the Light through music?"  We received 16 stories and two images in response to this query.  Within seven of the stories, there are links to related music.

We invite you to read these stories for yourself.  What stories rise for you as you sit with our latest query?…


Added by Sally Gillette on 3rd mo. 23, 2014 at 11:57am — No Comments

Organizing a Renewables Manhattan Project

A Foundation:  Stewardship of the Earth

I’ve seen two estimates of the number of species now on the earth:  7 million and 30 million.  I have a sense that most of these millions of species will become extinct with too much climate change, probably in 100 years. 

You can look at this environmental catastrophe in different ways.  Humanity owns all of this in perpetual trust for all future generations of our children, and we’re called to not spend our children’s inheritance, not…


Added by Paul Klinkman on 3rd mo. 22, 2014 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Declaring it ... without Pretense

The early Quakers declared it:

And we found this light to be a sufficient teacher, to lead us to Christ, from whence this light came, and thereby it gave us to receive Christ, and to witness him to dwell in us; and through it the new covenant we came to enter into, to be made heirs of life and salvation. And in all things we found the light which we were enlightened withal, (which is Christ,) to be alone and only sufficient to bring…


Added by Keith Saylor on 3rd mo. 22, 2014 at 11:00am — 3 Comments

ESR Announces 2014-15 Mullen Scholarship Recipients

ESR is pleased to announce the three recipients of the Thomas J. Mullen scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year: John Connell, Tracy Davis, and Steve Olshewsky. This scholarship provides each student with full tuition for 27-30 credits.

The Thomas J. Mullen Scholarship is a full tuition scholarship given to a residential…


Added by Earlham School of Religion on 3rd mo. 21, 2014 at 11:43am — No Comments

The Case of Evolutionary Determinism vs. Freedom

E.D.: We presume that the Court of Quaker Opinion is humble enough to trust the unfolding of evolutionary destiny.

Freedom: Humility demands that you consider the possible unfolding of evolutionary destruction, as well.

E.D.: In either case, we need to respect the cosmic control of evolution.

Freedom: Which is your way, as the ancient Greeks before you, of deifying evolution, or cosmos.

E.D.: God works through natural processes, which over time reach…


Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 3rd mo. 20, 2014 at 1:07pm — 6 Comments

Quakers and the language of budget realignment

The inaugural blog post at the newly-launched Quaker Libertarians site recently went live:

National Quaker organizations have the unfortunate tendency to address war spending from the perspective of budget realignment or reallocation. This approach puts forth the false notion that national governments sit atop vast reserves of wealth that should…


Added by Matt on 3rd mo. 18, 2014 at 5:45am — 12 Comments

Bridge Film Festival 2014 Films are Here!

This 16 mm spring-wound Bolex "H16" ... The Bridge Film Festival Class of 2014 Presents:

33 films from 15 schools, 3 countries and 2 hours and 23 minutes of Quaker values in action!  

The Judges have their work cut out for them with both the quantity and quality of the entries.  The…

Added by Andrew Swartley Cohen on 3rd mo. 17, 2014 at 11:27am — No Comments

The Case of Gift vs. Giver

Gift: We rejoice in the gifts of God as cherished by the Court of Quaker Opinion.

Giver: The Bible is a gift of God that is not for believing in, but, rather, believing with.

Gift: What about truth?

Giver: The truth is likewise a gift of God that is not for believing in, but, rather, believing with.

Gift: What about Christianity?

Giver: Christianity, as a way of life, is also a gift of God that is not for believing in, but, rather, believing…


Added by Clem Gerdelmann on 3rd mo. 17, 2014 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

A Still Moment of Overpowering Grace

Tranquil Harbor, Oil painting by Roger Vincent Jasaitis, Copyright 2002 Roger Vincent Jasaitis, All Rights Reserved
Tranquil Harbor

I recently was given the gift of an old book: The Quiet Eye, a way of looking at pictures, by Sylvia Shaw Judson (1954,1982 Regnery Gateway). The author was a well know Quaker…


Added by Roger Vincent Jasaitis on 3rd mo. 13, 2014 at 1:53pm — No Comments

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