Quaker Speak +
Making Space for Faith
In our achievement-oriented culture, how do we make time to just be? For Stephanie Crumley-Effinger, our Quaker foremothers and forefathers have the answer. SUPPORT QuakerSpeak on Patreon! http://fdsj.nl/patreon2 SUBSCRIBE for a new video every week! http://fdsj.nl/QS-Subscribe WATCH all our videos: http://fdsj.nl/qs-all-videos Filmed and edited by Jon Watts: http://jonwatts.com Music from this episode: http://jonwattsmusic.com ___ Become a Friends Journal subscriber for only $28 http://fdsj.nl/FJ-Subscribe Listen to the QuakerSpeak Podcast http://fdsj.nl/QS-Podcast Like us on Facebook http://facebook.com/QuakerSpeak ___ Transcript: There’s a quotation, I don’t know the source, but I’ve seen it on posters: “Don’t just do something, sit there.” It’s really hard to feel permission in our achievement-oriented culture not to be doing something every moment, not to be filling every day to the brink with activities that have some kind of tangible result. But one of the gifts of my later life is learning that stopping and being and listening and silencing the thoughts is foundational to faithful being and doing. Making Space for Faith I’m Stephanie Crumley-Effinger and I live in Richmond, Indiana. I’m a member at West Richmond Friends Meeting and have been most of my adult life, and I also serve as director of supervised ministry on the faculty of the Earlham School of Religion. Our culture is very focused on accomplishment and busy-ness, achievement and doing. One of the gifts of the Religious Society of Friends, of Quakers, when we can remember it, is the invitation to be and not solely to do, and to have our doing arise from faithful being rather than just from our really good ideas. A Discipline of Being Present A discipline that I began some time ago is taking 20 minutes in the morning. I set the timer on my phone for 21 minutes to give myself some time to center into the 20 minutes, and just seek to focus on presence with God and try to let go of the thoughts that come—because they always do, thousands of them, I can’t believe how many thoughts can come in 20 minutes—and just to seek to be. It feels so unproductive. I haven’t gotten anything done! I could use that 20 minutes to fold laundry, send email, work on the next project, grade the next paper, et cetera, et cetera, and to feel that big permission from my Quaker foremothers and forefathers and brothers and sisters that: no, being present with our teacher and guide is really important. Renewing the Foundation It’s not that I am there experiencing these great revelations and such. I’m trying to empty my mind of things. Sometimes there will be some kind of nudging toward something, but mostly it is like getting one’s balance after one has tripped a little bit or something like that. It’s not some big, wonderful, “Wow I spent this time with God and these are all the great things that happened.” It’s more a renewing the foundation for the rest. Seeking to Be Available Trying to value things that aren’t just accomplishment is another piece of pushing back against the American obsession with accomplishment and doing. It’s like spending time with a little kid, and not needing to be on my phone and sending email at the same time and such, but walking down the street and collecting the sticks, and noticing the pinecones and yeah. But to be faithfully a Quaker means to take seriously that stopping, that “Don’t just do something, sit there,” and seek to be available. Not distracted with all the really good things that I can being doing and aim to do, and even sometimes do. ___ The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.
Why Climate Change Is an Issue of Faith: Quakers Lobby Congress
Why do these 300 young Quakers care so much about climate change? Quaker Speak is a weekly video series. Subscribe: http://QuakerSpeak.com/subscribe ___ Go Deeper with Friends Journal: http://FriendsJournal.org Lobby with Quakers on Capitol Hill: http://www.fcnl.org Work for peace with justice with AFSC: http://www.afsc.org/friends Directed by Jon Watts http://www.JonWatts.com ___ Transcript: Climate change isn’t coming…. it’s already here. I came to Washington, DC from Durango, Colorado… Portland, Oregon… Miami, Florida… from Lincoln, Nebraska… to ask Senator Ron Wyden… Representatives Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio… Senators Wedman and Murkley… and ask for a public, bipartisan acknowledgment of the fact that our climate is changing. Climate Change Affects Us All. Jodi Geddes I think many ways when I think about my community in Brooklyn, NY, especially amongst black and brown populations, climate change is super intense, just because of CO2 emissions in the air. Lasheena Taft I live right off the water. I get to see that go up. I get to hear about people in my community, in my neighborhood – talking about, “what are we going to do if this rises drastically in the next 20, 30, 40 years?” Adam Theeson-Fenton We have to do water restrictions, the farmers can only water once every week, maybe once every two weeks. Treston Owens We have a lot of floods in Miami when it rains and because of high tide, and actually my city’s going to flood and be destroyed. Let’s #TalkClimate LaSheena Looking at what is going on with our planet, the really frustrating element to me is not necessarily that our government moves slowly as it is that we are not acknowledging something that is obviously, scientifically documented to be happening. And there are folks who can’t even use the word “climate change” because it triggers all these issues of dogma and position and posturing. Joey Hartmann-Dow It’s not a party issue. And politics tear us apart trying to fight with each other, and this is affecting literally every human being and creature on the Earth. Simon Elliot It’s very important to work across the lines and to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to see the light and God in every other person. Ally Clendineng In Genesis, God creates the Earth and commands us to be good stewards of his creation, and I feel that we have not done that. Tyler Maybury I think the uniquely Quaker aspect that calls me to care about climate change is a sense of urgency that rises from us. The same that makes John Woolman care about his friends keeping slaves. It’s the same urgency that I feel about people on the other side of the planet not having enough food or my neighbors in the midwest having worse weather. LaSheena This is an issue of stewardship. This is an issue of peace. This is an issue of morality. This is an issue of responsibility. Gabrielle Hammons Just the part about love and just saying, “We may disagree, but we can still talk about it. We can still just be humans after it and not have any harsh feelings towards each other.” LaSheena I get to be one of the first people in my Meeting who is sponsored to go to a National event. They are fully funding my trip to come here. They are incredibly supportive. Amazingly, wonderfully supportive of me being here. I am going to do a talk the Sunday that I get back and everyone in my Meeting has approached me and said. “We are so excited to hear about what you’re going to do in DC. What your experience was like. We can’t wait to be there for this.” And it blew my mind and it opened my heart and it made me cry. That’s why I get to be here. Because my Meeting cares about this, and because I care about this. More: http://quakerspeak.com/quakers-talk-to-congress-about-climate-change/ _____________________________ The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.
Quakers as “Publishers of Truth”
Quakers have been known by many names, including “Publishers of Truth.” Earlham College history professor and archivist Tom Hamm explains why. SUPPORT QuakerSpeak on Patreon! http://fdsj.nl/patreon2 SUBSCRIBE for a new video every week! http://fdsj.nl/QS-Subscribe WATCH all our videos: http://fdsj.nl/qs-all-videos Filmed and edited by Jon Watts: http://jonwatts.com Music from this episode: http://jonwattsmusic.com ___ Become a Friends Journal subscriber for only $28 http://fdsj.nl/FJ-Subscribe Listen to the QuakerSpeak Podcast http://fdsj.nl/QS-Podcast Like us on Facebook http://facebook.com/QuakerSpeak Music, Filming and Editing by Jon Watts http://www.JonWatts.com ___ Early Friends called themselves many things. One of the labels that they gave to themselves was “Publishers of Truth”. They meant that in the most basic form of making truth public. It could mean being what was called in the 17th century a “public Friends,” one who was led to preach, to public ministry, to declare the word of the lord anywhere they could find an audience. Quakers as “Publishers of Truth” I’m am Tom Hamm. I am a resident of Richmond, Indiana, a member of West Richmond Friends Meeting in the New Association of Friends and I am professor of history and director of special collections at Earlham College. Early Friends in Print The Quaker movement arose in the 1640s and the 1650s when controls on the press in England had been abolished so it was fairly easy to get into print. Many different religious groups, many religious leaders and would-be leaders took advantage of that situation to publish the truth as they perceived it, and so you had hundreds, thousands of pamphlets appearing every year. Friends knew that they were competing with other religious groups for attention and in order to compete effectively in that religious marketplace, they knew they had to get into print. And so they did, turning our dozens of pamphlets and books every year beginning in 1653. Collecting Early Quaker Writings We are fortunate that one of the rules that early Friends set for themselves was that they would collect two copies of every Quaker publication that was issued and one copy of every anti-Quaker publication that was issued and bring them together in London. That of course was the basis for the world’s largest collection of Quaker literature that you would find at the Friends Library in London now. Friends and the Changing Media Landscape Those two forms of publishing truth—through the vocal word and through the printed or written word—have continued to be true of Friends right down to the present day. What we’ve seen of course in the last twenty years or so is a revolution in how publication takes place. I think that the line between the vocal word and the written word is becoming increasingly mushy almost every day. But certainly I think that with the advent of the internet and the World Wide Web we’ve seen the greatest revolution in the Quaker publication of truth in 350 years. Certainly there are traditionalist technophobes like myself who are always going to prefer to have things on paper but we have to accept that if Friends are to remain a presence publishing truth in the world, that’s going to have to be done digitally as well. ___ The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.
Listening for God Online
QuakerSpeak is a weekly video series. New video every THURSDAY! SUPPORT QuakerSpeak on Patreon! http://fdsj.nl/patreon2 SUBSCRIBE for a new video every week! http://fdsj.nl/QS-Subscribe WATCH all our videos: http://fdsj.nl/qs-all-videos ___ Become a Friends Journal subscriber for only $28 http://fdsj.nl/FJ-Subscribe Filming and Editing by Rebecca Hamilton-Levi Music: The Caretaker by Isaac Joel ___ Transcript: When we talk about worship in specific, there is a sort of inside feeling that I think all Friends would recognize. There is a sort of groundedness, a sort of deep listening, a sort of spaciousness that's connected to the experience of expectant worship (that point in time when we are expecting to hear from God) and what is interesting to me is that even when we are sitting virtually, when we are very far away, we can still have that same internal feeling. It might take, sometimes, more focus, it might be harder, but it can happen and I know this because I have felt it. Listening for God Online My name is Emily Provance. My meeting is Fifteenth Street, which is in New York City, and I travel in the ministry full-time, which is an old Quaker tradition, and it means that I go from group of Quakers to group of Quakers and visit and worship with them. I started traveling in the ministry, at least a little bit, maybe five or six years ago. It's still unclear to me exactly what the beginning was, and then over time it became more and more and it was a little bit more than a year ago that I gave up having a full-time home. Because we don't have a central hierarchy, we don't have a single person who tells all Quakers, "this is the way that you need to do things," there's sort of a natural drift that can happen where our local communities can sort of spread apart from one another, and what travel in the ministry can do is that it allows some people, those who feel called to do it to go from place to place to place to place, and what we carry with us is the connection of the wider body of Friends. It's the knowledge of what's happening in the different local communities; not just the factual information, although that's important, but also the deeper pieces about how is Spirit moving among Friends? And because we're able to do that it's almost like a circulatory system; it's carrying the oxygen from one place to another and making sure that we don't drift apart as much as we otherwise might. In the 21st century we have a lot of other ways to connect. Originally, sending somebody was just about the only way to do it. These days we have the virtual connections, too. We can send the emails, we can meet by video, we can have social media, and to me all of that is a living part of travel in the ministry, at least it has been for me. Practicing Discernment Together Virtually There's a book called Practicing Discernment Together by Lon Fendall and Jan Wood and Bruce Bishop, and one of my favorite pieces of this has to do with the different ways in which people can hear from God -- that some of us hear from God as a literal voice, for some of us it's a feeling, for some of us it's a physical feeling in our bodies, for some it might be scripture or vivid imagery, and there are a whole bunch of different ways -- what's really cool to me is that when we're meeting together virtually we can actually hear from God in all of those same ways. None of those are reliant on our being physically in a certain place or even on our being physically together with other people. So something that is meaningful to me as we are learning how to worship virtually together is to ask ourselves the question, "how do I usually hear from God? What is that experience normally like for me?" and we can pay attention to the same cues. God might surprise us, but we can pay attention to the same cues and we can experience hearing from Spirit in the same way even though we're looking at each other on a screen or we're listening to voices on a phone, and even though we're very far apart from one another. Expanding Connection and Accessibility I think it's always going to be the case that there are some Friends who have a harder time with virtual worship than they do with physical worship, but it's also always going to be the case that there are some Friends who have a harder time with physical worship than they do with virtual worship. The only way that I can imagine that we could make worship accessible to as many people as possible is to do it in as many ways as possible, and that absolutely includes virtual worship. Read more: fdsj.nl/online ___ The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.
If the Church Were Christian
Where did the church go wrong? For Quaker pastor and author Philip Gulley, it’s not heeding Jesus’s central message: compassion. SUPPORT QuakerSpeak on Patreon! http://fdsj.nl/patreon2 SUBSCRIBE for a new video every week! http://fdsj.nl/QS-Subscribe WATCH all our videos: http://fdsj.nl/qs-all-videos Filmed and edited by Jon Watts: http://jonwatts.com Music from this episode: http://jonwattsmusic.com ___ Become a Friends Journal subscriber for only $28 http://fdsj.nl/FJ-Subscribe Listen to the QuakerSpeak Podcast http://fdsj.nl/QS-Podcast Like us on Facebook http://facebook.com/QuakerSpeak ___ Transcript: I think a lot of Americans are disillusioned with religion because religion has been often, especially fundamental religion, a poor advertisement for the reality of God. It has been too deeply concerned about its own power, about its own wealth. It has insisted upon a level of respect it has not earned, and it has been woefully silent in critical junctures of American history. It has far too often aligned itself with the powerful and the immoral, and it has in the process neglected its responsibility for the outcast. If the Church Were Christian My name is Phil Gulley. I live in Danville, Indiana which is about 20 miles west of Indianapolis. I’m a Quaker pastor and a writer and pastor of Fairfield Friends Meeting, which is about 3 miles south of the Indianapolis international airport. Been there since 1826. The meeting has, not me. I don’t think Jesus intended to start a religion. I think Jesus intended to make the religion he was in more faithful. I think Jesus understood himself as a teacher and perhaps a prophet in the line of the 8th century prophets, but this notion that Jesus came and was intending to start a new religion because Judaism was corrupt, I think that’s a poor reading of history. The Focus of Jesus’s Ministry If we say that Jesus did not come to start a new religion but that he understood himself as a faithful Jew who went about saying yes to the presence and work of God whenever he encountered it–and it’s clear that he did this–then we begin to look at his message, and we ask ourselves, “What were his priorities?” And it’s clear: compassion, compassion, compassion. Everywhere he went. So I think that’s the heart of Jesus’s message, and consequently I think any church which doesn’t practice compassion, which instead encourages division, separation, isolation, has lost the point. It was just recently that Robert Jeffress, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, informed us that God had given Donald Trump permission to use nuclear weapons against North Korea. It’s clear that once you say that, you have lost all understanding of the compassion of Jesus Christ. If the Church Were Christian If the church were Christian, it would welcome the other unconditionally. It would not say to gay people, “If you repent of your lifestyle, you are welcome here.” If the church were Christian, it would lose its fascination with doctrines and creeds, which to me always seem to confine the will of God to a sentence. I think if the church were Christian, it would listen deeply to the poor and to the marginalized who were the friends of Jesus. There are a few instances of Jesus befriending the powerful—the Roman centurion—but far and away more often, it turns out Jesus seemed to really seek out and welcome those whom the world had rejected, and I think if the church were Christian, it would be following that model. Why I Stay When someone tells me they’re disillusioned by the modern church, I totally get it. I tell them, “I am, too.” The only reason I stay in it is because I’m fortunate enough to have found a community of Quakers who are committed to being the church in their care for others, in their commitment to justice, and in their love for the underdog. If I didn’t have that, I would probably not remain in the church. ___ The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.
White Quakers Confronting White Privilege
QuakerSpeak is a weekly video series. New video every THURSDAY! SUPPORT QuakerSpeak on Patreon! http://fdsj.nl/patreon2 SUBSCRIBE for a new video every week! http://fdsj.nl/QS-Subscribe WATCH all our videos: http://fdsj.nl/qs-all-videos ___ Become a Friends Journal subscriber for only $28 http://fdsj.nl/FJ-Subscribe Filming by Jon Watts and Rebecca Hamilton-Levi www.jonwatts.com Editing by Rebecca Hamilton-Levi Music: "We Are Home" by Four Trees ___ Transcript: Tom Hoopes: As a Quaker in the early 21st century I am acutely aware that I have inherited and am an active participant in a tradition that has benefitted from centuries of exploitation and domination. That is not something that we usually advertise and talk about openly but I think that we need to. Reexamining Our Quaker History Laura Goren: Quakerism was founded in industrializing England in the 17th century and spread around the world as English colonialism spread around the world, and that's a really integral part of our history. Max Carter: Early Quakers didn't condemn slavery. George Fox encouraged people to treat their slaves well, to educate them, to preach the gospel to them; William Penn owned slaves. But already by 1688, Quakers and Mennonites in Germantown, Pennsylvania, then a community just outside of Philadelphia, had gathered to protest slavery as White Europeans, appalled coming to the Americas to escape religious persecution in Europe to find that Quakers owned slaves. Olivia Chalkley: I think a lot of Quaker meetings right now over the past 5-10 years, some for much longer, have been going through the process of reckoning with the overwhelming whiteness of Quakerism and the history of racism within Quakerism as a faith, which I think… It's an interesting study in the White psyche because Quakers for so long have, I think, ridden on the knowledge that early Friends -- not early, early Friends-- but early Friends in the United States were abolitionists, and of course that's true and I look to those Friends when I'm trying to understand how to live my life but there's also Quaker history of violence against indigenous people, keeping Black people out of meetings, and so I think that process of reckoning is really important and everyone's at a different stage in that process and every meeting is at a different stage in that process. Defining Racism and White Supremacy Patricia McBee: Some people think of racism as having an opinion that people of a different race are in some way inherently inferior to the people of my race and that that inferiority justifies having laws and social practices that disadvantage those people. If a Quaker were to define racism that way, they could very honestly say, "I'm not racist!" I have been helped recently at a meeting for business. We were working on this and there was a definition of White supremacy. The part that I recall was a "setting in which the decisions are mainly made by White people,"and I thought, well I can see that, and I can see that in a room full of Quakers, most of whom are White, if a person of color has a different view it's very difficult to get that view into focus in the decision-making process, and I know of instances-- I can see instances in my meeting when that was true. Why I Engage in Racial Justice Work Olivia Chalkley: The idea that there's that of God in everyone informs my understanding that to exploit another person is to sacrifice your humanity and so doing work that counters that is, I think, the only way to have integrity to my faith as a Quaker and to have integrity to my understanding of God because if I believe that there is that of God in everyone and then I go around engaging with or profiting off of systems that exploit others then I'm--I can say I believe that but I mean, we're supposed to let our lives speak and I wouldn't be doing that. Tom Hoopes: Those of us who have benefitted from White supremacist, heterosexist, patriarchy need to call that out and name it and do something about dismantling that not in the future and not only through our electoral choices, but in the here and now. Read more: fdsj.nl/white-privilege ___ The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.
How to Become a Conscientious Objector
If you claimed conscientious objector status, would a draft board believe you? Curt Torell of Quaker House has some tips for making sure they do. Conscientious Objector Curriculum: http://QuakerSpeak.com/co-curriculum ►SUBSCRIBE for a new video every week! http://fdsj.nl/QS-Subscribe ⇒⇒Find out more about Quakers: Become a Friends Journal subscriber for only $28 http://fdsj.nl/FJ-Subscribe Learn more about the life and ministry of New England Quakers http://fdsj.nl/qs-neym Find out how Quakers are assisting military personnel across the US http://fdsj.nl/qs-quaker-house Learn about the rich diversity of Quakers worldwide http://fdsj.nl/qs-fwcc Work with Quakers for peace with justice http://fdsj.nl/qs-afsc ⇒⇒QuakerSpeak links & credits: Listen to the QuakerSpeak Podcast http://fdsj.nl/QS-Podcast Like us on Facebook http://facebook.com/QuakerSpeak Filmed and edited by Jon Watts: http://jonwatts.com Music from this episode: http://jonwattsmusic.com ⇒⇒Transcript: Imagine if 3 years from now, there was a draft. And you got a draft notice to report for induction and you realized that you were a conscientious objector. What you would do is you would fill out a form requesting a deferment and you would be scheduled to meet with a local draft board to substantiate your position. One of the 3 definitions of being a conscientious objector is that it’s sincere and deeply held. So if you had not done any kind of documentation and you went to that draft board, the first question they would say is, “Well, are you really a conscientious objector, or do you just want to get out of the draft? Because you’ve just turned this thing in 10 days ago.” How to Become a Conscientious Objector Conscientious objection, legally, fits into three terms: a person has to be personally against their own participation in any and all wars. It must be based on religious, moral or ethical beliefs and training. And the third is it must be sincere or deeply held. And that third one really equates to documentation. A Spiritual Conviction Against War One of the things that Quakers early on as a testimony was the testimony of peace and honoring “that of God” in every person. When you’re killing someone in war, you’re not recognizing that there is that of God in that person. George Fox talked about taking away the occasions for all war, and I think what he was trying to do was stress the fact that every human being is a child of God, and therefore respected. The Origin of Conscientious Objection I think conscientious objection evolved not because of a government making a decision down, but you had Quakers–who were rather stubborn about their religious views– and they asserted that they would not go to war. And I think that force, early on during the colonial period, pushed legislators and state legislators to recognize the fact that this group is not going to go to war. The Hidden Registration for Selective Service Virtually every male living in the United States–even illegal immigrants– need to register for selective service 30 days before or after their 18th birthday. That process has become pretty much seamless and hidden in that, in about 45 states across the country, it’s now automatic when people sign up for a driver’s license. So you people, young men really aren’t even aware that they are signing up for selective service. Oddly enough, right now for 18 year olds, there’s no place on their selective service form to document a position for conscientious objection. The Importance of Documentation So if the draft board said to you, “Prove that you’re a conscientious objector. Show us that you’re sincere and that these are deeply held.” The best answer you could say is you could look them right in the eye and say, “Three years ago, when there was no draft and I didn’t have to do this, I signed up for selective service and I wrote a letter to my faith or my support community indicating that I wanted to be a C.O. I think that shows my sincerity.” More: http://fdsj.nl/conscientious-objector The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.