Issue 22-01-2010

Featured story

Quakerism: sharing your religion

FREE 22 Jan 2010 | by Jessica Reed

A few weeks ago I mentioned in passing my growing interest in Quakerism to my colleagues at the Guardian’s online Belief section. They thought a short piece on Quaker Quest, which I had been attending for a couple of months, would be a good idea, and asked me to...

Read more

Top stories

Be still and know

FREE 22 Jan 2010 | by Ann Banks

Photo: stacy michelle/flickr CC:BY.

Experiment with Light is a simple but powerful meditation. It is the foundation of our Quaker way and was the means by which George Fox introduced others to the experience of the ‘inward light’. Over the eighteen months since I was introduced to it, it has transformed the way I...

Read more

Buddhist aids to stillness

22 Jan 2010 | by Steven Johnson

Do you face hindrances as you seek the light? | Photo: Photo: erix!/flickr CC:BY.

I am told that the stillness sought after in Meeting for Worship is not the same as that sought for meditation. That may or may not be true; however, since both are subject to the same distractions, some Friends may find the following descriptions of the ‘Five Hindrances to Meditation’...

Read more

Eyewitness - a new train of thought

22 Jan 2010 | by Friend web

The ex-Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) 7F 2-8-0 53809 on the Midland Railway. | Photo: Photo: ahisgett/flickr CC:BY.

A new train of thought Is there anyone out there who thinks we need an updated version of Bradshaw’s railway guide?  In 1839 George Bradshaw, a Quaker printer, produced timetables that helped Victorians through the tangle of services offered by 150 competing rail companies. Sound familiar? Bradshaw finally became synonymous...

Read more

God and Haiti

FREE 22 Jan 2010 | by David Boulton

It’s the oldest and thorniest theological problem: how can God be both all-powerful and all-loving, since if he cannot prevent a natural disaster like Haiti he can’t be all-powerful, and if he can but chooses not to he can’t be all-loving. Theologians call this ‘theodicy’.  Friends,...

Read more

All articles

Civil liberties in the spotlight as Muslim group banned

FREE 22 Jan 2010 | by Symon Hill

Civil liberties campaigners have expressed fears for religious freedom, following the government’s decision to ban Islam4UK, a small extremist group. They suggest it is the latest example of the use of anti-terrorism legislation to suppress opinions rather than violence.  Announcing the ban, home secretary Alan Johnson said...

Read more

News sought on Haitian Friends

FREE 22 Jan 2010 | by Symon Hill

Friends around the world have been giving financial and practical support to aid efforts in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, while awaiting news of the 2,000 Quakers in the country.  The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) released $50,000 shortly after the event occurred, to be used mainly for...

Read more

Becoming Friends: a guide on your Quaker journey

22 Jan 2010 | by Symon Hill

A course promoting new and flexible approaches to exploring Quakerism has attracted a high take-up rate within days of becoming available.  ‘Becoming Friends: Living and learning with Quakers’ allows newcomers to choose different issues and styles of learning, engaging with the material either alone or in groups. Within three...

Read more

Australian Friends call on government to allow same-sex marriage

22 Jan 2010 | by Friend web

Australian Quakers are following the example of Friends in Britain by urging their government to recognise same-sex marriages.  Quakers plan to practise ‘full marriage equality’ throughout the country, while calling for the law to be amended to give equal recognition to all marriages, regardless of the gender or sexuality...

Read more

Campaigners call for ‘genuine rethink about security’

22 Jan 2010 | by Friend web

Current political debates on military spending are doing little more than tinkering at the edges, according to two religious peace organisations who are encouraging Christians to call for a ‘genuine rethink about security’.  Government critics have demanded greater spending on equipment for troops in Afghanistan, resulting in a government ...

Read more

Making welfare less taxing

22 Jan 2010 | by Philip Barron

Some readers of the Friend will have heard the two BBC Radio 4 programmes in which Melanie Phillips recently explored the effect that the welfare state has had in what came to be called the work ethic – the idea that not to work is demoralising and even shameful. She interviewed a...

Read more

Snow ministry

22 Jan 2010 | by Judy Kirby

Two writers in this issue (pages 10 and 11) explore the space required for a stilled mind, something that Quakers aim for in their Meetings for Worship.  One looks at Buddhist meditation and the other at the Quaker ‘experiment with light’. Interestingly, both our writers chart five ways in which inner...

Read more

Letters - 22 January 2010

22 Jan 2010 | by Friend web

Read more

‘I believe God will save every person’

22 Jan 2010 | by Chuck Fager

If The Church Were Christian by Philip Gulley, HarperOne, ISBN 978 006 169 8767. £14.98. Indiana Quaker pastor and author Philip Gulley has been shaking the foundations of midwestern US Quakerism for almost ten years. This book could produce another much needed shaking there.  In the 1990s Philip Gulley published a popular series of...

Read more

Spiritual nurture

22 Jan 2010 | by Jez Smith

‘Quaker Life exists for no lesser purpose than to ensure that the spiritual life of every member of every Meeting… can be enriched and deepened’, explained Gerald Hewitson of Quaker Life central committee. Gerald explained that the key areas that Quaker Life works in are faith and practice, diversity and...

Read more

Same-sex marriage update

FREE 22 Jan 2010 | by Jez Smith

Crucial questions about Quaker marriage procedure remain open as Friends continue to work on revisions to the marriage chapter of Quaker faith and practice.  The revision was triggered by last year’s decision to carry out same-sex marriage on the same basis as mixed-sex marriage. Friends will seek unity...

Read more

Communicating the messages

22 Jan 2010 | by Jez Smith

‘Clear and simple go a long way’, explained Rachel Rees, head of Quaker communications and fundraising of Britain Yearly Meeting, explaining the role of Meeting for Sufferings as communicator and the important part to be played by representatives. Rachel emphasised the need for representatives to listen to the mood in...

Read more

Trustees give thumbs up to contributions and donations

22 Jan 2010 | by Jez Smith

Read more

Yearly Meeting themes

22 Jan 2010 | by Jez Smith

Read more

High Leigh flush with eco-friendly developments

22 Jan 2010 | by Jez Smith

Read more

The importance of equality

22 Jan 2010 | by Jez Smith

Do you agree with Quaker Life central committee that equality is better dealt with from hearts and minds as a spiritual matter, rather than simply as a compliance matter, asked Richard Summers, general secretary of Quaker Life, as he introduced the subject of equality. Richard explained that Quakers were generally...

Read more