Issue 18-and-25-12-2015

Featured story

Thought for the Week: Hope

FREE 17 Dec 2015 | by Ian Kirk-Smith

It would be understandable if many Friends approach this Christmas as Friends may have done one hundred years ago – with a growing sense of apprehension. There has been much darkness in 2015. The opening of a poem by WB Yeats resonates with a chilling familiarity: ‘Turning and turning in the widening...

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Top stories

What love will do

17 Dec 2015 | by Laurie Michaelis

A wind farm in New Zealand. | Photo: Jondaar_1 / flickr CC.

It’s that time of year again. Negotiators are heading home from the twenty first annual Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN climate convention, after two weeks of working through the night. This was their fifth gathering this year, and they have been working towards this particular agreement for...

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We can do something….

17 Dec 2015 | by Stevie Krayer

'The multitude and complexity of the problems of oppression and injustice often seem to overwhelm us.' | Photo: letavua / flickr CC.

The multitude and complexity of the problems of oppression and injustice often seem to overwhelm us. We can do something… from Quaker faith & practice 24.49 Our beautiful, life-filled planet is threatened and impoverished as never before. Quakers have a vision of how different the world could be, and should be,...

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Friends and family

17 Dec 2015 | by Craig Barnett

'We are not just isolated individuals on our own spiritual journeys. We are also part of a living community...' | Photo: Kelly Sikkema / flickr CC.

When I joined Quakers twelve years ago I was drawn to becoming part of an ‘extended family’ of Quakers past and present. It is a family which contains some wonderful ancestors and fascinating far-flung cousins, as well as its full share of rather peculiar aunts and uncles. By becoming a...

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17 Dec 2015 | by Marisa Johnson

'I imagine lighting a candle of hope for each small piece of service and witness by Friends...' | Photo: Val Corbett.

I have often wondered whether I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), for I sometimes experience low moods as autumn turns to winter. This year it seems that natural light has been particularly scarce during November – day after day the solar panels have been producing hardly enough electricity to keep...

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Celebrations at Rovaniemi

17 Dec 2015 | by Roger Babington Hill

‘sisu’… means courage, persistence and never giving up, whatever the difficulty | Photo: Jane McGonigal / flickr CC.

Over the weekend of 2 to 4 October some forty people, Friends and others, met at Rovala, the Finnish Settlement Building in Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland. It is also known as the home of Father Christmas. The purpose of the weekend was to remember and celebrate the work done by...

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All articles

The bond that links us

17 Dec 2015 | by Tim Cook

Is it to possible to celebrate Christmas and be an atheist? We’d love to hear your views, so do send us an email, text us or Tweet us – you’ll find the address on our website. And now our next piece of music is something that should really get...

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Language of the heart

17 Dec 2015 | by Carole Christman Koch

Picture a person kneeling with hands palm-to-palm, fingers interlocked, eyes closed and head bowed. Immediately, one recognises an attitude of religious devotion. This posture, though associated by most Christians with piety, is only one of many postures used in praising God. These bodily gestures speak the silent language of the...

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Life on Kos

FREE 17 Dec 2015 | by Rachael Swancott

In November I travelled to Kos to volunteer for the local refugee aid charity Kos Solidarity, and was supported in this by individuals and Meetings. From saying I would ‘quite like to go’ to arriving in Kos was about four weeks. I’m a ‘doer’ as a rule. I like...

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Simple Gifts for a King

17 Dec 2015 | by Iain Strachan

When as a child, I came into the world Helpless and lying in a draughty shed Your wisest men, they say, brought gifts to me: Of gold – for crowning of an infant King; And frankincense – for raising prayers to him; And myrrh – portending burial and death.

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Quaker artists

17 Dec 2015 | by Trish Carn

These pictures are a selection from those painted by Quaker artists that were displayed in exhibitions held in London during 2015.

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James and the Jerusalem Church

17 Dec 2015 | by Michael Wright

If you enjoy ‘whodunnits?’ and jigsaw puzzles, the chances are you will enjoy this radical exploration of Christian origins. Alan Saxby, in James, Brother of Jesus, and the Jerusalem Church, has examined in detail the situation in Judaism during the lifetime of Jesus, and the following seventy years. He follows...

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From the archive: 1915: Looking back

17 Dec 2015 | by Janet Scott

The mood at the end of 1915 was much more sombre than in the previous year. This was due to many factors: the increasing number of war zones; the military and civilian deaths; the number of refugees; the threat of conscription; and the growing financial burden of the war. Friends, however,...

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Christmas crackers

17 Dec 2015 | by A young Irish Friend

Here is one festive use of old copies of the Friend; a Christmas tree made by Quakers from Salisbury Meeting, designed by Patsy Fraser, which sits within the annual Salisbury Christmas tree festival in St Thomas’ church. Below the tree is a quote from Gerald Priestland: ‘If there is one...

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Letters - 18 & 25 December 2015

17 Dec 2015 | by The Friend

Our faith in the future What is going to happen to Our faith in the future? I have recently read that leaflet, but was left concerned. Advices & queries 4 says: ‘The Religious Society of Friends is rooted in Christianity and has always found inspiration in the life and teachings of...

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