Acting in Faith

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Growing up during the War on Terror

At the beginning of January, I co-led a workshop with AFSC intern Tory Smith at the Philadelphia Young Adult Friends Gathering at Swarthmore College, with the title "The light after 9/11: Quaker faith and the War on Terror." 

After we gathered and settled into worship, Tory and I encouraged participants to share their experience of "9/11"—the story of where they were when the planes struck the twin towers. 

It was a moment when everything changed in America—our public policy, our national conversation, our identity as a nation. 

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Light creates understanding: Undoing racism at the Tyree Scott Freedom School

Seattle area high school students gathered over the winter holidays for a Tyree Scott Freedom School, an AFSC program in Seattle, to learn about the history and structures of racism in the United States.

Madeline Schaefer, the Friends Relations Associate, went to visit that Freedom School, and witnessed a grassroots movement for social change built on the passion of a diverse network of young people in the Seattle region.

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Freedom School--Jakob

Two participants of the Tyree Scott Freedom School, talking during a break.

A hollow power: Reclaiming our humanity by letting go

On the plane to Seattle to attend one of AFSC’s Tyree Scott Freedom Schools, I was seated across from a young white man who looked roughly my age. Toward the end of our flight, we struck up a conversation. He was from Oklahoma, he told me, the youngest of five. He was only the youngest by a very small margin, as he was one of triplets. I had never met a triplet before, I told him. He had never met a Quaker. 

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Seattle community agreements

Community agreements created by the participants of the Dec. 27-28, 2013 Freedom

Community agreements created by the participants of the Dec. 27-28, 2013 Freedom School in Seattle, Wash.

What is the core of Quaker faith?

Before the end of the year I posted this question on Facebook and I received an amazing string of answers. To me such an exercise is powerfully expressive of Quaker faith, which is not doctrinal but expressed in the individual experiences of those who practice. I think these answers together create a lovely poem expressive of the multitude of ways that Quakers understand and experience Quaker faith.

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Inner Light

Inner Light

Inner Light 

A prayer for the coming of the Light

Note: Here is a poem, which came to me in worship, to celebrate the Winter Solstice. - Lucy

The snow is melting, the air is crisp

I sit in meeting for worship

Notice the ticking of the clock

A siren screeches

The benches creak

Bodies situate them selves

Resting their bones

Taking a breath, waiting

 

The noise revs up in my head

The ‘to do’ list, the moments I said the wrong thing, the news of a friend’s illness

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Winter road

Winter road

Winter road

More questions than answers: Struggling toward peace

I used to often struggle with the proper relationship between peace and justice. More specifically, I wrestled with whether or not it is ethical to ask folks who are living in deplorable, violently oppressive conditions to vie for peace when there is such a glaring absence of justice in their daily lives. In many ways, the answer to this question continues to shape my understanding of the question of peace in the modern world.

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Labyrinth at Baltimore YM

Labyrinth at Baltimore YM

Labyrinth at Baltimore YM

People of faith: AFSC and its legacy of peace

Studying English in college, one of the things I loved most about literature of all kinds was how it connected me so deeply to the humanity of people living in other centuries and other countries. Now I love reading old publications down in the American Friends Service Committee's (ASFC) archives for the same reasons—to marvel at how language has changed while our core beliefs have remained the same.

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Henry Cadbury

Henry Cadbury, co-founder of AFSC and author of "Religious pacifism: A realistic view," published in 1957.

Honoring the values and spirit of Nelson Mandela

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Teaching peace at Friends schools

Lessons on peace can be challenging to teach amid a media environment focused on war and violence. This podcast explores how Quaker schools can live out the peace testimony in and outside of the classroom.

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Moses Brown I

Victor Bradley from Cambridge Friends School sharing one way that he is helping spread peace work to his students.

On encounters at Thanksgiving

Today people are traveling across the United States to make their way to the homes of loved ones to share food and celebrate Thanksgiving. Sometimes these encounters will be joyful, and sometimes they will be strained.

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

Where we work

AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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