Acting in Faith

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The Bus Comes

This month, Acting in Faith will be featuring excerpts from the book, "Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights," published in 2011 by Friends General Conference.  A collection of writings from African American Quakers throughout American history, the book is insightful, inspiring and challenging.


Old Bus

An old bus.

What does healthy masculinity look like?

A reflection from the “Masculinity, Healing, and Peacebuilding" conference on how harmful patriarchal definitions of manhood can be transformed so that they are more diverse, authentic, and whole. 


Joshua and Ivan at the Masculinity Conference

AFSC staff Joshua Saleem and Ivan Monzon chatting during the Masculinity Conference, held in Dec. 2013.

Quakers respond to the State of the Union Address

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (@FCNL) and the American Friends Service Committee (@afsc_org) partnered in live tweeting responses to the State of the Union Address on January 28th, offering a distinctly Quaker perspective on the issues President Obama raised joined by other Quaker voices who also tweeted during the speech. 


Growing up during the War on Terror

If the War on Terror is our "Vietnam," what are young people to do? Many of us are convinced that marches and rallies are not the answer, although, perhaps, part of it.  The answer instead lies in the lives we create for ourselves and others, the professions we choose, connections we make, and the voices we raise. 


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.


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. 


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.


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


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.


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.


Henry Cadbury

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

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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

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