Acting in Faith

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By Madeline Schaefer
Published: February 27, 2014

Often when Quakers speak of the Divine, they are referring to a deeply internal experience, an experience of being filled with Truth and Love. Often they witness the Divine when sitting together in silent worship.  But many times they do not.  The inward experience is one of being guided, of being transformed from a place of shadow to a place of light; of bondage to freedom; of despair to hope. The presence of the Divine is not merely a passive force, but it is active in our lives, guiding our actions, emotions and thoughts, offering support and clarity at all times....

By Philip Lord
Published: February 26, 2014

Note: This is the second of a series of posts of African American Quakers talking about Quaker faith and AFSC's significance in their faith journey. Phil Lord is the rising clerk of AFSC's Board. He offers here a stirring message about the spiritual grounding and foundation of the organization. - Lucy

Surrendered and trusting hearts

For me, the miracle of Quakerism is that a humble and unexceptional group of people have the audacity to sit together in silence, believing and waiting to hear from God. Our coming together is not just to meditate, relax...

By Madeline Schaefer
Published: February 21, 2014

Quaker faith—like so many religions in this country—has often struggled to uphold its core commitment to peace and justice, particularly when it comes to race. Our historic institutions are deeply connected to the structures of power that have been built to oppress people of color for 500 years.  Although there are stories of Quakers and even Quaker communities acting boldly to support the abolition of slavery and assist those seeking refuge, Quakers have often slipped into a comfortable position of power within a White Supremacist society.  We have come so far, and are doing...

By Paul Ricketts
Published: February 19, 2014

Note: This month Madeline and I have asked several African-American Quakers to reflect on several queries and write respones. We invited each person to reflect on questions about Quaker faith, what gets in the way, and AFSC's role in his/her faith life. This piece by Paul Ricketts, who has had a long relationship with AFSC, also responds to queries posed via a social media channel. Paul offers a challenging invitation to address white supremacy and racism within Quaker circles to more fully realize our faith commitments. - Lucy

In love, all the contradictions of...

By Madeline Schaefer
Published: February 14, 2014

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.

Our first post is a poem by Helen Morgan Brooks (1904-1989), a Quaker and a poet from the Philadelphia region.  Brooks was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and worked...