Acting in Faith

Connecting Friends to the work of AFSC  Subscribe

A blog published by the

American Friends Service Committee (logo)

By Lucy Duncan
Published: February 7, 2013

On the occasion of the seating of the Maine-Wabanaki Truth and Reconciliation Commission

by Lucy Duncan


“People can be transformed by being open and human. We believe that people have a need to be heard, but how they are heard really matters – if they take the risk of telling their story, it needs to make a difference.” – Denise Altvater the story


By Madeline Schaefer
Published: February 1, 2013

We all have a story of self. What’s utterly unique about each of us is not the categories we belong to; what’s utterly unique to us is our own journey of learning to be a full human being, a faithful person. And those journeys are never easy. They have their challenges, their obstacles, their crises. We learn to overcome them, and because of that we have lessons to teach. In a sense, all of us walk around with a text from which to teach, the text of our own lives.

-Marshall Gantz, Why Stories Matter

I’d never been to Georgia before I arrived at 9pm last...

By Madeline Schaefer
Published: January 24, 2013

When I was 14, my mother took me to a weekend-long Quaker work camp in West Philadelphia, one of the last before the program was closed in 2005. I painted a hallway blue, prepared simple meals, and slept in a sleeping bag. By Sunday afternoon, I knew that I had been transformed.

Yes, being exposed to the struggles of poverty and becoming acutely aware of my own privilege was eye-opening. But what broke open my heart was sitting in a circle after dinner, listening to a local African-American man tell about his daily struggles with racism, and how its structural violence has...

By Lucy Duncan
Published: January 15, 2013

“These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born.

We must move past indecision to action. …

Now let us begin. Now let us re-dedicate ourselves to the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world.”

                      - Martin Luther King, Jr. in
“Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the...

By Lucy Duncan
Published: January 10, 2013

Denise Altvater is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has worked for AFSC for eighteen years.  She has been instrumental in developing the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission between a sovereign Tribal Nation, the Wabanaki, and a U.S. state, Maine, to address hurts caused by the foster care system. The commission will be seated on February 12, 2013.

The Wabanaki-Maine Truth and Reconciliation Commission is also the first such commission in which perpetrators and victims have proceeded in unity about what needed to happen, rather than...