Acting in Faith

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By Madeline Schaefer
Published: January 28, 2014

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. 

But for many of us, it...

By Madeline Schaefer
Published: January 24, 2014

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.

Listen to the voices of some of the young men and women who attended the workshop, and hear how they are using their new understanding to undo racist...

By Madeline Schaefer
Published: January 15, 2014

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. 

We touched on nearly everything—our backgrounds, our politics, our taste in movies, our careers. He told me he was currently studying law at a major university in...

By Lucy Duncan
Published: January 9, 2014

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. If you'd like to view the whole conversation, ...

By Lucy Duncan
Published: December 22, 2013

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

The awareness of all the walls we erect to keep what will heal...