As we review some of the most widely read features at Friends Journal from January to June, we’d also like to acknowledge the impact of our new full-time staff writer, Sharlee DiMenichi. Her presence has allowed us to report on breaking news stories affecting Quaker communities, like the controversy surrounding Raquel Saraswati’s brief time at AFSC and the killing of Carol Clark, clerk of Philadelphia’s Unity Meeting.
“I was introduced to Quaker Thomas Kelly several years ago, and he has made a big difference in my life,” Kathleen Wilson told the small crowd gathered at Baltimore’s Homewood Friends Meeting one First Day morning. “I have copied some of his words in this pamphlet, making him easier to read, and I have five free copies here for anyone who would want one.” Donna McKusick spoke with Wilson about the impact of Kelly’s writing on her spirituality.
“Modern Quakers need to understand how the legacy of Quaker participation in enslavement impacted both the enslaved and their descendants, as well as the Society of Friends and its relationship to African Americans today,” Avis Wanda McClinton writes. “Identifying those enslaved by Quakers is just the first step: we believe that the roots of Black exclusion from the Religious Society of Friends are embedded in slavery.”
“I was raised in a hyper-conservative, Evangelical Christian tradition that believes sin deserves severe and eternal punishment, and that Jesus bore the punishment, wrath, and abandonment of God that my sins deserved,” Hayden Hobby reflects. “As a result, I spent a lot of formative years trying to somehow hold and understand the paradox that God loved me and wanted to spend eternity in heaven with me but would just as quickly damn me to eternal hellfire for not believing in Jesus. That’s a big contradiction to attempt to hold as a 13-year-old, and eventually my faith broke like a wishbone.”
“During the pandemic,” Anita Bushell says, “we came to rely on the technology of remote conferencing in order to stay safe and stay connected to friends and to Friends in our spiritual practice.… Clearly this was an advance. But like all that moves forward, something was left behind.” Some readers shared her pessimistic assessment of technology on Quakers’ connection to the divine—while others disagreed passionately.
“For years, decades even, I considered myself a run-of-the mill atheist,” John Marsh confides. “Now I am not so sure, and the Society of Friends is a welcoming religion in which to practice that uncertainty.”
Banner images: fran_kie; @ YAYImages; POMO@Yoshitomo
Catch up on past years’ lists!
- #5. The Art of Quaker Quilts by Vicki Winslow.
- #4. Quakers Must Take a Stand on Abortion by Erick Williams.
- #3. Safe Meetings Don’t Avoid Conflict by Donald W. McCormick.
- #2. The Peace Testimony and Ukraine by Bryan Garman.
- #1. Flawed Quaker Heroes by Kathleen Bell.
- #5. A Quaker Antiracist Reading List
- #4. Quaker Meetings Respond to Coronavirus by Katie Breslin.
- #3. Recognizing Racism, Seeking Truth by Inga Erickson.
- #2. Careful Discernment or Spiritual Timidity? by Kat Griffith.
- #1. The Middle-Class Capture of Quakerism and Quaker Process by Donald W. McCormick.
- #5 Selling Out to Niceness by Ann Jerome.
- #4 Building White Racial Stamina by Liz Oppenheimer.
- #3 A Quaker School’s Response to Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Erik Hanson.
- #2 We Are Not John Woolman by Gabbreell James.
- # 1 Slavery in the Quaker World by Katharine Gerbner.
Top Articles of 2018
- #5 Are We Really Christian? by Margaret Namubuya Amudavi.
- #4 What People Really Want from Church and Quaker Meeting by Donald W. McCormick.
- #3 Simple Living Beyond the Thrift Store by Philip Harnden.
- #2 Can Quakerism Survive? by Donald W. McCormick.
- # 1 Civility Can Be Dangerous by Lucy Duncan.
- #5 Mystical Experience, the Bedrock of Quaker Faith by Robert Atchley.
- #4 Weeping to Joy by Betsy Blake.
- #3: A Mysticism for Our Time by Roger Owens.
- #2: It Breaks My Heart by Kate Pruitt.
- #1: A Quaker Approach to Living with Dying by Katherine Jaramillo.
- #5 Framing the Light by Jean Schnell.
- #4 Why Quakers Stopped Voting by Paul Buckley.
- #3 Affirming Ivy by Laura Noel.
- #2 The Third Reconstruction by William J Barber II.
- #1 A Gospel of Quaker Sexuality by Kody Gabriel Hersh.
- #5 Baltimore, the Time Is Now by Sarah Bur.
- #4 Reflections on Selma by Gail Whiffen.
- #3 What Quakers and Catholics Might Learn from One Another by John Pitts Corry.
- #2 Realizing Wholeness: Reflections from a Gay Palestinian Quaker by Sa’ed Atshan.
- #1 Beyond Goodness Sex by Su Penn.
- #5 Dear Friend/Good White Person by Regina Renee.
- #4 Sustainable Simplification Shuns “Shoulds” and Sacrifice by Chuck Hosking.
- #3 A Quaker Argument against Gun Control by Matthew Van Meter.
- #2 My Experience as an African American Quaker by Avis Wanda McClinton.
- #1 White Narcissism by Ron McDonald.
- #5: Bum-Rush the Internet interview with Jon Watts.
- #4: Categorically Not the Testimonies by Eric Moon.
- #3: Are Quakers Christian, Non-Christian, or Both? by Anthony Manousos.
- #2: Quakerism Left Me by Betsy Blake.
- #1: We Think He Might Be a Boy by Su Penn.
- #5: The Safety of Silence by Lindsey Mead Russell.
- #4: Eight Questions on Convergent Friends, an interview with Robin Mohr.
- #3: Quakers Are Way Cooler Than You Think by Emma Churchman.
- #2: Homosexuality: A Plea to Read the Bible Together by Douglas C Bennett.
- #1: When Quaker Process Fails by John M. Coleman.