That of God in everyone

The Artform of Peace Building

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A really wonderful article on peace building with many mentions of Quakers and familiar Quaker and Quaker adjacent names like Diana and John Lampen, Duncan Morrow and Paul Hutchinson

Library Committee Update


*NEW* Soil and Soul - Alastair McIntosh (51.9/McI)
In this remarkable book which is memoir, theology, science writing and essay all at once, McIntosh proves himself to be an eminent prophetic voice of our time. He is a Quaker thinker who not only straddles many disciplines but multiple identities: British and Celtic, Christian and Panentheist. The theme of activism as a spiritual practice runs through the book and he challenges readers to consider the values that underlie our actions - he asks what gods our actions serve? Do they enslave or liberate others? But as well as challenge he also inspires with stories of community groups resisting powerful landowners and education initiatives which offer alternative ways of thinking about the environment and economy. (JN)

*NEW* Openings to the infinite ocean (Swarthmore lecture 2020) - Tom Shakespeare (004/SHA)
The theme of this booklet is hope. Not hope as naïve optimism but hope that is grounded in a realistically positive attitude and lived out with actions that attempt to make a difference. Shakespeare’s inspiration comes from his reading of Biblical texts and his view that this kind of hope that we need in a world of Brexit, Climate emergency and Coronavirus arises out of a spiritual concern. In sum, for hope to be cultivated it requires us to engage in 3 kinds of work: inner, outer and across. The first two on their own are important but not enough - ‘To make both succeed we need to make connections… We are all interdependent. We do better with others.’ (JN)

*NEW* The Joy of God - the collected writings of Sister Mary David (231.6/DAV)
Reflections and spiritual insights from Sister Mary David (1957-2017), a Benedictine contemplative. Her thoughts are often short insights, much in the style of Quaker ministry, full of metaphor, story and imagery worth chewing over. An example of her reflection on the light is:
'St John of the Cross says our souls are like windows. Divine Light is always there beating on the panes, but often the panes are dirty so that the light cannot penetrate. Our task is very simple - not always easy, mind you, but basically simple. We do not have to make the sun shine. We do not have to create our own suns. All we have to do is let the sun in, and we do this by cleaning our windows...' (JN)

A second review of this book! I have found it really useful in dealing with all the restrictions of lockdown. It’s a collection of the advice Sr Mary gave the young nuns in her care as they embarked on their new life in an enclosed Benedictine convent – a lockdown of sorts. It contains lots of helpful advice including living with people you don’t always find easy company – advising examining your reactions to discern if the experience has perhaps been put your way for a reason. (SR)

Encountering the Light – a journey taken by Martin Lynn (10/LYN)
Martin was a member of South Belfast Meeting until his untimely death in 2005. His ministry always “spoke to my condition” and even after all this time I miss his presence in Meeting. This little book is a deceptively simple distillation of Martin’s Quaker experience and like all skinny volumes bears new fruit with every reading. I’m so grateful that his legacy of wisdom lives on in this book.

A Living Faith: An Historical and Comparative Study of Quaker Beliefs - Wilmer A Cooper (10/COO)
While, as its title suggests, this is a serious tome, Wilmer Cooper is wonderfully clear in explaining the basis of Quaker theology. If you are ever wanting to explore how Quakers have addressed the major Christian debates, this is a really accessible and enjoyable way in. And while Wilmer Cooper comes from an evangelical tradition of Quakerism, he is brilliantly inclusive of other Quaker viewpoints. (WH)

Open for transformation- Being Quaker (2014 Swarthmore Lecture) - Ben Pink Dandelion (SL-2014)
One of the gems in our Library is a (nearly?) complete set of the Swarthmore Lectures, which are delivered annually for over 100 years, and set out some of the key statements of Quaker thinking. In his Lecture in 2014, Ben Pink Dandelion really challenges us about what do we believe in being Quaker, but in a very different, distinct way - neither liberal or evangelical in his approach, but very personal, very strong, and with a clear sense of how transformed we must be as Quakers. (WH)

Meeting God in Paul - Rowan Williams (227/WIL)
Like the series of short books Roman Williams has produced in the last decade, this short book really helps to start one thinking anew about St Paul. I must admit to have found him a difficult thinker to approach, tied up with theological disputes that I cannot easily address or feel. Rowan Williams however approaches Paul in a different, fresh way, showing one very different, richer perspectives- still very difficult to grasp but much more interesting. (WH)

Other Newly Donated books
• Forgiveness Remembers - Paul Farren and Robert Miller (234.5/FAR)
• Saving Christianity (new thinking for old beliefs) - Hilary Wakeman (230/WAK)
• Deepening the life of the spirit: Resources for spiritual practice - Ginny Wall (14/WAL)


M&O June Update

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In the M&O team, we are very conscious that summer is rapidly approaching. So our thoughts have been turning to how we can all enjoy what we hope will be good weather - and also how we prepare for the autumn.

In former days we would have seen our Meeting numbers drop as Friends left for the sun. This year, with vaccinations doing their work, but maybe a greater focus on the Staycation, perhaps our numbers in Marlborough Park will even go up. And of course now, wherever we are, we can Zoom in to Meeting.

And with summer, we do feel this is the time for a picnic. Our young people are having theirs on 27 June, but we are hoping that all of us can have a picnic - with everyone bringing their own, for safety - in our lovely garden, on 25 July. So fingers crossed for a sunny day!

Thinking about the autumn, we have been also thinking how we can ensure everyone is involved in planning for what we will do together. That is why we have asked everyone to complete the survey, electronically or on paper. It will really help us to get your thoughts and ideas.

One issue that is particularly important is what sort of social witness we make as a Meeting, how we partner with other faiths/worshipping communities and how we connect with other Quakers. It will probably be best that we all discuss this in our After Meeting Conversations or in other discussion groups in the autumn. Many Friends are already involved in a great deal of activity, and we have developing links with other groups, but it is really important that we share what is going on, and think about if there are new things we want to do.

The Ministry and Oversight team - Felicity, Jonathan, Kerry, Marie, Michael, Sylvia and Will