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God, Make It Possible

By Emily Provance

Dear Friends,

In June, I did an experiment.

I had noticed that my Facebook feed was overwhelmingly political. It used to be filled with photographs of kittens and updates about people’s babies, but now, it was nothing but news article after meme after angry exclamatory statement. Moreover, it was all from one particular point of view, like an echo chamber — a really, really loud one.

And I knew I had friends, some of them very good friends, who were not in agreement with this point of view. Where had they gone? Why had they disappeared from my feed?

So I started using the ‘hide this’ button, which can be found in the upper right hand corner of posts. I wanted to teach Facebook to give me less of the same people over and over and more from people I wasn’t hearing from.

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“Difference is of the essence of humanity” —John Hume

Cows in the Field

By Margaret Fraser

LAST MONTH MARKED THE 45th ANNIVERSARY of the ambush of the Miami Showband, in which three band members and two of their attackers were killed. Flourishing from the 1960s to the 1980s, Showbands were an Irish cultural phenomenon, performing in village and parish halls, offering a way for young people to meet each other and have a night out. Dublin-based, the Miami Showband was one of the most successful.

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Living in the Unknown

Numbers

By Jan Wood

THE GOOD NEWS ASSOCIATES are used to scheduling commitments, retreats, and events for months and years ahead. And we — like you — have lived into this strange state of suspended animation during the COVID crisis. All of our lives, schedules and plans have been upended. We are living in the unknown. Continue reading

The First Day

Emily Provance

By Emily Provance

I THINK OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, as the beginning. For me, two things happened that day.

First, I received a barrage of communications: emails, phone calls, text messages, social media contacts. “Who has a plan? What’s the Center for Disease Control (CDC) saying? Are other Friends cancelling worship? Are other Friends staying home?”

And second, I had to figure something out: where was I, as a traveling minister, going to go?

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A Sturdy Faith

Together We CreateBy Jan Wood

THERE IS A REFRAIN FROM AN OLD HYMN, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” that rings in my ears these days:

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is shifting sand.
All other ground is shifting sand.


We are in the midst of a massive national — and global — shock. A few weeks ago our worlds had the contours of normalcy. It felt like our lives have been turned upside down overnight. Our normal expectations that we live our lives by have been swept away in a tidal wave of change. Life and death are suddenly front and center of our consciousness. Our carefully balanced finances have been thrown into disarray. The ability to gather with folks you love in times of trouble has been erased. Uncertainty is the only certainty about the future. Continue reading

Dolls of hope, dolls of peace

By Nancy McCormick

IN 2010, under the leadership of former Curator Ruth Brindle, the Quaker Heritage Center of Wilmington College created an exhibit that celebrated a doll exchange program that occurred in 1927 between Japan and America to help build relationships between our two cultures.

I was fascinated with the idea of building bridges with a culture before Pearl Harbor, Nagasaki and Hiroshima; another reminder that each generation needs to be building peace, one day at a time, passing that torch to the next generation.

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Listening in Tongues

Listening Ear

By Christine Hall

IF WE CARE ABOUT vibrant, transformative faith communities, how do we help it happen? That’s the ideal we foster in Way of the Spirit—an 18 month program for learning and spiritual growth from Quaker spirituality. Over the years, we’ve taken up the phrase, “listening in tongues” to remind us of both practical behaviors and an inner orientation to each other across our range of experiences and vocabularies about the Holy, God, or the Spirit.

I wonder how your faith community practices “listening in tongues.”

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The Courage to See

Cut Blindfold

By Jan Wood

I HAVE HAD GOD OPEN MY EYES to new awareness that led to change many times. In fact, I count on that grace in my life! Perhaps the most iconic opening came years ago…

My sense of myself at that time was that I was a generous, happy, nice person. I considered myself kind and compassionate. I was hurt and dismissive of any feedback that might challenge those notions. But one day God’s Spirit started moving in my mind and heart. While I went about the normal activities of my day, there was a profound inward experience unfolding. I was shown all the ways that my words, phrases, and jokes reflected a deep space of envy and bitterness inside of me. I could hear the phrases that popped out of my mouth without my hearing or examining them. This dredging up of thoughts, words and actions that I had been blind to continued throughout the day. I was horrified! How could I be that kind of person? It was around 4 o’clock in the afternoon when I finally blurted out in anguish to God, “Oh God, I don’t want to be this way!” And to my surprise that inward voice of God answered in such a gentle and kindly tone. “I know, Jan. That is why we are talking about it.” I melted into the kindness of God’s gentle forgiveness and healing. That kindness moved me from seeing and feeling guilty to authentic and joyful change in my being and in my relationships with others. Continue reading