The first week of October is Quaker Week, when many Quaker meetings in Britain make a concerted effort to educate others about Quakerism. This Quaker Week, my local meeting invited me to give a short talk as part of a panel discussion on Quaker testimony, and here's an adapted version of what I said. I … Continue reading My whole life as testimony
I suspect you only need to spend a short time with British Quakers before you hear the phrase ‘that of God in every one’. It may take a much longer time before someone tells you what they think it means. In this post I’ll explore the various meanings of this phrase, and how theologian Jürgen … Continue reading What is ‘that-of-God in everyone’?
I learned that men don't kiss men when I was about 11. We were visiting an aunt and uncle, and I kissed my aunty when we were greeted at the door. As I moved to kiss my uncle, he stuck a hand out for me to shake. The gesture was very clear. I was too … Continue reading ‘Greet one another with a holy kiss (unless you’re both men)’
Hello Jolly Quaker readers. I hope you've had a good summer. Mine's been busy, often too busy, but full of things to be thankful for. Here's a short update about my blog and the plans I have for it. You may have noticed that I've posted very infrequently over the last year. That's because I've … Continue reading An update from Jolly Quaker
From 24-27 May, Quakers in Britain met to consider issues of privilege, diversity and inclusion and climate justice. You can read the Epistle here. Friends who were hoping for clear decisions to made, or actions to be agreed upon, may be disappointed. Some may worry that the gathering constituted a lot of 'naval gazing'. To … Continue reading No shortcut to the Kingdom: Reflections from Britain Yearly Meeting 2019
As a Christian Quaker living in a post-Christian Quaker culture, I'm occasionally called upon to explain my Christianity to my fellow Quakers. I recently did this by saying 'Jesus is the key that unlocks my experience of the world'. I was then asked 'could you say more about that?', and I didn't really have an … Continue reading Jesus the key to my experience
In the last few months, I have become increasingly involved in diversity and inclusion work within the Quaker community. Although challenging and emotionally demanding, this work is bringing lots of really important questions to the fore. One cluster of questions that has emerged is: Is Christianity by its very nature exclusive? Is a universalist Quakerism … Continue reading Does Jesus exclude?
I recently helped organise and co-facilitate a British Quaker diversity and inclusion national gathering at the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre. It was challenging and rewarding in equal measure, and I've put together some thoughts on the event for the Woodbrooke blog, which you can read here.
Dear readers and followers of Jolly Quaker, 2018 has been a quieter year on the blog than I'd anticipated, and I haven't produced the bumper crop of posts I'd hoped for, but in many ways this has been a good year for the blog behind the scenes. I'm still operating on the principle that when … Continue reading Thank you to my readers in 2018
This is a series of short, c.500-word posts looking at the underlying theology of the Advices and Queries – forty-two pithy statements that collectively capture the British Quaker faith. When you are preoccupied and distracted in meeting let wayward and disturbing thoughts give way quietly to your awareness of God’s presence among us and in the world. … Continue reading Advice and Query 12: Building a living temple together