Posts by Lucy

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Organizing with the Spirit

Note: In this post I tell just a bit of the story of the commutation of the death penalty sentence of Randy Reeves. I drew from many sources for this piece, including an excellent article that was in PeaceWork magazine and an article published by Common Dreams.

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Randy Reeves

Randy Reeves

Randy Reeves

The courageous many: Undoing racism as a spiritual practice

It’s been a hard summer. From the bombardment on Gaza to the refugee children on the border to Ferguson, it feels as though the world is cracking apart and oppressive policies and the militaries or police that protect them are proceeding with impunity. The consequences of the twisted systems in which we live are being exposed. People all over the world are crying out for justice and connecting their struggles.  
 
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Sarah Grimke

Sarah Grimke

Sarah Grimke

A hurricane of Spirit to end the occupation of Palestine

“How good it is, how pleasant for God’s people to live in unity.” – Psalm 133:1

The first time I experienced a gathered meeting was at Mid-Year Meeting of Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative. We were in an old meeting house up on a hill that overlooked the prairie.  It was a windy day. As we sat in meeting for worship, the wind whipped around us.  The silence was deep and rich. As the wind swirled, stirring up dust and bringing a breeze into the meeting house, I could sense the Spirit also moving in the room. I felt as though we were one body, coming together.

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How good it is to live in unity...

How good it is to live in unity...

"How good it is to live in unity... " a tile from Jerusalem Pottery

The disappearance of Sombath Somphone: an Interview with Ng Shui Meng

I talked recently with Ng Shui Meng, the wife of Sombath Somphone, a Laotian man and close associate of AFSC who ran civil society programs in Laos until he disappeared in December, 2012. Despite having close circuit television footage documenting his abduction, the Laotian government has denied any knowledge of Sombath Somphone’s whereabouts. Shui Meng came to the United States recently to request the assistance of AFSC, Amnesty International, Quakers and others to take action to support the return of Sombath Somphone.  

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Sombath Somphone’s portrait

Sombath Somphone’s portrait in Great Men and Women of Asia: Ramon Magsaysay Awardees from Southeast Asia 1990-2005.

Where is Sombath?

People holding signs in support of the release of Sombath Somphone.

Quaker practice unbound from belief

I started taking yoga again a few months ago in a well lit, open studio in west Philadelphia. The teacher started the class by saying that yoga isn’t a religion; it is a spiritual practice open to all. When she introduced each standing pose, she talked about how important alignment is: that taking time to pay attention and settle into the pose with attention makes all the difference in how you practice yoga and in the benefits you receive from it. 

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Quaker meeting sign by Stephen Coles

Quaker meeting sign by Stephen Coles

Roots for Peace: Preparing the soil for change

Carlos "Elmo" Gomez uses gardening as a way to unite his community and make positive changes to his neighborhood in Los Angeles.

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Roots for Peace mural

Roots for Peace mural

Roots for Peace mural

Working steadfastly for peace: The 2014 AFSC Corporation meeting

Note: Here is a slide show of the 2014 AFSC Corporation Meeting, the theme of which was, "Working Steadfastly for Peace in Israel-Palestine." Friends from throughout the United States gathered to learn together with AFSC staff, to conduct business, and to worship together. One Friend said, "I value the work of talented, dedicated staff and volunteers at all levels. I value the role of spirit/worship in AFSC's work. This meeting has been one of the best experiences of my life." Hopefully these photos convey the spirit and energy of the meeting.

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Clerks' Table at the AFSC Corporation Meeting

Clerks' Table at the AFSC Corporation Meeting

Clerks' Table at the AFSC Corporation Meeting

Quakers respond to the State of the Union Address

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (@FCNL) and the American Friends Service Committee (@afsc_org) partnered in live tweeting responses to the State of the Union Address on January 28th, offering a distinctly Quaker perspective on the issues President Obama raised joined by other Quaker voices who also tweeted during the speech. 

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What is the core of Quaker faith?

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.

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Inner Light

Inner Light

Inner Light 

A prayer for the coming of the Light

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

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Winter road

Winter road

Winter road

Who we are

AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more

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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.

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