Thursday, August 30, 2012

Inspired Witness, Continually Reinventing Nonviolence

By way of blog as filing cabinet: A wonderful memorial of Sr. Anne Montgomery. RantWoman is especially gratified to read of her broadening her range of engagement beyond Plowshares actions as well as her comments on how successive generations of activists have transformed their approach to PLowshares actions.

Mentioned in passing: Barbara Deming so RantWoman includes a book review here:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Woolman

RantWoman is a VERY bad Friend.

For one thing, RantWoman is looking to upgrade one or more of her electronic gizmos. RantWoman would prefer one not produced by Chinese slaves, but...

For another thing, RantWoman is utterly delighted by the account supplied at our most recent meeting by another member of the group that is reading John Woolman's journal, of the 1730 session of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. John Woolman would have been 10 years old but history does not record whehter he witnessed the Friend who stood up in session in a traditional Quaker cloak, gave a speech against slavery, and said people who kept slaves might as well do as he was doing. At the end of his speech, he threw off his cloak to reveal full military regalia, drew a sword , and stabbed a hollowed out book in which he had placed a bladder of some kind of red liquid that splattered all over Friends nearby.

But more than being a fan of flamboyant protest in almost any era, RantWoman is thinking ahead. The Woolman reading group has agreed to prepare three Adult Education sessions at the beginning of November. RantWoman is pretty sure the group will be delivered of slightly different titles than what has come to RantWoman:

Disease, Pestilence, Ecological Stresses and Transportation Difficulties in the age of John Woolman

How do you say "John Woolman is a crashing Boor and a real drag to be around" in 18th century Quakerese: reflections from the journals of the slow to convert and those unimpressed by John Woolman. (RantWoman, more's the pity, has no capacity actually to research this, but...
The Actual Life and Ministry of John Woolman

Stay tuned?

For next month we will be reading Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes. RantWoman is delighted by the variety of e-formats in which it is available:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm Uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when...

RantWoman presents a sampling of the discomforts of Friends around her, together with more of that tells WAY too much of the Truth commentary.

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....
--I think about bedbugs and my skin starts to itch. [Catty Comment Friend: Never mind that bedbugs are nocturnal, it's broad daylight, and I was out in my garden for hours picking up Goddess knows what before Meeting for Worship.]
--I think about bedbug eradication and not blowing out the worship room with industrial blowers after each round of bedbug eradication. I worry that every speck of poison is tested reliably to decay after four hours might not actually decay. [Nurse gushing sympathy Friend: "Ohhhh!" Science Nerd Friend: (thunderously loud eye rolling)]

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....

--RantWoman does Sudoku [cue Worse Auntie: be glad you can see across the room to be bothered! Oh wait, there RantWoman goes getting fixated again.]
--Another Friend crochets
--Another Friend reads silently.

[Cue the Elder-o-matic, Buddhist version: Friend, what are these reactions trying to teach you?]

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....
RantWoman recently had a conversation involving a secondhand version of that comment. The comment came in connection with a circumstance where the commenter apparently has not taken advantage of opportunities to acquire information that might either ease worry or enable the Friend to refine analysis of their reaction. Still, RantWoman counseled that if the Friend can articulate bothersome behaviors or interpretations of circumstances, another Friend could be tasked with checking for behaviors and sitting with possible interpretations. But RantWoman is wondering whether anything more is needed than "I hear you Friend and I am sorry you are uncomfortable." The only thought teasing around the edges of RantWoman's thinking: how, beyond the Friend themselves speaking up, might there be a way to test whether the questioning Friend is the only one feeling what that Friend is feeling.

RantWoman herself can most assuredly see both what she knows to look for and points where her own capacity for vehement fixation have surprised her. On one hand, RantWoman sees a Friend with a truly remarkable story. On the other hand, sometimes not even when RantWoman is trying to look at the matter slant, RantWoman can see every loved one who has been hurt by some knuckleheaded outsider, a drunk driver, a petty street criminal, a circumstance the injured person did NOTHING to choose, the sort of hard scarring events that try one's soul and that no one anywhere can FIX. The Friend with the Remarkable Story is almost certainly not the appropriate target for this white hot ire. Even so, his story still pastes a big red bullseye across his presence.
RantWoman is unclear that the big red bullseye is exactly the point. The Friend with the Remarkable Story has a story that is so remarkable as to wash away the bullseye. But in the RantWoman theology, Meeting for Worship is NOT guaranteed to be comfortable, and it's not just different chair designs stabbing worshippers in varying parts of their anatomy. It's the sitting with hard Stuff, with mystery, with vexation, irritation, and the undying sense sometimes that, although one is certain one has all the opportunities for spiritual perfection one could possibly need, for some inexplicable reason, one is to be served up more, more from the same bowl as before and sometimes more from new bowls too!

I am uncomfortable in Meeting for Worship when....
...[cue the RantWoman school of Divine kicks in the butt and endless opportunities for spiritual perfection] Meeting for Worship is going pretty much as it is supposed to and I am being brought into collisions with all kinds of difficult Truth!

Oh heck! God / Goddes / Divine It / ... Bless us all?

A possibly topical blog post:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Morning Moral Uplift 2: Just add Sex

RantWoman has been inspired by this item about sex as the key to notice in the world of publishing.

More on that (vulgarity) Riot Band
--Who SAYS caring about feminism and gay rights means Christianity is under attack?. At least in the US there are many committed Christians in the US who think supporting both reflects the height of Christianity.
--Virgin / Whore. Virgin / Whore down to the female judge primly lecturing the defendants about their "blasphemous" intent. What kind of wimpy God are people talking about if God cannot handle people's heartfelt concerns for their country?
--RantWoman is not impressed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin calling Madonna a slut all over Twitter for her support of the band. RantWoman supposes that Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin should be a better man than to need to beat up on a woman, no matter how low his opinion of her. More to the point: he's the Deputy Prime Minister. He should be able to do better than name-calling!
--RantWoman is delighted with the bilingual pun on the band's name on a T-shirt. Sure, make them do time.

On a more serious note, another of those RantWoma nis interested in further reading but may or may not get more read than...

Readers wondering how all this passes for moral uplift get only to compare notes with yesterday. Yesterday RantWoman made it through her first whole Psalm in Braille since breaking her arm. Reading Braille like a whole lot of other things is hard for RantWoman to do left-handed. RantWoman has tried a couple other Psalms since getting a shorter cast with more liberty for fingers but something else just got too painful within a sentence or two. Cue Psalm 137, a short one but one htat ends in the RSV with something about God slamming children against walls if parents forget his name. RantWoman was absolutely BLESSED to find yesterday's moral uplift item in her blog roll.

Today RantWoman skipped the Psalm. See what happens?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Morning Moral Uplift 1: Fighting with Nonviolence

Please consider taking a few minutes (15:48) to listen to this TED talk "Fighting with Nonviolence" by Scilla Elworthy,a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, founder of Peace Direct, which supports local action against conflict, and founder of the Oxford Research Group, a think-tank devoted to developing effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers and their critics (thanks to Bill Aal for connecting us with this resource):


Here is a transcript of her talk:

In half a century of trying to help prevent wars, there's one question that never leaves me:How do we deal with extreme violence without using force in return? When you're faced with brutality, whether it's a child facing a bully on a playground or domestic violence -- or, on the streets of Syria today, facing tanks and shrapnel, what's the most effective thing to do?Fight back? Give in? Use more force?

This question: "How do I deal with a bully without becoming a thug in return?" has been with me ever since I was a child. I remember I was about 13, glued to a grainy black and white television in my parents' living room as Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest, and kids not much older than me were throwing themselves at the tanks and getting mown down. And I rushed upstairs and started packing my suitcase.

And my mother came up and said, "What on Earth are you doing?"

And I said, "I'm going to Budapest."

And she said, "What on Earth for?"

And I said, "Kids are getting killed there. There's something terrible happening."

And she said, "Don't be so silly." And I started to cry. And she got it, she said, "Okay, I see it's serious. You're much too young to help. You need training. I'll help you. But just unpack your suitcase."

And so I got some training and went and worked in Africa during most of my 20s. But I realized that what I really needed to know I couldn't get from training courses. I wanted to understand how violence, how oppression, works. And what I've discovered since is this:Bullies use violence in three ways. They use political violence to intimidate, physical violence to terrorize and mental or emotional violence to undermine. And only very rarely in very few cases does it work to use more violence.

Nelson Mandela went to jail believing in violence, and 27 years later he and his colleagueshad slowly and carefully honed the skills, the incredible skills, that they needed to turn one of the most vicious governments the world has known into a democracy. And they did it in a total devotion to non-violence. They realized that using force against force doesn't work.

So what does work? Over time I've collected about a half-dozen methods that do work -- of course there are many more -- that do work and that are effective. And the first is that the change that has to take place has to take place here, inside me. It's my response, my attitude, to oppression that I've got control over, and that I can do something about.

And what I need to develop is self-knowledge to do that. That means I need to know how I tick, when I collapse, where my formidable points are, where my weaker points are. When do I give in? What will I stand up for? And meditation or self-inspection is one of the ways -- again it's not the only one -- it's one of the ways of gaining this kind of inner power.

And my heroine here -- like Satish's -- is Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma. She was leading a group of students on a protest in the streets of Rangoon. They came around a corner faced with a row of machine guns. And she realized straight away that the soldiers with their fingers shaking on the triggers were more scared than the student protesters behind her.But she told the students to sit down. And she walked forward with such calm and such clarity and such total lack of fear that she could walk right up to the first gun, put her hand on it and lower it. And no one got killed.

So that's what the mastery of fear can do -- not only faced with machine guns, but if you meet a knife fight in the street. But we have to practice. So what about our fear? I have a little mantra. My fear grows fat on the energy I feed it. And if it grows very big it probably happens.

So we all know the three o'clock in the morning syndrome, when something you've been worrying about wakes you up -- I see a lot of people -- and for an hour you toss and turn, it gets worse and worse, and by four o'clock you're pinned to the pillow by a monster this big.The only thing to do is to get up, make a cup of tea and sit down with the fear like a child beside you. You're the adult. The fear is the child. And you talk to the fear and you ask it what it wants, what it needs. How can this be made better? How can the child feel stronger? And you make a plan. And you say, "Okay, now we're going back to sleep. Half-past seven, we're getting up and that's what we're going to do."

I had one of these 3 a.m. episodes on Sunday -- paralyzed with fear at coming to talk to you. (Laughter) So I did the thing. I got up, made the cup of tea, sat down with it, did it alland I'm here -- still partly paralyzed, but I'm here.

So that's fear. What about anger? Wherever there is injustice there's anger. But anger is like gasoline, and if you spray it around and somebody lights a match, you've got an inferno. But anger as an engine -- in an engine -- is powerful. If we can put our anger inside an engine, it can drive us forward, it can get us through the dreadful moments and it can give us real inner power.

And I learned this in my work with nuclear weapon policy-makers. Because at the beginning I was so outraged at the dangers they were exposing us to that I just wanted to argue and blame and make them wrong. Totally ineffective. In order to develop a dialogue for changewe have to deal with our anger. It's okay to be angry with the thing -- the nuclear weapons in this case -- but it is hopeless to be angry with the people. They are human beings just like us. And they're doing what they think is best. And that's the basis on which we have to talk with them.

So that's the third one, anger. And it brings me to the crux of what's going on, or what I perceive as going on, in the world today, which is that last century was top-down power. It was still governments telling people what to do. This century there's a shift. It's bottom-up or grassroots power. It's like mushrooms coming through concrete. It's people joining up with people, as Bundy just said, miles away to bring about change.

And Peace Direct spotted quite early on that local people in areas of very hot conflict know what to do. They know best what to do. So Peace Direct gets behind them to do that. And the kind of thing they're doing is demobilizing militias, rebuilding economies, resettling refugees, even liberating child soldiers. And they have to risk their lives almost every dayto do this. And what they've realized is that using violence in the situations they operate inis not only less humane, but it's less effective than using methods that connect people with people, that rebuild.

And I think that the U.S. military is finally beginning to get this. Up to now their counter-terrorism policy has been to kill insurgents at almost any cost, and if civilians get in the way, that's written as "collateral damage." And this is so infuriating and humiliating for the population of Afghanistan, that it makes the recruitment for al-Qaeda very easy, when people are so disgusted by, for example, the burning of the Koran.

So the training of the troops has to change. And I think there are signs that it is beginning to change. The British military have always been much better at this. But there is one magnificent example for them to take their cue from, and that's a brilliant U.S. lieutenant colonel called Chris Hughes. And he was leading his men down the streets of Najaf -- in Iraq actually -- and suddenly people were pouring out of the houses on either side of the road, screaming, yelling, furiously angry, and surrounded these very young troops who were completely terrified, didn't know what was going on, couldn't speak Arabic. And Chris Hughes strode into the middle of the throng with his weapon above his head, pointing at the ground, and he said, "Kneel." And these huge soldiers with their backpacks and their body armor, wobbled to the ground. And complete silence fell. And after about two minutes,everybody moved aside and went home.

Now that to me is wisdom in action. In the moment, that's what he did. And it's happening everywhere now. You don't believe me? Have you asked yourselves why and how so many dictatorships have collapsed over the last 30 years? Dictatorships in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mali, Madagascar, Poland, the Philippines, Serbia, Slovenia, I could go on, and now Tunisia and Egypt. And this hasn't just happened. A lot of it is due to a book written by an 80-year-old man in Boston, Gene Sharp. He wrote a book called "From Dictatorship to Democracy" with 81 methodologies for non-violent resistance.And it's been translated into 26 languages. It's flown around the world. And it's being used by young people and older people everywhere, because it works and it's effective.

So this is what gives me hope -- not just hope, this is what makes me feel very positive right now. Because finally human beings are getting it. We're getting practical, doable methodologies to answer my question: How do we deal with a bully without becoming a thug? We're using the kind of skills that I've outlined: inner power -- the development of inner power -- through self-knowledge, recognizing and working with our fear, using anger as a fuel, cooperating with others, banding together with others, courage, and most importantly, commitment to active non-violence.

Now I don't just believe in non-violence. I don't have to believe in it. I see evidence everywhere of how it works. And I see that we, ordinary people, can do what Aung San Suu Kyi and Ghandi and Mandela did. We can bring to an end the bloodiest century that humanity has ever known. And we can organize to overcome oppression by opening our hearts as well as strengthening this incredible resolve.

And this open-heartedness is exactly what I've experienced in the entire organization of this gathering since I got here yesterday. Thank you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Grace: Diversity in Prayer

RantWoman's body is back from the Pacific Northwest Quaker Women's Theology conference, fished out of the unheated but nearly swimmable pool with a view. RantWoman's soul still seems to be alternately staring off to the east towards the folds and shadows up the Columbia Gorge or soaring off to the west over the expanses at the mouth of the Columbia. RantWoman's life still evokes the Elizabeth Fry quote about "too much tossed... do all thing heartily unto the Lord." RantWoman means here to reflect on her experiences, what another attender called "spiritual hospitality," what RantWoman has also heard described as "diversity in prayer."  Okay, not THAT diverse:  RantWoman never once was led to drag out her sudoku book. Maybe it was the tendering hues of all the quilts hung around the meeting room, but RantWoman was struck by a generous ease in being together.

At the Women's Theology Conference, the daily small-group meetings for spiritual intimacy are called home groups. In past years, home groups have been offered fairly rigid descriptions of  worship sharing and worship discussion formats. Worship Sharing means Friends in start with queries and wait in silence with the expectation that a message on the queries will be given to each woman in turn without any need to clarify or riff on what resonates from what others share. When this is done well it is powerful; RantWoman herself has uneven experience about this. RantWoman was touched by a NWYM Friend's story of having to sit with the idea again after speaking to a member of the planning committee and finally feeling centered in the practice. Worship discussion permits much more crosstalk, chatter, and reactivity.

In past years, women were urged to choose one format or the other in advance, on the theory that women have definite preferences. This year the women creating home groups left both agreement bout form for worshipping together and discernment about queries for each session to....God and each group individually. RantWoman's group spent a few moments on the first day coming to unity that each woman should feel invited to say whether or not she welcomes additional discussions about her messages. In several cases women welcomed more discussion but little was forthcoming. RantWoman and one group member identified common interest in talking outside the group about blindness issues; then we passed up the first opportunity, a chance encounter on our morning walks and caught up again later. RantWoman LOVES Quaker gatherings for exactly this sense of space.

RantWoman for numerous reasons she has not fully analyzed seldom gets to know people very quickly. RantWoman found it a blessing to be in a group with several Friends she knows but not well, and better in important ways because of being in home group together. RantWoman's life is rich in difficult topics, the sort of experiences which make people gasp when she reports the good news. RantWoman felt blessed to be delivered of short pithy comments on only one of these themes AND felt well--held by Friends' responses.

RantWoman's group leaders seeded each day's sharing with some kind of query and the format of subsequent sharing wandered a couple different directions. One day other members of the group besides RantWoman simply settled into silent worship and only articulated the realization that it was on point when someone said "let's get started;" the whole group laughed when someone said she thought we already were.

Another point where RantWoman heard specific and intentional openness to leadings of Spirit rather than rigidity about specific practices was threads of discussion about whether women are comfortable or not with spoken verbal prayer. Friends from RantWoman's Yearly Meeting tend not to be terribly comfortable with verbal prayer, out loud in front of God and everybody. Friends from Northwest Yearly Meeting tend to pray loudly and enthusiastically for all kinds of situations. RantWoman has a lot of Presbyterians in her orbit who like to pray out loud so RantWoman is pretty heterodox on the question. RantWoman was tender, though, to hear women from both programmed and unprogrammed traditions talking about experiences with prayer aloud: women seemed to manage it better than one would predict from their initial reaction. Or maybe this was just the "spiritual stretching" mentioned in the epistle.

Some years, references to Goddess or the feminine divine became points of difficulty.  RantWoman has a sense from reading women's papers that definitely not everyone starts out automatically speaking of Jesus or even in terms of God at all. And RantWoman overheard snippets of conversation indicating deep listening and rich sharing regardless of words used for movements of spirit.
One final note about RantWoman personal points of heterodoxxy: RantWoman is a choir director's kid. This means RantWoman besides enthusiasm for music in general is utterly unQuakerly in her enthusiasm for ...practicing / rehearsing. Even worse for a women's conference: RantWoman did not rabidly dislike the conference music but did sometimes think male voices would help the chords. This does NOT mean RantWoman has any leading to invite men to this event but it definitely is one reason Ran tWoman is clear to appreciate both single-gender and mixed gender events.
music chant meditation

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How come there are no men there?

This post has been seasoning for awhile. RantWoman's ordinary saintliness deficit is even worse because it's a squintillion degrees outside. Hold RantWoman--and those around her--in the Light, in front of a fan!
RantWoman thanks Irrepressible Nephew for the concept of a squintillion, defined for purposes of this post as a temperature guaranteed to make Seattleites start melting even if it is considerably hotter elsewhere. At least RantWoman is ALMOST saintly enough to pass up an opportunity to digress about squintillion algebra, whether a squintillion is countably or uncountably infinite and thoughts of additive or multiplicative identity. RantWoman is only that saintly in connection with opportunity instead to rant about...sexism and interrogatories recently from someone in her Meeting about single gender events:

How come there are no men there?
The original reading group that began the Pacific NW Quaker Women's Theology Conferences formed when a bunch of women decided that if the men were not willing to talk across Friends traditions, they would do it as women.
A weighty Friend who desparately needs but has not yet matched up with a suitable Nom De Blog reminded RantWoman of this history.. Seriously Weighty Friend in Need is really not the sort of person RantWoman expects to be so ON about women-only events. But in practically the same sentence, Seriously Weighty Friend was also very eloquent about threads of deep gender-specific sharing in her home group.

But how come there are no men there?
Women keep testing and having no leading to invite them.
But how come there are no men there?
Apparently because you, Friend, need practice staying on RantWoman's list of men smart enough to know there are just things they should not argue with their wives about.
But how come there are no men there?
Look, RantWoman knows you cook and clean and probably are above average for your gender about many qualities, but apparently you still need practice coping. So cope.

But how come there are no men there?
Because there are the following opportunities... for mixed gender and men only events and the following further examples of men-only ... And if God is especially generous, some of the same women organize both the women's conference and mixed-gender events and maybe God willing sometimes content can overlap.

But how come there are no men there?
Look RantWoman went to college with someone who did not bat an eye about simultaneously defending women-only events at the Women's Center and suing the university of all-male eating clubs so why do ymouexpect consistency from RantWoman?.

But how come there are no men there?
Because RantWoman needs you to reflect on the fact that silent and LISTEN contain the same letters!

But how come there are no men there?
Because, bless your heart...!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How they do it in Canada

RantWoman notes with interest several things about this post from the Canadian YM Annual Session and other things CYM:

--What CYM calls its two variants of what RantWoman takes to be Worship Sharing

--Worship Sharing departing from Bible study and it appears from a challenging passage at that.

--Blogging the course of Annual Session. RantWoman in many contexts finds this kind of dispatch helpful in her h olding in her care even ts sh e is un able for one reason  or another she is unable to attend in person.

--The YM website includes links to several CYM blogosphere publishers of Truth.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Prayers for / with the Sikh community

In solidarity with and in memory of the victims of the Wisconsin shooting, the Sikh community of Washington State is holding a vigil at Gurdwara Singh Sabha of Renton on Saturday at 7:30 - 8:30pm. The program will include spiritual singing in the Sikh faith tradition and an informational presentation for the general public.

A community meal (Guru Ka Langar) will follow.

The tragedy in Wisconsin occurred as a result of ignorance and hatred. Here in Washington State, with your help we hope to create an atmosphere of awareness and acceptance.
Please RSVP on Facebook if you can:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Aid to Discernment: ministry re Homelessness

University Friends Meeting continues to be a SHARE shelter; we are not at unity longer term about some do less / do more / do different questions but at last Meeting for Business Friends suggested asking ourselves the question what are the benefits of being a SHARE shelter.

A.  Here is what came to RantWoman:
The Benefits of Being a SHARE shelter

1. Being a SHARE shelter makes UFM much more responsible neighbors than just letting whoever and whatever happen when we used to have people sleeping under our eaves.

2. SHARE is self-managed. This means MUCH lower administrative costs than other models of support for the homeless. More importantly, this model draws on the Inner Light of the people involved and enables them to participate directly in deciding things about their lives and community.

3. I have a relative who struggles with homelessness; he is very hard to help. Having a SHARE shelter means what I can do matters even if it does not directly help my family member.
4. Last winter I threw myself an UnBirthday party. The weather was just AWFUL and some of my friends and family did not come. Because I invited SHARE, the room was still full of warm chatter and people who need to talk about the God of the bus and the library as much as I do.

5. Even talking about bedbugs makes some people itch. It's good for us as acommunity to have to think about this and other hard realities.

B. RantWoman dutifully emailed her thoughts in the direction of those coordinating the seasoning and got back the thought that everyone's contributions will be consolidated and reported together.

C. RantWoman KNOWS that discernment is not necessarily supposed to look like the next comments which came to her, but such is the state, today, of RantWoman's Be True to Her Light reflection on the collecting process at least. God's work in progress?:

I think I am completely at ease with however you all want to presentthing. I think that but I also am interested in both the range of things people comment about, that is the number of different topics and how many comment about individual topics. Sometimes I get grouchy when too many of the things I mention but others do not get omitted. not every puddle of prose that drips out of my email is completely profound but part of the beauty of discernment sometimes is hearing things Iwould not think of.

As NPYM's current presiding clerk likes to say "discernment will occur..."

from the blog roll, on discernment, in honor of Inveterate Gardener Friend who says, without any irony about evangelism, prosletyzing..., Quakerism is thecure for all kinds of problems of our age:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Complete sentences

Inveterate Gardener Friend: "RantWoman...messages in complete sentences..."

RantWoman "Thank you for the feedback...."

(Look, RantWoman does not read minds; perhaps if thee had been clear to ASK RantWoman to elucidate at the time....)

(RantWoman thinks this conversation is about a recent message offered in conjunction with return from the Pacific NW Quaker Women's Theology Conference. RantWoman frequently has to ask for financial help to participate in such events so RantWoman has care to "What am I to take along / what am I to bring back?"

RantWoman was clear she was to give a message; she was not clear which of several threads. RantWoman has clearly heard back that one thread was heard by several Friends. RantWoman was on the verge of blurting out to Inveterate Gardener Friend,  "Friend, has thee considered that the message may not have been meant for you...?")


On the occasion of landing Curiosity, a nuclear powered rover the size of a compact car on Mars, a post about becoming a Quaker.

Friday, August 3, 2012

NPYM 2012 Epistle: News and Not News

Epistles are one of RantWoman's favorit  forms of Quaker Extreme writing. By Extreme Writing, RantWoman means summoning the Holy Spirit and some Friends of good will and uneven temperament and demanding that specific quantities of contenet emerge on tight timelines. RantWoman's experience is that  this combination usually delivers. This year at NPYM Annual Session RantWoman  and her broken arm practiced Worship Lethargy instead of Worship Discussion; instead of the Daily Bulletin RantWoman was also led to visit herself upon and specifically to uphold  the labors of  the official Epistle Committee.

RantWoman is blessed to have delivered into the Epistle a small number of words some Friends might take for granted:

....opened out of Silent Worship...

...endorsed FCNL's call...opportunity to cut the defense budget TAKE ACTION DURING THE LAME DUCK CONGRESSIONAL SESSION after the November 2012. elections...

RantWoman does not remember the exact wording about cutting the defense budget. Quakers want to cut the defense budget? Probably not news! Quakers see aspecific opportunity on a specific timeline. DEFINITELY NEWS! RanWoman finds herself unbelievably energized by Annual Session's prompt endorsement of action meant to address circumstances on a specific timeline!

For more on the FCNL campaign,