Paul suggested we start with little fears — fear of flying, fear of ham sandwiches — but our group fell immediately into big issues like fear of helplessness in old age, fear for our children, and fear for our aged parents. I thought that starting with the worst in this way would be a bad thing, but it proved to be a good one….
Paul Buckley’s theme for the weekend was “Be Not Afraid”, a subject which he had initially planned to tie to the story of Peter in the Gospels. However, as he told me over lunch the first day, after he had worked out his whole presentation and written out everything he planned to say, he “received orders from upstairs” — that is, a leading from God — to the effect that God wanted something different. So in the end he gave us something that wound up in a very different place from what he’d originally planned.
For those of you who are curious what Iowa Conservative Quakerism looks like, I’ve taken a few pictures of the Bear Creek Meetinghouse, where our Midyear Meeting is in session.
Well, my tax forms are all completed at last (though not yet mailed). Now comes the reward I’ve been looking forward to for months.
I’m packing this evening for the Midyear Meeting of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) — an annual event that lasts about a day and a quarter (most of Saturday plus some of Sunday) and at which there are No Business Sessions At All.
The itch to have ways of foretelling the winter is an awfully widespread itch.
Go up to the Yukon and the Indians will tell you how they tell how severe the winter will be by the shape of the tracks the snowshoe hares leave in the ground. Go to Tennessee, and the mountain folk will tell you how they predict the severity of the cold by the markings on the fur of the woolly bear caterpillar. In the Northeast there are those who check to see how bushy the squirrels’ tails are, and those who look to see how high the wasps are building their nests.
The entrenched core of wealthy and privileged slaveholders, and their allies in the slaveholding artisan class, were still resisting the call to face the facts of slavery.
Eloquence and stridency had failed to reach them. Some other method of reaching out was needed.
And so it was that John Woolman, the best of the next generation of abolitionists — and his allies Anthony Benezet, John Churchman, and others — were led to reach back into history, and to reclaim the methods of Fox, the Balby elders, William Dewsbury, John Roberts, and Joseph Pike.
Looking for ways to get your local monthly meeting off dead-center, vis-à-vis environmental matters?
Looking for ways to get your co-workers, friends and neighbors thinking about life-style changes?
Just show them the images below.
In case you haven’t already noticed, here’s a little landmark in the unfolding drama of greenhouse warming.
Lohachara, an island in the Sundarban island chain, located in the delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers — an island where 10,000 people once lived — has sunk completely beneath the rising Indian Ocean.
The island’s final disappearance was noted two months ago by researchers at Jadavpur University. The researchers attributed the disappearance to a rising sea level, mostly caused by global warming.
This would make Lohachara the first inhabited island to have disappeared completely for this reason.
But naturally, this news has provoked controversy….