Journal

An FUM blog for writing on the life of faith.

Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble:

Alex Kern is the Director of Northeastern University’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service, and a Friend from New England Yearly Meeting. This week he shared these thoughts—about caring for oneself and others during times of trouble—with the interfaith campus ministry community he serves. 

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Uncertainty

With no employees allowed on the Ramallah Friends School campus for a month, no one will be there to do the heavy landscaping work until at least April, after I leave. I won't be able to participate in the installation of the Circle. My disappointment is pretty intense—so much design happens when you actually install. Besides the landscaping, the connections I have been developing with people here are not going to have this last month to deepen.

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Bible Study: What Does the Lord Require of You?

I served as a pastoral minister among Friends for most of my adult life. In preparation for a recent move, I sorted through twenty-three years of sermon files, notes, and manuscripts. This revealed a lot about me and the kind of messages I like to preach—and the kind of messages I avoid.

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Quaker Life, on justice, out now

The Fall 2019 issue of Quaker Life, on justice, is in the mail and on shelves now. In the Bible, justice has to do with land and labor and family structures; with ownership and employment; with widows, orphans, and immigrants; with food and water and housing; with access to God at the Temple—with everything, material or spiritual, that is required for a human being to thrive. God cares for ALL of what God has created, and therefore shows a special regard for the weak and the marginalized for whom society cares less. And since God shows a special regard for the weak and the poor, a corresponding quality is required of God’s people. God’s people must also be especially concerned with equity and fairness in society and economy, with guaranteeing every creature’s access to the necessities of life: to water, food, health, respect, attention, kindness, helpful community, and the opportunity to draw near to God. As a foundation for life together, justice is a vast and widening gyre, and our authors in this issue explore the theme from many angles. 

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"What is this Community Worth to You?"

“What is this community worth to you?” By “community,” I mean the spiritual family that sustains, nurtures and inspires us in our faith. It includes those mentors, teachers, and examples who spur us on toward love and godliness. I am referencing the faith laboratory in which we get to practice (often with great regularity!) the essential disciplines...

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Simplicity & Generosity

The notion that all our resources belong to God is integral to the message of simplicity. Where Roger excelled—and helped me find that missing and liberating element within simplicity—was in generosity. Roger loved to give, and he did so with a spirit of joy and gratitude for being able to partner in God’s work in the world.

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