Friends believe in simple living. This has historically meant simple dress, plain speech, and unadorned meeting houses for worship. Through the simplicity testimony, Friends encourage one another to look beyond the outward and to the inward.

In contemporary terms, Friends try to live lives in which activities and possessions do not get in the way of open and unencumbered communication with others and with one’s own spirituality. A person’s spiritual life and character are more important than the quantity of goods he possesses or his monetary worth. Clearing away the clutter makes it easier to hear the “still small voice” within. Friends also believe that one should use one’s resources, including money and time, deliberately in ways that are most likely to make life truly better for oneself and others. The word testimony describes the way that Friends testify or bear witness to their beliefs in their everyday life. A testimony is therefore not a belief, but is committed action arising out of Friends’ religious experience.

In recent decades Friends have given the Testimony an ecological dimension: that Friends should not use more than their fair share of the Earth’s limited resources.

– Thomas Kelley, 1941

Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center—a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It takes no time but occupies all our time.

– Robert Lawrence Smith, 1999

Simplicity . . . has little to do with how many things you own and everything to do with not letting your possessions own you.

June Quote of the Month

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.

- Howard Thurman

Howard Thurman (1899-1981), was a prominent African-American theologian and philosopher who studied with Rufus Jones and Douglas Steere at Haverford College.

Radnor Meeting Query for June

Each month our Meeting chooses a query for reflection and examination of how we are practicing our faith.

  • How does our Meeting help to create and maintain a society whose institutions recognize and do away with the inequities rooted in patterns of prejudice and economic convenience?

  • Is our Meeting open to all regardless of race, ability, sexual orientation, or class?

  • What steps are we taking as a Meeting to assure that our Meeting and the committees and institutions under our care reflect our respect for all and are free from practices rooted in prejudice?

  • Do I examine myself for aspects of prejudice that may be buried, including beliefs that seem to justify biases based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, class, and feelings of inferiority or superiority? What am I doing to help overcome the contemporary effects of past and present oppression? Am I teaching my children, and do I show through my way of living, that love of God includes affirming the equality of people, treating others with dignity and respect, and seeking to recognize and address that of God within every person?

FCNL Inspires, Organizes, and Mobilizes PYM Quakers

FCNL Inspires, Organizes, and Mobilizes PYM Quakers

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) sponsored an event at Philadelphia’s Friends Center on March 3 to gather inspiration and clarity, and plan for future advocacy efforts in line with our Faith. Radnor Meeting was well represented by Burt Dallas and Steve Olshevski.

We learned the essentials on how to become lobbyists for the things we care about and got a briefing on how to connect with our government representatives. Most importantly, we learned that our Congressional and Senate representatives do pay attention to our feedback, especially when it is well presented. The most influential methods are to call or to send an email. Recent successes by FCNL include: Introduction of the Climate Change Act by the Climate Solutions Caucus, and Young Adults defending Healthcare to prevent the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act.

We had a skype conference with Jose Santos Woss, FCNL’s Legislative Manager for Criminal Justice and Election Integrity. Jose discussed how Criminal Justice Reform, which is a current priority, is making progress at the Congressional level, led by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. This reform has two principal movements: Sentencing Reform – to change incarceration practices, and Prison Reform – with an emphasis on rehabilitation. To really understand where our representatives stand it is important to listen carefully to which initiatives and bills they are pushing and voting for. The top 3 things we can do to help Criminal Justice Reform are:

  1. Support the movement to remove the requirements for cash bail
  2. Establish civilian reviews of police shootings
  3. Ask our representatives to reintroduce the Sentencing Reform Act.

Michelle Beers passed along several resources for all of us: