Put God in
the center of your life.

You'll find the Pendle Hill pamphlets listed below in our Meeting Library:

Pendle Hill Pamphlets 1943-2016
    To download some of the early pamphlets, click here.


Guide to Quaker Practice

Brinton, Howard Haines 

Interprets the practices of the Society of Friends in his time. Revised editions released in 1950, 1993, 2006.


The Quaker Doctrine of Inward Peace

Brinton, Howard Haines

Outside pressures can be met by increasing inner dimensions, inner resources, inner strength and stability.




Woolman, John 

Excerpts from this influential Quaker's writings, edited by Herrymon Maurer.



Search: a Personal Journey Through Chaos

Domino, Ruth 

Reminiscences of Pendle Hill teacher who was helped by Quaker relief workers and then trained others to serve abroad under the American Friends Service Committee.


Prophetic Ministry

Brinton, Howard Haines 

The basis of Quaker ministry is the prophetic insight arising out of silence and delivered in brevity.



Promise of Deliverance: the Assurance that there is a Power by Which Disaster can be Abolished Forever

Wilson, Dan

A person must be regenerated by the power of God to overcome the human condition.



Of Holy Disobedience

Muste, Abraham John 

The individual must be committed to Holy Disobedience against war-making and conscription.



The World in Tune

Vining, Elizabeth Gray 

Various prayers as interpreted by this Quaker witness.



A Shelter from Compassion

Durr, Ruth E.

A refuge from mankind may also be a fortification that dooms us to weep alone. The God within us is compassion. 


A Therapist's View of Personal Goals

Rogers, Carl R. 
(Carl Ransom)

The questions of life's goals and purposes viewed by a humanist psychotherapist.



Psychotherapy Based on Human Longing

Murphy, Robert Cushman

The author's subjective and intuitive experiences in psychotherapy.



Mysticism and the Experience of Love

Thurman, Howard 

The religion of the inner life, or mysticism, is life affirming and reaches its highest goal in love.



Patterns of Renewal

Van der Post, Laurens

The earliest human pattern is still alive and accessible to us, but modern man is cut off from experiencing  this dynamic renewal deep in himself. 


Thou Dost Open up my Life: Selections from the Rufus Jones Collection

Jones, Rufus Matthew

Chosen from this well-known Quaker's writings by his daughter, Mary Hoxie Jones. The Rufus Jones collection is housed in the Haverford College Library.



The spiritual legacy of the American Indian

Brown, Joseph Epes

Written to encourage Native Americans to honor their own religious and traditional values..



An Apology for Perfection

Hinshaw, Cecil Eugene 

The author believes the Society of Friends owes more to ethical perfectionism than to mysticism.



Dear Gift of life: a Man's Encounter with Death

Smith, Bradford 

The author wrote this while dying of cancer, facing his own mortality.



The Wit and Wisdom of William Bacon Evans

Brinton, Anna Cox

Stories, anecdotes, letters, bird songs, sonnets are linked with a thread of biographical narrative about this distinctive Philadelphia Friend. 



Ethical Mysticism in the Society of Friends

Brinton, Howard Haines

The author sees ethical mysticism as a process of withdrawing from the world and returning to it.



The Valley of the Shadow

Murphy, Carol R. 

Reflections on the ultimate problem of death and its meaning.



Dialogue with the Other: Martin Buber and the Quaker Experience

Schroeder, Janet E.

From a class on interreligious studies the writer develops conversations between man and man and between God and man..


193  1974


The Available Mind

Murphy, Carol R.

An inquiry into the results of meditation, inner quiet, the way of non-violence, expectancy, and humility will  make the available mind and life.


Quakerism of the Future: Mystical, Prophetic & Evangelical

Yungblut, John R. 

The best elements in Friends tradition are tap roots providing vital energy and sustained motivation for the survival of faith.



Quaker Poets, Past & Present

Jones, Mary Hoxie 

The author/poet suggests worship and the experience of poetry can complement each other.



William Penn, 17th Century Founding Father Selections from His Political Writings

Bronner, Edwin B. 

Selections from Penn's writings on liberty of conscience, the nature of government, peace in Europe, titles, imperial states, and a plan for the union of the American colonies.



Margaret Fell Speaking

Barbour, Hugh 

Excerpts from the writings of the "Mother of Quakerism," later the wife of George Fox.



Rhythms of the Ecosystem

Shetter, Janette Knott

Developed from a course in ecology at Pendle Hill, the teacher uses the Dancing Shiva as a focus for her concerns. 


Jacob Boehme: Insights into the Challenge of Evil

Liem, Ann 

A spiritual resident of both East and West, the author sees Jacob Boehme as a Christian esoteric (like George Fox) and perhaps the most illustrious forerunner of Quakerism.


Art, Imagery and the Mythic Process

Blom, Dorothea Johnson 

Using mythologies of cultures, the artist communicates processes of creativity.



The Roots of Pendle Hill

Murphy, Carol R. 

Chapters in a history of Pendle Hill up to 1920, based on the recollections of Douglas Steere, Anna and Howard Brinton, Anna Broomell and others.


Homosexuality and the Bible: an Interpretation

Barnett, Walter 

Old and New Testament citations pertaining to homosexuality and an insightful interpretation of them by a Quaker lawyer. 



Women Ministers: a Quaker Contribution

Leach, Robert J. 

The work and influence of more than a dozen women, beginning with Margaret Fell, in the unprogrammed tradition of Quakerism. 



Henry Hodgkin: the Road to Pendle Hill

Greenwood, Ormerod 

An exploration of the personality of the first director of Pendle Hill, written for its 50th anniversary in 1980.



The Life of the Spirit in Women A Jungian Approach

Luke, Helen M. 

The writer believes modern women need to regain an understanding of the feminine nature.



232 1980 The Life Journey of a Quaker Artist

Blom, Dorothea Johnson 

Teacher, writer, artist - the author sees art as a link between inner and outer worlds.



Four Women, Four Windows on Light

Murphy, Carol R.

The women discussed are: Mary Baker Eddy, Evelyn Underhill, Simone Weil, and Flannery O'Connor. 



The Journal and the Journey

Morrison, Mary Chase

The writer's interior journey of 71 years.



Reflections on Simplicity

Prevallet, Elaine M. 

A lifelong concern with the process of simplicity, a gift which eludes one's grasp.



A Quest There is

Vining, Elizabeth Gray 

A collection of quotations from some of the author's favorite mystics with interpretive comments.



The Study of War as a Contribution to Peace

Mendl, Wolf 

Pacifists should learn to know and understand those with whom they disagree, so that they may be bridge builders, nudging the world toward abandoning war.



To Martin Luther King with Love: a Southern Quaker's Tribute

Pitre, David Wayne 

Reflects the author's years of appreciation of the writing and faith of a Christian practicing non-violent  change and unconditional love. 



The Prophetic Stream

Taber, William P. 

A call to revive the prophetic message in Quaker worship and ministry and in Christianity.



Stewardship of Wealth

Swayne, Kingdon W. 

Reflections on the responsibilities of being rich, with a guide to self-assessment.




Prevallet, Elaine M. 

Reflections on the deep relationships, the networks that God uses to transform wounds into wholeness.



Bearing Witness: Quaker Process and a Culture of Peace

Cox, Gray

Peace is portrayed as something we do, an activity of resolving differences based on a five-stage Quaker ethic. 



Replacing the Warrior : Cultural Ideals and Militarism

Myers, William A

Examines the need for a new cultural ideal, replacing militarism by the values shown in the life of John Woolman. 



Thoughts are free: a Quaker youth group in Nazi Germany

Halle, Anna Sabine

The Quaker tradition is bound up with religious belief and political action, and the author applies it to the Nazi regime. 



Encounters with Transcendence : Confessions of a Religious Philosopher

Crom, Scott 

Reconciling the experience of transcendence with the disciplines of logic and mathematics.



The Seed and the Tree : a Reflection on Nonviolence

Seeger, Daniel A. 

Can a "just revolution" replace the rationalization of a "just war"?



Going Back: A Poet Who Was Once a Marine Returns to Vietnam

Ehrhart, W. D. (William Daniel) 

In search of personal healing the author talks with many former adversaries in their austere country. He includes four poems with his reflections.




Abraham Lincoln and the Quakers

Bassuk, Daniel Eliot 

A record of all the known stories of Lincoln and the Society of Friends, with some reflective comments by a Quaker professor of religious studies. 



Nonviolence on Trial

Hillegass, Robert W

Nonviolent action takes place only when the principle of love is seen as a reality grounded in Being itself, as the author has publicly witnessed. 


Batter my Heart

Ellwood, Gracia Fay 

Using ideas from biblical criticism, psychoanalysis, feminist and liberation theology, the essay reflects on naming a God free of caste and gender.


Sink Down to the Seed

Fardelmann, Charlotte Lyman 

A four-year journey to explore the author's inward landscape results in inner peace.


Thomas R. Kelly as I remember him

Jones, T. Canby 
Thomas Canby)

The author was influenced in college by Kelly, "a philosophy professor transformed into a radiant Christian."



Prayer in the Contemporary World

Steere, Douglas Van 

This deep thinker and ecumenist shares a meditation and prayer for each day of the month.



On Hallowing one's Diminishments

Yungblut, John R. 

A lifelong student of mysticism shares the experience of contemplative prayer in facing many forms of diminishment: birth defects, natural disasters, aging, and death itself.


Mind What Stirs in your Heart

Havens, Teresina R. 
Teresina Rowell)

The author, inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh's walking and breathing meditations, combines "seed-verses" from Quaker and Biblical writings with exercises for meditative walking.


Spiritual Discernment: the Context and Goal of Clearness Committees Among Friends

Loring, Patricia 

Grounded in the central Quaker conviction of the availability to every person of the experience and guidance of God, immediate as well as mediated, and discernment in the faculty we use to distinguish the true movement of the Spirit from the wholly human.


Four Doors to Meeting for Worship

Taber, William P.

This essay describes four doors as thresholds into the heart of worship as communion with the invisible but eternal stream of reality in which is this living and eternal Christ. 


Beyond Consensus: Salvaging Sense of the Meeting

Morley, Barry 

The author discusses three essential components in discovering the sense of the meeting: release, long focus, and transition to light, all of which are nurtured by worship. Rich stories of life experiences, especially with adolescents, illustrate the process in a pamphlet that offers a true gift back to Friends. 


Without Nightfall upon the Spirit

Morrison, Mary Chase

Reflections on aging, its physical, spiritual, and religious effects, by an 83-year-old author.



Spiritual Hospitality: a Quaker's Understanding of Hospitality

Gillman, Harvey


The author elevates three fundamental principles for outreach:

1) There is something sacred in each person;

2) how we relate to people is what we actually believe about them; and

3) how we treat others is our personal statement about God.


For That Solitary Individual: an Octogenarian's Counsel on Living and Dieing

Yungblut, John R.

The author defines three activities of evolution: differentiation, interiority, and communion and then counsels each person to seek a contemplative life to  nurture these activities. 



The Kingdom and the Way: Meditations on the Kingdom

Urner, Carol Reilley 

The author shares specific biblical texts and her meditations that connect an inward holy place where she meets God with Buddhist teachings and the fundamental truths of Christian Experience. 


Stories from Kenya

Gates, Tom 

Relates stories which arose out of the authors' experiences of living and working at a Quaker mission hospital in rural western Kenya. 


Leadership Among Friends

McDonald, Ron 

Looks at the ambivalence toward authority among Quaker youth, the need for common experiences of depth, and ways of encouraging more inspired ministry.


No Royal Road to Reconciliation

Knudsen-Hoffman, Gene 

Author sees wounds in the perpetrator as the source of violence. This essay describes the nature and healing of trauma and offers view of health which can move us to listening, forgiveness, compassion and reconciliation. 


Nonviolence and Community: Reflections on the Alternatives to Violence Project

Garver, Newton 

Nonviolence requires a spirit that comes from within which no curriculum can create or implant. The authors describe how the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) organizes experiences to draw forth that spirit and how doing so builds supportive community.


Traveling In

Steere, Douglas Van 

"I am going to speak about 'traveling in' and about my own personal journey. I haven't done that on any other occasion in quite so full a way as I'm going to do here this morning." So begins the treasure of this essay in Douglas’s own words. 


The Unconscious

Murphy, Robert Cushman 

Doctor shares his career as physician/psychiatrist and his life wisdom of how the unconscious works healthily to fulfill longings for those who are able to trust the Guide.


Liberation Theology for Quakers

Lynd, Alice

Shares a record of authors' joint effort to live out the convictions of liberation theology nonviolently. They invite Friends to become a group that serves the poor directly, seeking passionately to create a new society in which there will be no great disparities between rich and poor.


The Servant Church

Elford, Ricardo


A Quaker goat herdsman and a Catholic priest began to see church in unexpected ways while responding to Salvadoran refugees in search of sanctuary. This pamphlet is the fruit of their dialogue over many years about "church" as a community's covenant to hallow life on earth with loving kindness and justice. 


There is a Fountain: a Quaker Life in Process

Horn, Helen Steere 

A life story about renewal, commitment, faith, doubt, success, defeat and a balance of activism and contemplation.



Searching for the Real Jesus

Warren, Roland Leslie


The author, a Quaker with reverence for scripture, explicates the learned thinking of prominent contemporary scholars who debate the historical veracity of Jesus. With respect for their search, he draws thoughts from their learning for the nurture of a life. 


Communion for a Quaker

Bieber, Nancy


In the words of the author, This is the story of a journey in search of the sacrament of communion... as I ask my questions, and find, not only answers, but also a challenge for all of us, the challenge of daily sacramental living.


Walk With Me: Nonviolent Accompaniment in Guatemala

Morton, Peg


Accompaniment rakes many forms, from sitting in union, human rights, and other offices to accompanying threatened individuals. The author invites us to enter the lives of people of other cultures and colors, of those who have been forced into poverty. 


The Bosnian Student Project: a Response to Genocide

Hostetter, C. Douglas

The author tells, poignantly and lovingly, the story of more than 150 Bosnian students who were helped to continue their education in the U.S. through this project of the Fellowship of Reconciliation..


Come Aside and Rest Awhile

Taber, Frances


Out of her own rich experience, Fran Taber expands William Penn's vision for retreats. Her wisdom guides and supports the retreat movement as a significant thread weaving together the ecumenical religious community.


God's Spirit in Nature

Brown, Judith Reynolds


The author gives us moving meditation on the metaphysical sense of the Earth as the body of God. The writing was inspired by her experiences in a 1995 Pendle Hill course, Global Spirituality and Earth Ethics. 


Prayer: Beginning Again

Keane, Sheila


Whether renewing one's commitment to prayer or risking prayer for the first time, this essay approaches a difficult subject with a perfect mix of theory and practicality, seriousness and whimsy. Prayer as the foundation for discernment of God's voice.


A Song of Death, our Spiritual Birth: a Quaker Way

McIver, Lucy Screechfield


As a Cadbury scholar at Pendle Hill, the author researched seventeenth-century and modern experiences of death and dying among Friends. She offers here a first piece of that research that will give guidance for pastoral care in our meeting communities. 


Sickness, Suffering, and Healing: More Stories from Another Place

Gates, Tom 

More stories from this American doctor's compassionate encounter with Africans in their country. The stories describe the challenges of suffering and African faith in response.. 



Beyond the Bars: a Quaker Primer for Prison Visitors

Maddock, Keith R.


Written with sensitivity and grace, this essay depicts Friends Testimonies in prison service work. By example of listening and respect, more than by preaching, the author has much to say about being present in prison and receiving gifts from people who are so often judged unworthy of being taken seriously. 


Quakerism and Science

Schwabe, Calvin W.

A Quaker scientist, affirms that science and Quakerism have more in common than science with other avenues of religious expression. he wider recognition of the commonalities could encourage both inner and outer peace. 


More than Equals: Spiritual Friendships

Roberts, Trish 

The author advocates for this, growing form of spiritual nurture among Friends and gives good guidelines for seeking and sustaining a spiritual friendship.



Treasure in Clay Jars

Sutton, Elizabeth Ostrander 

The author rediscovered a powerful sense of God calling her to a more real spiritual life through her artistic work with clay in the Pendle Hill studio. Photographs and devotions record that experience.


Tall Poppies: Supporting Gifts of Ministry and Eldering in the Monthy Meeting

Grundy, Martha Paxson


Martha Paxson Grundy describes the traditional Quaker understanding of power and spiritual authority, and God's gifts in relation to them. This pamphlet focuses on the gifts traditionally understood as ministry and eldering, suggesting to monthly meetings how to support and nurture ministry and the individual Friends through whom it comes.


Journey to Bosnia, Return to Self

O'Hatnick, Suzanne Hubbard 

The author describes her call to serve as peace activist in Bosnia and then chronicles the work she undertook, illuminating the transformative power of her experience.


The Radiance and Risks of Mythmaking

Kilpack, Gilbert 

A longtime friend of Pendle Hill offers vignettes that shine with the Presence and challenge the conventional boundaries between literature, theology, and personal narrative. 


Gift of Days

Morrison, Mary C.


This was the last work from this illustrious Pendle Hill author. As she lay dying, Morrison asked for, but did not receive release from her body. In this moving pamphlet, she writes: "Maybe this is the death I was desiring so intensely during my illness - this death of the separate spinning mind as it merges into the intense life of the present moment. If so, then Yes, there's more. Much more - this beautiful inner wind blows where it will and whispers 'when I please.' My work is to be ready to receive it when it comes as I would a visit from an old friend."


Invitation to a Deeper Communion

Martin, Marcelle 

This pamphlet examines what it was about early Friends belief and practice that invited direct experience of the Spirit. It also describes explorations by contemporary Friends to seek a deeper communion with God in worship, suggesting that a renewal of worship will help Friends today become powerful witnesses to another  way of life. 


Members One of Another: The Dynamics of Membership in Quaker Meeting

Gates, Thomas


"In Quaker faith and practice, the individual and the meeting are in a dynamic, mutually supportive and reciprocal relation." In this essay Tom Gates examines many of the factors affecting the relationship between the Seeker and the Meeting, before and during membership. While a person may be drawn to Quakerism for a particular reason, over time the individual's needs, and the way in which the Meeting community is able to meet them, can change. There are stages to be gone through as we grow into the life of the meeting community. Is it peace we are after? Service? Shared values? A deepening of our faith? What, exactly, is a leading? Tom Gates examines the many aspects of membership and the obligations it may impose on us, individually and as a faith family.


Quaker Views on Mysticism

Abbott, Margery Post


This pamphlet grew from the author’s search for ways to interpret and respond to the joyful, but none-theless life shattering, mystical experiences that have changed her life. It considers how Friends today recognize and respond to the guidance of the Inward Light of Christ and describes varying Quaker views on mysticism and the mystical, touching upon the need to continually test leadings in the silence of Quaker worship and in the arms of Quaker community. In the mid-1990s, the author interviewed Friends in the United States and Britain about many aspects of their faith, including their understanding of mysticism. Her writing draws on her own experience and the experience of those whom she interviewed. 


Henry J Cadbury: Scholar, Activist, Disciple

Bacon, Margaret Hope


Henry Joel Cadbury was one of the most respected and beloved Quakers of the twentieth century. His accomplishments and commitments reached into many worlds. He was widely acknowledged as an author and as a biblical scholar and translator of the highest order; a professor who challenged students’ thinking in the halls of Harvard Divinity School, Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges and Pendle Hill; and the consummate Quaker activist. A strong and steady voice for peace and racial justice, he lived his faith through social action. For Henry Cadbury, that activism was expressed principally through the American Friends Service Committee, of which he was a founder and long-time board chair. Eminent Quaker historian Margaret Hope Bacon, who was Henry Cadbury’s associate at AFSC for many years, draws upon her unique perspective to acquaint readers with his full and rich life.


Creeds and Quakers: What's Belief Got To Do With It?

Griswold, Robert


Quaker spiritual authority lies not in belief system and in creeds - but in the direct communion between individual Friends and the Divine Spirit. All other forms of authority, “be they written words, steeple-houses or a clerical hierarchy,” cannot replace this direct communion. While early Friends’ refusal to formulate a creed threatened existing religious practice and brought them great persecution, this historic witness against creeds is not fully appreciated by Friends today. The pamphlet’s author asserts that Friends too often hold Quaker testimonies as ideals, as ends in themselves, rather than as fruits of the Spirit. Without spiritual grounding, testimonies become creeds. In the absence of the profound authority of a faith that defies verbal comprehension and words, the historic Quaker witness to the world is in danger. 


Living in Virtue, Declaring Against War

Smith, Steve


Born in an era of profound spiritual awakening, the Quaker Peace Testimony remains a radical challenge today-to live Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness and reconciliation. Neither religious dogma nor philosophical principle, it offers no easy answers, only a daunting question-how shall we live “in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars?” When I stand in utter sincerity in the pure Light of Christ, the causes of violence and hatred melt away from my life, bringing me into sweet harmony with all of creation. Abiding in God, I know that God abides in me. Love banishes fear. Anxiety drops away, replaced by confidence, courage and joy. I find my prophetic voice, and am free to act boldly in the world. This is the story of my discovery and conviction in the Light.


Living Truth: A Spiritual Portrait of Pierre Ceresole

Maddock, Keith R.


Swiss activist Pierre Ceresole (1879-1945) was the founder of the international work camp movement and a Friend imprisoned for defying his own government to bring a message of truth and peace to Germans and Italians in the world wars, yet his contributions are not widely recognized in North America. Known as "one of the great consciences" of the Swiss, Ceresole protested the churches' silence during wartime, met with Mussolini to discuss peaceful collaboration and conceived of the healing and practical work of Service Civil International as a moral alternative to war. Author Keith Maddock goes beyond Ceresole's actions paint a portrait of the spiritual growth of a passionate, poetic, solitary seeker of Truth who urges us "to set aside our theories and our fears, to take up the tools that are needed to create a more humane, just and peaceful world." 


A Very Good Week Behind Bars

Ravndal, Janeal Turnbull


What is it like to spend time in prison for demonstrating for a cause we believe in? In this essay, Jamaal Randal writes of her week in Philadelphia’s Federal Detention Center after she chose to ignore orders not to block entry to a courthouse as the U.S. began to attack Iraq early in 2003. A long-time beloved member of the Pendle Hill community, Janeal shares movingly of joyful moments and discouraging times, of shared prayers and music-making, and of the satisfaction of creating art from the sparse "found" materials in a cell. Yet conscious of the dramatic contrast between her "very good week" and the days of a typical inmate, Janeal was acutely aware of what a different world prison would be for those who found little joy or companionship there and had no supportive and prayerful community waiting to welcome them home.


Fire of the Heart: Norman Morrison’s Legacy in Viet Nam and at Home

Welsh, Anne Morrison


Anne Morrison Welsh tells the moving story of her husband’s self-sacrifice at the Pentagon in November 1965 in a desperate effort to help end a war he abhorred. Quaker Norman Morrison felt led to make this extreme statement in the manner of Vietnamese Buddhist monks. In telling her husband’s story, the author also shares her own spiritual journey of forgiveness, acceptance and gradual recovery from life’s wounds. A 1999 visit to Viet Nam was healing for Anne Morrison Welsh as she and her daughters met with many

Vietnamese who shared with her the xtraordinary impact that Norman Morrison’s act had on their hearts and minds.


Holding One Another in the Light

Martin, Marcelle


Praying for each other, intercessory prayer can deepen our connection to the Divine Presence and help bring healing to individuals and our communities. Marcelle Martin offers a personal account of her discovery of and experiences with intercessory prayer and describes the many forms it takes among Friends today, from interpersonal prayer support to meetings for healing to a prayerful witness for peace on earth. Calling readers to "hold one another in the Light," she declares: "Intercessory prayer in all its variations supports those we love, helps our meetings to be spiritually vital, and contributes to making manifest God's healing and transforming presence on earth." 


Answering the Call to Heal the World

Patience A. Schenck


There is a role for each of us to play in healing the wounds of the world and bringing into being the wholeness that is possible in God's creation. But where do we begin? This pamphlet invites us to explore our unique gifts and the hungers of our hearts, to discover our own calling in this sacred work. In a wise and intimate conversation with her readers, Patience Schenck walks us through the life of a leading: hearing a call, testing our discernment, overcoming the obstacles to faithfulness, finding the support we need, and finally recognizing when our work is done. In the face of the immense challenges confronting those who would dare try to heal the world, Pat Schenck's advice is both practical and encouraging. 


The Mystery of Quaker Light

Peter Bien


Light is the central metaphor in the religious lives of Friends, but not of Friends alone. "The light that lighteth every person who cometh into the world" has served as an image of sacred mystery for ancient Hebrews and Greeks, for Dante, for modern poets, and for theorists on the physics of electromagnetism. What has Light meant to different people throughout the ages? How did various ideas about Light influence the prologue to John’s Gospel? What did early Friends understand Light to mean? In this pamphlet, Peter Bien explores the theology and poetry of Friends’ favorite religious symbol. 


From West Point to Quakerism,

Mike Heller

 As a young man at West Point, Mike Heller found himself in a hostile environment, struggling to fit in where he was learning that he did not belong, searching for something to hold onto that was true and that nurtured his spirit. Now, from the wisdom and experience of greater years, he reflects on his painful and sometimes lonely passage and on how way opened for him to discover himself and his place in the world. In the best Friends' tradition of sharing our spiritual journeys, Mike Heller offers his own story, told with insight and compassion for the variety of people who crossed his path. Here is a perpetual theme in the journals of  Friends—a search for harmony between one's inward life and one's place in the outer world. 


Getting Rooted: Living in the Cross,

Brian Drayton


What does it really mean to absorb the learning that comes from our "roots" in Quakerism? Are there ways of approaching our roots that have a greater likelihood of bearing spiritual fruits? Brian Drayton explores the idea of "rootedness" at multiple levels--as a metaphor, as a discipline, as a goal--in order to reveal the ways in which we may derive the most nourishment from the roots that we seek to rediscover, and more importantly, so that God's Spirit may flourish within us and through us.


Spirit-Led Eldering: Integral to Our Faith and Practice,

Margery Mears Larrabee


Eldering is a process of assisting one another, from a centered place, to stay true and faithful to the Spirit in all aspects of our lives. Eldering is a component in the life of a spiritual community that was well known among early Friends, came to be misunderstood, and to a great extent has fallen out of practice. Today Margery Mears Larrabee, author of this essay, and other Friends are urging us to rediscover eldering as a valuable practice that can nurture the spiritual lives of individual Friends and of Friends’ meetings. Decades of experience, wisdom, and deep reflection are contained in these pages.


Turned in the Hand of God,

Back, Lyndon S.


Rebecca Janney Timbres Clark led a remarkable life that spanned all of the twentieth century. This pamphlet explores one year in that life, the year when a young, sheltered Quaker from Baltimore took the first steps toward a career of service that would take her around the world. “The forging of a person’s character takes a lifetime,” writes Lyndon Back. “Yet there are periods along the way when outer circumstance and inner forces combine to form a crucible, a time of transformation. Rebecca’s year as a volunteer for the American Friends Service Committee in Poland at the end of the First World War was one of those times. She was twenty-four years old, unmarried, and just out of nurses training. . . .” Based on diaries, letters, and other archival resources, a young woman’s quest for faithfulness and meaning comes to life. 


God's Healing Grace: Reflections on a Journey with Mental and

Spiritual Illness,

Mariellen Gilpin


 “Most of us go about our daily lives assuming that we all participate in one shared reality. As I have listened to many people’s stories, I have learned that 'reality' is not as shared as we may think. Research indicates that 40-80% of people have out-of-the-ordinary experiences at some times in their lives, although talking about it is rare. I commend Mariellen Gilpin for her courage to describe her own unique experiences. We may not all need to name our intense feelings as demons nor deal with our demons as the author does, but she does deal with them. Her story provides a model of someone whose experienced reality is not commonly shared, but who has grown as a person and as a Quaker in close relationship with her Friends meeting. The voices of  persons labeled with mental illnesses are voices in our communities that need to be heard.” 


Walt Whitman’s Spiritual Epic,

Michael Robertson


Walt Whitman’s celebrated 1855 poem “Song of Myself” was an astonishing new poetic venture in its language and style as well as in the values and spirituality it expressed. The poet, Whitman believed, was to be the high priest of a new, democratic religion. Whitman was inspired by the progressive religious ideals surging through Quakerism and other spiritual movements. Quaker scholar Michael Robertson writes, “This lengthy, brilliant, and endlessly suggestive poem is Whitman’s masterpiece, the single greatest poem in American literature, and the starting point for anyone interested in Whitman’s religious ideas.” With particular attention to the perspectives of Friends, Robertson walks the reader through “Song of Myself,” noting its beauties, its challenges, and its deep inspiration.


God Raising Us: Parenting As A Spiritual Practice

Eileen Flanagan


When Eileen Flanagan became a mother, her spiritual world was dramatically discomposed. Bringing children into her life required her to find new ways to discern God’s leadings; her ways of experiencing connection to the Divine were transformed; and her personal spiritual practices were tried, tested, and ultimately reinvented. In telling her own story—the challenges faced, the lessons learned—she calls on Friends to recognize parenthood as a phase of spiritual development with special gifts and needs, and suggests ways that we may begin to support the faith lives of parents and help our meetings be more fully multigenerational. (Discussion questions included.) 


Quaker Witness as Sacrament

Daniel O. Snyder


What happens when we understand prayer as a kind of “inward activism” and political witness to Friends testimonies as a kind of “outward prayer?” Dan Snyder has spent his adult years wrestling with the apparent dichotomy between the pulls of an inward call to a spiritual life of contemplation and an outward call to respond to the problems of the world. He has concluded that rather than competing with each other, these two calls are parts of a single whole that must be joined if he is to be faithful to either. How is this done? The author offers his own insights and the shared discoveries that have emerged from exploring these questions with students over a series of terms at Pendle Hill. Discussion questions included. 


The Messenger That Goes Before: Reading Margaret Fell for Spiritual Nurture

Michael Birkel


Michael Birkel has discovered in the letters of Margaret Fell, one of the founding members of the Religious Society of Friends, a “treasure trove” of wise and loving counsel for those on the spiritual journey. In a careful exploration of passages from some of these letters, he shows modern readers how to find the gems of wisdom embedded in the rich language of early Friends, the unique use of Biblical imagery, and the meditative practice of “reading within.” Margaret Fell’s guidance is rich in good advice for the spiritual seeker and for those called to nurture others in their spiritual lives. Discussion questions included.


Matthew 18: Wisdom for Living in Community

Connie McPeak Green and Marty Paxson Grundy


Friends are called to live in community, but being with other human beings does not always go smoothly. Our difficult interactions with others challenge us to wrestle with our personal strengths, weaknesses, and former experiences. Marty Grundy and Connie McPeak Green have spent years exploring the 18th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, which contains Jesus’s advice to his disciples about how to get along with one another. Living in accordance with this guidance may be the most difficult thing they have ever tried to do, but in grappling with its meaning, they have found the instructions straightforward and suffused with love. In this essay, they describe what they have learned from their efforts to be faithful. They also demonstrate one way of studying and using the Bible. Discussion questions included. 


Finding the Taproot of Simplicity: A Movement Between Inner Knowledge and Outer Action

Frances Irene Taber  


This essay, written in 1987, explores the spiritual basis of Friends’ testimony of simplicity: how it evolved from the efforts of early Friends to live in a way that fostered the spiritual richness of their lives, and how it continues to speak today in the lives of those who seek to find not merely “balance,” but an unseamed wholeness of their inward and outward journeys. As environmental, economic, and technological events in our times push us with accelerating speed towards fragmentation of ourselves, our lives, and our communities, the “taproot” of simplicity continues to offer us wisdom for building lives of harmony and integrity. Discussion questions included.  
Three Ravens and Two Widows, a Perspective on Controversy Among Friends

Richard Macy Kelly

This essay is an intimate portrait of two women whose very different lives and characters were faithful responses to the challenges of loss, responsibility, love, and difficulty at different times and places in Quaker history. The author’s mother, Lael Macy, and his grandmother, Madora Kersey, “sang” the same ballad of love and pain in very different lyrics. Using the metaphor of the ancient ballad, The Three Ravens, Richard Kelly invites us to explore how history and family traditions may limit our understanding of Truth or give us the strength and vision to see new possibilities in times when disagreements—including the contemporary controversy between Friends of liberal and evangelical traditions over different understandings of marriage and sexuality—trouble our communities. Discussion questions included.

Twenty-First Century Reflections on the Words of Early Friends

Margery Post Abbott


Friends in the unprogrammed, liberal tradition respond in a wide variety of ways to the language and teachings of Christianity. In her explorations of the writings of early Friends, Marge Abbott has discovered her own approach to Christian perspectives, one that speaks specifically to her experiences of the Divine Light. She finds inspiration and fellowship with early and modern Friends for whom Christ is central, without excluding the wisdom and inspiration of other religious traditions. Engagement with evangelical Friends and social justice work have expanded her sense of compassion. Her example is an invitation to spiritual receptivity: a stance that emphasizes “yes” and connection, rather than separations among those who hold different beliefs.
Be Faithful, Be Bold

Rex Ambler


How can we effect positive change in our current difficult world situation? In this pamphlet based on his talk at the 2016 Friends General Conference Gathering, Rex Ambler shares his reflections and insights. Citing William Penn, he urges readers to avoid objectifying the world, focus within, and live lives that reflect the truth they discover. Based on the plenary talk given by Rex Ambler to Friends General Conference Gathering in Minnesota in July 2016.


Coming to Light

Valerie Brown


Coming to Light explores the practice and process of the clearness committee, a means of spiritual discernment used by Quakers that has also proved helpful to many others. The author shares her personal experience of clearness committees, first as a member of the Religious Society of Friends and then as a retreat leader for the Center for Courage & Renewal, which uses the clearness committee as the center of its practice. The pamphlet includes a sample format of a clearness committee and material that may be used as handouts.


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