Looking for WAR at the Peace Conference

Folks, I don’t get it.

I’m here in Philadelphia, at a conference entitled “Heeding God’s Call” . It started on Tuesday Jan. 13, 2009 and will extend into Saturday the 17th.

It’s supposed to be about strengthening the peace witness of churches and other faith groups, but especially that of the so-called “Historic peace Churches,” namely Quakers, Mennonites & Brethren. These three groups, especially the first, made up the large majority of the 270 or so persons I counted present in the opening session.

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Reading Religious Murder Mysteries For Relaxation, Fun and Sometimes A Bit of Spiritual Growth

Liz Yeats

[Reprinted by permission from The Best of Friends, Vol. 1, a collection published by the Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts, in 2000. A lot of interesting mysteries have been published since then, but this is a good starter.]

I know no better relaxation than curling up in my favorite chair with a nice cup of tea and good murder mystery. Make it a well written religious, murder mystery that delves into spiritual, theological, and social concerns, and you have my perfect afternoon; my Sabbath from the cares and drudgery of my personal and professional life; a time and space suspended from reality. Yes, a virtual time and space in which I can exercise my mind trying to determine who done it and why! Continue reading Reading Religious Murder Mysteries For Relaxation, Fun and Sometimes A Bit of Spiritual Growth

Knoxville & “Killing All Liberals”

A good friend of mine from college days is a member of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian church in Knoxville that was shot up on Sunday, July 27. She was there with her husband, but thankfully was not hit.

(Thankfully. I feel a twinge of survivor’s guilt writing that; but there it is.)

The reports Monday about the rantings of the shooter, wanting to kill all liberals and gays, and the targeting of this particular church, well-known for its welcoming stance and other progressive views, brings a lot of things home to me.

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Dave Zarembka: “Not To Engage FUM Is Cowardly”

The short essay below is by a Friend who has spent much time in Africa, working with the Africa Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) project.

I believe Dave makes some cogent points. In particular, I agree that “engaging” Friends United Meeting (FUM) over the issues of homophobia, and the other matters listed in my post below, “Wrestling With a Roomful of Elephants,” is the best course.

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The Shame of Kenya: Epistles of Hate

Below is the complete text of two epistles issued by East Africa Yearly Meeting — North.

I note that the 2007 Epistle comments on the statements at the FUM General Board session in Kenya, as well as responding to some reaction to them from a Yearly Meeting in North America.

From this 2007 Epistle, it appears to me that it would be a mistake to consider this matter in any way “resolved.”

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Wrestling With A Roomful Of Elephants:

FUM After Kenya (First posted on June 1, 2007)

[See the response linked below from Patrick Nugent, former head of the Friends Bible College, Kenya.]

Current Quote: “While somewhat less colonial, the [Friends United Meeting] work in East Africa is still structured around economic disparities that promote patterns of dependency. FUM has made a lot of progress in this area, but old patterns die very hard. Impoverished Kenyans and Ugandans expect all help to come from outside, in the form of U.S. dollars.

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Fleecing The Faithful – Prelude: Down the Garden Path & Opening Pandora’s Box

The 1989 Friends Ministers Conference was the fourth in a series that were held every five years. The event had started out as the Friends Pastors Conference, but this was changed for the 1984 gathering in a bow to traditional Quaker nomenclature, and to accommodate the sensibilities of the handful of attenders who came from the non-pastoral Quaker groups. (I was one.)The 1989 gathering was scheduled for Denver. The planning committee’s chairman was Eugene Coffin. Priscilla Deters’ introduction to the committee was succinctly described by an Investigator for the Kansas State Security Commission, Gary Fulton. Writing in 1994, he explained that:

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Quaker Church Fraud Sentencing Update: May 22, 1998

By Chuck Fager

Wichita, KS — Although Priscilla Deters insisted that, “I consider myself innocent of these charges,” adding that “I have a heart of grief, because I have been a victim too,” federal judge Monti Belot insisted on Friday, May 22 that she start serving her eleven-plus year sentence for wire and mail fraud immediately.

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March 13, 1998: Tough Deters Bail Conditions Set;Possible Future Indictments Seen

Update by Chuck Fager

Wichita, KS — On this Friday the 13th, U.S. Judge Monti Belot accepted Priscilla Deters’ plan for remaining free on bail until her sentencing, but imposed tough restrictions on the now convicted felon, and spoke darkly of her likely jail sentence. Belot also predicted that there might be additional prosecutions in the multimillion dollar church fraud case.

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