Category Archives: Signs of the Times

Lucy In The Sky, No Diamonds – A Quaker Ghost Story

Part One: Trying to Catch the Bus

Copyright © By Chuck Fager

San Francisco – 2006

Muni-Trolley-bus-Market-street-San-FranciscoKate was racing the Muni bus toward the stop at the corner. She was wet and out of breath. It was bad enough, she thought as the bus slowed, that the skinheads had ripped up her peace poster. But why did they have to drench her with ice water?

The bus stopped and the doors flapped open. Kate leaped onto it, flashing her bus pass and shivering her way toward the back. A sudden San Francisco fog had rolled over the peace rally just as it was breaking up, quickly turning a sunny afternoon chill and dreary. The skinheads had jumped her when she rounded a corner, away from the others, headed for the bus and home.

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The Gospel According to YAFS: Are Friends “Tired”?? Plus: Fix It With “The Seven UPs”

I’m going to take up the invitation offered by young Friend Paul Christiansen, in a comment to his article in the Western Friend, “Younger Blood, Older Eyes.”

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The article opens well:

Western Quakers seem tired to me.
Those of us on committees feel it most clearly, I think, especially people on Nominating like me: a sense of how important our Society’s work is, and a sense of the limited energy we have for it. There are fewer of us to carry on larger tasks; our strongest and wisest have been carrying us for a long time, and when they lay down their burdens, the work is not taken up again with such vigor or skill. Some have life left, but it seems that many feel stretched, weary. Not enough coffee and too many cups.

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Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland

Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland

In December 2010, on a bright but cold afternoon, I took a serious blow to the ego, and what’s left of my cultural pride. It probably did me good, but I’m still rubbing the sore spot: it’s like a bruise that just won’t heal.  It started out fine, when I got off a bus not far from Waterford, Ireland, just in time for an interview.

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The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend; Etc. (Re: War With Iran?)

I really didn’t want to spend much time on this blog talking about current affairs.

But it’s becoming inescapable. And one topic that requires mention is an ongoing story that only fitfully pops up on the radar screen, but which is a BIG ongoing deal. And the Big Deal is the answer to this question:

Will we go to war with Iran??

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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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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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