Faithful Action / Witness

Can you share about an action in the world that inspired you – one that you understand to be born of faith?


Collected From an Open Online Survey
7/5/09 – 7/9/09


The voyage of the Woodhouse from England to the New World – a boat so unseaworthy the crewjumped ship, and the Quaker passengers sailed across the Atlantic without sailing experience,sextant or compass, holding meeting for worship each morning to discern how to set the sails.Each of these Friends, led to travel in the ministry in the American colonies, would sufferpersecution and even death for their faithfulness

-Lloyd Lee Wilson – Rich Square Monthly Meeting, NCYM(C)


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s work in India was clearly faith based.

-Kenn Harper, Rochester, NY


The reconciliation & healing work with victims of trauma by the African Great Lakes Initiative.Alternatives to Violence work and work with prisoners.   Work by Friends Peace Teams inIndonesia.   These have in common roots in upholding that of God in everyone, in healing,forgiveness, in holding up an alternative to oppressive systems.

-Lu from Rochester, NYYM


Dr. King’s leadership in the civil rights movement is a pivotal example of a faith-based endeavor for me.

-Charley Earp – Northside Friends (Chicago)


Here’s one.  I was walking along the street when a taxi made a quick right turn in front of apedestrian who became angry and pounded on the car door.  The cabbie got out and they startedyelling at each other.  It looked like a fight was soon to break out.  I stepped closer to both puttingmy face within inches of their faces not saying a word.  Both of them began to calm down a bit.The cabbie got back in his cab and drove away shouting a few more angry words, but the conflict was over.

-Anonymous, NCYM-C


The work of the Christian Peacemaker Teams in dangerous places in the world inspires me eventhough I don’t share many of their particular religious beliefs.  I know their work is born of faith.

-Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson, sojourning in Homer, Alaska


Two of the many people who inspire me are Hazel Harrison and Al Starr (may he rest in peace).Hazel’s grandson and Al’s stepgrandson, Cerrone, was murdered 11 years ago when he was 15years old. Shortly after his death, Hazel, at another funeral, discovered she was talking to themother of the young main imprisoned for his murder. She reached out to this mother inrecognition of their common loss and they have become close friends. She has become active inthe community in supporting families in their loss. Al, out of his pain, developed a deep empathyfor others who suffer. A year after Cerrone’s death, he took in a refugee family from Kosovo whilethey got on their feet, and in the years before his death devoted himself to the support of anorphanage in Kakamega, Kenya taking in and nurturing the overwhelming number of young peopleorphaned by AIDS. For both Hazel and Al, their faith allows them to recognize and act on humanityin “the other,” and gives them the strength to give from their wounded place.

-Judy Goldberger, Beacon Hill Friends Meeting & Jamaica Plain Worship Group


there are so many big examples.  every time someone stands in the face of injustice and demands change it’s an act born of faith is it not?  but there are little ones too that are just as inspiring.every time a child refuses to participate in bullying.  every time someone gets off the treadmill and visits an elder.  these are also acts of faith

-Anonymous, Sandpoint Friends Meeting


Julia Butterfly Hill sat in the ancient tree, Luna, on the northcoast of California through an El Nino winter, and for about two years, to save the tree and call attention to old growth logging. Awesome.  Great book, called Luna.  It should be subtitled, “Anatomy of a Leading.”

-Carl Magruder, Pacific Yearly Meeting


Some of them have a refreshing willingness to be personally “apart from the crowd” in one individual way or another.

Practices–aside from being willing & able to sit still for an hour–mainly the prevalent rejection of military means of achieving alleged safety. Being willing to demonstrate, for anything at all, is a fairly unusual trait in the general population & a little more common among Friends.

-Forrest Curo, San Diego Meeting


The testimonies, if followed, force us to be non-participants in media laced, consumer driven culture.

-Sue Tannehill Buffalo, NY

A Friend from my meeting has been finding herself professionally drawn to the practice ofFocusing.  As I understand it, this mental health discipline relies on settling the mind and directingone’s attention to felt senses in the body that can be relied on to help guide one’s life.  Thesimilarity of this to Quaker practice, particularly the Experiments with Light–explicated by RexAmbler from some writings of George Fox–has not been lost on Friends.

This local Friend has been called on a few occasions to take her skills in focusing to Afghanistan,with all its strife and civil unrest, to help those in psychosocial helping work, along with othersstriving to hold societies together that are in great turmoil.

Our meeting helped by providing a committee for her clearness in undertaking the work,corresponding with her as she labored and hearing from her on her return home.

I think this effort is cool because:

  • it came from a life time calling,
  • it used technique that echoes one used by early Friends, and
  • it kept the local meeting in relationship with the work

-Jay Thatcher, Corvallis Friends Meeting, North Pacific YM