Peter Blood-Patterson has primary responsibility for this website. Unless otherwise noted, Peter is the author of the writings posted here, and he bears sole personal responsibility for the overall content on this site:

"I am a life-long Friend.  My parents, Margaret & Bob Blood, joined the Society of Friends during the 2nd world war.  I grew up in Ann Arbor (MI) Friends Meeting.  I was extremely active in Young Friends groups in high school and later in Young Friends of North America.  From 1969 to 1974 I helped found New Swarthmoor Community, a Young Adult Friends movement committed to rediscovering the radical, God-led heart of early Quakerism. 

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While an undergrad at Oberlin College (Class of '68) I became increasing involved in nonviolent resistance to the Vietnam War and military conscription.  I headed up a Conscription Committee for YFNA during the Vietnam era that provided support for Friends who took a noncooperator position in response to the draft.  This involved also contacting and researching the experiences of older Friends who took this same position during World War II, the 1948 peacetime draft and the Korean War.  Records of this research are in the Peace Collection at Swarthmore College.  I was also active in A Quaker Action Group and later Movement for a New Society.

I attended the two year training program in spiritual direction at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation from 1986-88. I taught Quakerism and Bible at Westtown School and have led numerous retreats and classes in Quakerism for Quaker meetings, primarily in the Philadelphia region.

I was later active in Media (PA) and Middletown (Lima, PA) Monthly Meetings. Middletown Meeting wrote a number of letters over the years in support of Annie's & my music ministry as well as a letter supporting my teaching ministry among Friends.

I am an advanced practice psychiatric nurse working and teaching at the UMass Amherst School of Nursing.  My wife, Annie Patterson, and I are currently members of Mt. Toby Meeting located in Leverett MA and live in Amherst with our teenage son Ian."

Other contributors to this site include:

Susan Smith is a member and elder of Rockingham (VA) Monthly Meeting in Ohio YM.  She is a former clerk of Ohio YM, member of board of the Friends Center of Ohio YM and a member of the planning/discerning group of Quaker Spring. She has led many retreats and workshops on the subject of eldership.

Jan Hoffman is a convinced Friend and member of Mt Toby Meeting. She lives on a 12-acre farm in Amherst MA with her husband Ken.  She is currently serving as clerk of the Faith & Practice Revision Committee of New England YM. She has been led to speak & lead many retreats & workshops among Friends, many on the subject of Quaker eldership & ministry.  She was Friend-in-Residence at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England, in 1993 for six months.

Debbie Humphries is a member of Hartford (CT) Meeting and travels under religious concern under a minute from that meeting, primarily within New England YM.  She is a member of the Traveling Ministries & Intervisitation Program of NEYM.  She serves on the board of the School of the Spirit, a Quaker ministry of prayer & learning .  She is a public health nutritionist and clinical instructor in Epidemiology at Yale

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Quote that speaks to me

Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies

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They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.  
Death cannot kill what never dies.  
Nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle; the Root and Record of their friendship.
If absence be not death, neither is theirs.  
Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still.  
For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent.
In this Divine Glass, they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure.
This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
 - William Penn, More Fruits of Solitude, 1702.

Note: This passage was quoted by J.K.Rowling as the epigraph of her novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Braithwaite on Outreach

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Men & Women with a Message of Power

It is as a "religion of life" that Quakerism will be presented in the future and is being presented now.

Its distinguishing note will be its resolve to bring all this human life of ours under the transforming power of spiritual life.  It will stand out against all divisions and compartments that separate the sacred from the secular, the sanctuary from the outward world of nature, the sacrament from the days' common work, the clergy from the laity. 

It will tell of a Christian experience that makes all life sacred and all days holy, all nature a sanctuary, all work a sacrament, and gives to every man and woman in the body fit place and service.  Its concern will be to multiply men and women who will have a message of power because they are themselves the children of light.  It will claim the whole of man's life, and the whole of life, individual, social, national international, for the dominion of the will of God.

William C. Braithwaite and Henry T. Hodgkin, The Message and Mission of Quakerism (Philadelphia, Winston, 1912), 25-26.

Recent Entries

Bangladesh Blockade
My wife, Phyllis Taylor, and I feel very fortunate to have been a small part of the freedom struggle that resulted in the independence of Bangladesh. I am very sorry to say that, during the war of independence, our own beloved country, the United States of America, was secretly sending military supplies to Pakistan which were used to kill and oppress citizens of what was then called East Pakistan. …
Biblical Roots of Quaker Worship
When our hearts are knit together in powerfully gathered waiting worship do we not enter into living water and drink deeply from it? What deeper spiritual refreshment could be available to us than this drawing on the living water that Christ offers us every time we gather with Friends to wait expectantly upon this gift? …
Charles Marshall Epistle
Who in your assemblies sometimes feel a testimony for the Lord to spring to your hearts, keep your watch in the light, that so none stay behind, nor run before. But let all that open their mouths in the assemblies of the Lord's people do it as the oracle of God in the arising of the eternal power. For nothing can beget to God but what comes from the word of life that lives & abides forever; and nothing can refresh, strengthen or comfort that which is begotten by the word of life but what springs from the same. …