Poetry

Ode to Teapot Valley was written in January 2000 while Annie & I were doing music ministry in New Zealand.  We were deeply moved both by New Zealand Quakers and also be the country itself. 

The Harvest is a poem I wrote for the new millennium in December of the same year on the subject of outreach and discipleship after dreaming about the apple crews that New Swarthmoor Community organized for Young Adult Friends between 1969 and 1976.

Walking the Ridge at Dusk is Christmas 2008 poem I wrote about walking the dogs in the woods behind our house in Amherst.  It is about freedom and my joy about moving to New England after longing to do so for many years.

Poems by others

Are We Held? Is a wonderful little poem written by Winnie Rawlins, who taught at Pendle Hill for many years.  I read it at the conclusion of the talk I gave on Throwing Open the Doors to My Heart at FGC in 2004.  It is about the fact that we are never utterly alone in this universe - we are always everywhere held in Love.

I hope to post some of Annie's wonderful poetry on this site soon if she allows me to do so!

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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.

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