Volume Seventeen, Number One
Winter-Spring 2018
Editor: Chuck Fager
Associate Editor:Stephen W. Angell
ISSN 1526-7482

All the essays in this issue
are copyright © by the respective authors,
and all rights are reserved by them.

The views expressed in articles in Quaker Theology are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the Editors, or Quaker Ecumenical Seminars in Theology.

Editor’s Introduction, #32

Chuck Fager No sooner had the AFSC’s Centennial bash gotten underway in spring of 2017, when somebody rained on their parade: another multi-million budget shortfall was acknowledged, with the expected fallout of more job and program cuts. This was getting to be an all-too-familiar story; almost as familiar as the empty promises to “re-connect” AFSC […]

PRELUDE: Two Documents From Discussion held at FGC in Richmond, Indiana, July, 1979

Chuck Fager [INTRODUCTORY NOTE: These discussions were sparked by an event that is unmentioned in these documents: the publication in The New Republic magazine of a cover story by Stephen Chapman called “Shot From Guns: the Lost Pacifism of the Quakers,” in its June 9, 1979 issue. The piece was especially critical of AFSC. I […]

ONE: “Truly Radical, Non-violent, Friendly Approaches”(1): Challenges to the American Friends Service Committee

H. Larry Ingle Reprinted from Quaker History, Volume 105, Number 1, Spring 2016. Published by Friends Historical Association Nearly twenty-five years ago, on the occasion of the American Friends Service Committee’s seventy-fifth anniversary, Swarthmore College historian J. William Frost published a scholarly examination of the group’s early history. In his second paragraph, Frost stressed that […]

TWO: From Supporter to Friendly Critic: How AFSC Changed Me

H. Larry Ingle Friends learn from experience, actually from a dialogue with experience; at its best, the dialogue is actually a trialogue with God’s Spirit an essential third participant. That’s what happened to me as I reflect back on my encounters with the American Friends Service Committee.     A fairly recent convinced Friend, in 1976 […]

THREE: The American Friends Service Committee, 1947-49: The Cold War’s Effect

H. Larry Ingle Reprinted from Peace & Change, 23 (Jan. 1998) In a year when it received the recognition of a Nobel Peace Prize, the American Friends Service Committee entered into a period of marked transition. This study of the impact of the cold war on the organization examines the choices it faced on such […]

FOUR: Pickett vs. Chambers: A Case Study of Elite Class Power

H. Larry Ingle Reprinted from: An Early Assessment: U.S. Quakerism in the 20th Century. Papers from the Quaker History Roundtable, 2017. The story I am about to tell is not one that I take great pleasure in relating. For one thing, it deals with a Friend whose life was, in most ways and as far […]

FIVE: “Speak Truth to Power:” A Thirty Years Retrospective (1985)

H. Larry Ingle When the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) published “Speak Truth to Power” in the spring of 1955, it did two important things, one advertent, one inadvertent. The authors intended to, and did, produce the most lucid pacifist tract ever penned in the United States; they probably did not intend to, but nevertheless […]

SIX: An Exchange About Numbers; AFSC and Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting & Association (SAYMA), 2011-2012

From SAYMA’s minutes, 2011: [SAYMA =] Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting & Association June 9-12, 2011[Below: SAYMA’s logo & Map of Meetings] Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina41st Annual Meeting 41-32: AFSC and Quakers Free Polazzo serves as one of our representative to the AFSC Corporation. Free has asked AFSC for a report of the number […]

SEVEN: A Flicker of Hope: A Friendly Letter

Written & published by Chuck Fager Issue Number SevenTenth Month 1981 Dear Friend, On the 30th of Ninth Month [1981], near the Oregon coast, a meeting took place which could be very important for the future of American Quakerism. The two top executives of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Board Chairman Stephen Cary and […]

EIGHT: Another False Dawn: AFSC, 1991-1992

A Friendly Letter, Written & published by Chuck Fager, Issue #127, 12th Month 1991 As the Corporation and Board of the American Friends Service Committee gathered for its annual meeting on 11/15-17, AFSC was on the brink of important change: A new Board clerk has taken hold. A new Executive Secretary, the most pivotal Quaker […]

NINE: Introduction to Quaker Service at the Crossroads – 1988

Chuck Fager Introduction There’s an old Quaker joke: a young woman attends her first business meeting as an adult member, looking to make her mark, and sits next to a weighty older Friend in a grey bonnet who is knitting quietly. An agenda item comes up which requires nominations to a new committee; the young […]

NINE: Introduction to Quaker Service at the Crossroads – 1988

Chuck Fager There’s an old Quaker joke: a young woman attends her first business meeting as an adult member, looking to make her mark, and sits next to a weighty older Friend in a grey bonnet who is knitting quietly. An agenda item comes up which requires nominations to a new committee; the young Friend […]

TEN: Gilbert White & AFSC: A Letter to the Editor, Friends Journal, 2006

H. Larry Ingle & Chuck Fager (Published in the April 2006 issue.) Dear Editor, We were very disappointed in Margaret Bacon’s review of the biography of Gilbert White, Living With Nature’s Extremes. The reviewer dismissed with a throwaway comment the deep concerns Gilbert White developed about the direction and governance of the American Friends Service […]

ELEVEN: Can the AFSC Get Its Quaker Groove Back?

By Chuck Fager Adapted from Quaker Theology, Issue #18, 2010-2011 I: The Background of a Concern What we’ve dubbed “The Great Quaker Turnover” has been rolling through Quakerism over the past year. Practically all the “alphabet soup” Friends groups have been changing their top executives: FUM, QUNO, FCNL, FGC, FWCC, Friends Journal. Several top posts […]