There Is A Season


 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1

You have no doubt heard the adage “If you want God to laugh tell Him your plans.”  On the surface this saying appears to venerate a capricious god undermining any progress we may think we are making on our spiritual path.  Nevertheless it serves as a reminder that we often have no control over a situation.

About five months ago I was diagnosed as having Parkinson’s Disease. Like most people with PD I have no idea what caused it, but the disease was probably at work several years before I noticed the symptoms.  Since my diagnosis I have gone through nearly every step of the grieving process multiple times.  At first I was in denial, insisting on multiple tests to be certain.  Now I am mostly at acceptance, with a good measure of anger thrown in every so often to remind me that for better or worse I’m very much a work in progress on a path not of my choosing.

One of the hardest things for me to accept is having to rely more on my life partner as a caregiver.  As normal as I try to live my life PD is ever present reminding me I am not in control.  I’ve been assured that getting proper medical care and plenty of exercise will go a long way in keeping me relatively healthy for several years to come.  I try to remind myself of this when my body doesn’t work as it used to.

Six years ago Tom and I moved from northern California to Hawaii Island.  Since that time I have tried to participate with the widespread Quaker community here.  The creation of this blog has been part of what I have offered Friends living here and visiting.  I know sometimes my blunt words have caused grieve, for which I am sorry, but overall I hope I have also offered reflections that are helpful.  Living in Hawaii has been a fruitful season in my life but it is time to consider a change more in line with the increasing demands of my health.

We were surprised that our property sold the first day it was officially on the market.  I’m not sure if we were Led through this process or Shoved.  My biggest regret is that I will no longer be part of the Keaau Friends Worship Group, which I helped found here on the east side of the island.  My hope is that even though it is a small group they will continue offering unprogrammed worship in this area.

“For everything there is a season …” My partner and I hope to move to Gainesville, Florida, where there are extensive resources for people with Parkinson’s Disease.  There is also a well-established Quaker Meeting there that meets each week.  I hope to become part of this faith community as I discover Openings for new purposes under heaven.

This will probably be my final posting on Big Island Quaker Blog.  The question now is do I leave the blog open as an educational resource or take it down altogether?  If you have suggestions in this regard I’d love to hear from you.


Life on the Edge

 The glory of the Lord shall endure forever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

Psalm 104: 31-32

Life seems to be in upheaval.  The political and moral landscape is changing faster than we can adapt.  Hopefully accountability and change happens before much more harm is done. We find ourselves glued to the local news and social media, if for no other reason than to be able to explain the eruptions to our out of state family and friends who fear for our safety.  Even our own bodies may fail us in these times of stress.  Still we do the best we can in a world that seems out of control, praying for wisdom along the way.


Living at the edge of Creation we are privileged on the Big Island to see new land being made before our eyes.  Leilani Estates has been evacuated due to lava and toxic gases.  Kilauea’s violent explosions at Halemaumau Crater can hurl boulders like they were children’s toys and propel ash into the atmosphere, threatening to rain the tiny particles down upon the whole region.  People are losing their homes to lava, so I don’t want to be dismissive about their loss.  As Hawaiians say though, “Madam Pele will do what she wishes.”  I however am neither a pantheist nor a fatalist.  In my experience one doesn’t have to be a victim of a capricious God or Goddess.


I’ve had much personal struggle of late (more about that later perhaps), so I know it’s easy to become discouraged; yet life moves forward whether we are ready for it or not.  I choose to experience God in all His/Her glory wherever that leads. The journey will be uncomfortable at times but seldom boring and I am never alone.


Before The Deluge

“Some of them were angry at the way the earth was abused by the men who learned how to forge her beauty into power and they struggled to protect her from them only to be confused by the magnitude of her fury in the final hour and when the sand was gone and the time arrived in the naked dawn only a few survived and in attempts to understand a thing so simple and so huge believed that they were meant to live after the deluge.”  Before the Deluge by Jackson Browne


It has been a year since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States.  To say that these have been challenging times would be an understatement.  It is easy to get discouraged when you see everything you hold sacred being turned inside out and denounced as political heresy by the right wing.  Yet there are signs of hope.  People are resisting this perversion of power by turning out in large numbers in towns across America from Washington, DC to Hilo, Hawaii.  Women who have been abused are speaking out and LGBTQ people are refusing to return to their closets in shame.  People of color have held up a mirror to the public and asked “Don’t you see the racism so clearly before you?”

This last Saturday the people of Hawaii experienced what turned out to be a false alarm concerning nuclear missiles coming our way.  Given the political atmosphere it’s amazing more false alarms haven’t happened.  I was one of the fortunate ones because, not having a smart phone, I knew nothing about the incident until it was all over.  Some people I knew were stressed terribly by the incident.  Most of my friends though resigned themselves to what seemed inevitable and spent time in reflective prayer with their families of chose.  Generally in emergency situations I remain calm and do what must be done; after the fact I freak out.  I’ll never know for sure how I might have reacted though.

Within my family there are several people I love who view current events as another indication we are living in the End Times.  As a Friend I find this theology a perversion of Jesus teachings and example.  More than this End Times theology is dangerous, in that its followers tend to act in ways that make such apocalyptic visions self-fulfilling.  Salvation, from their viewpoint, is only for a select few and there certainly is no need to try to make the world a better place since it’s all going to end anyway.  As Friends we stress that Christ has come to “teach his people himself” and the Kingdom is here and now, to the extent we live it.  Faith and action are one.

Nevertheless, despite evidence to the contrary some would say, I have hope. The human spirit does not remain in despair and the American experiment is still worth pursuing.  What is there in the human spirit that makes us so resilient?  At its heart I think most people want to believe the best about other people and are optimistic about life.  Maybe that is my biased perception, being the eternal optimist. I do know that as a Christian I turn to the example of Jesus and find comfort there. In the words of another song (“Oceans” by Hillsong United) we are “called out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail” asked to follow God’s Leading.  It is in following the Light that I can “keep my eyes above the waters” and step forth in faith knowing that the helping hand of my Guide will be extended.

What will 2018 bring?  By all indications there will probably be more of the same for a while at least.  I’d like to believe that Donald Trump will be either indicted or impeached but even that (if it happens) won’t solve the problems of deep division in our country.  If we can recapture a sense of shared vision the wounds can heal.  If we can have compassion for those with whom we disagree we may once again find common ground.  Perhaps we need to live with the reality of the deluge for a while longer to better appreciate the beauty of the “naked dawn” soon to come.  That’s not an End Time; rather a New Beginning.

The Eye of the Storm

Hurricane Maria

… and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”  (Luke 21: 25-26)

As I am writing this a series of hurricanes have laid waste to much of the Caribbean and regions of the southeast United States will be recovering for months to come.  Mexico City is beginning to dig itself out of the ruble created by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.  The political climate in the United States isn’t any better.  We live in a time when the President and Congress seems determined to lead us into an abyss we may be years trying to crawl out of.

Sitting in Meeting for Worship last First Day it occurred to me that aside from the suffering these disasters cause they can be seen as metaphors.  The message that came to me was to be still and know God in the eye of the storm.   It is only at the very center of a hurricane that stillness is found and it passes all too quickly.  Moments before a major earthquake wildlife often become silent.  Amid the trouble around us we can find strength in the Center, enough to carry on and move forward when the storm has passed.

Some of my family members like to use the expression End Times when talking about current events.  I find that troubling for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the tendency to disengage from trying to make the world a better place.  It is tempting to give up and let Jesus sort it all out at the Second Coming; but I can’t resign myself to follow a capricious God that only allows a select few to ascend at the end of days.  I would rather think of these troubled times as a new beginning rather than an end.  There will be pain and suffering ahead, but also new opportunities to get it right.  Maybe something better will arise from having survived these storms.

Quaker theology emphasizes that we are responsible to create the kind of world God wants for us.  Heaven unfolds here on Earth as we remain open to the Light.  The role of the prophets was not to predict some end time; it is to warn people of their failings and show that there is a better way.  Scripture warns us not to follow false prophets that declare themselves at the front of the line in a future rapture (Matthew 25:13).  This desire to separate from the world’s problems is understandable but a dangerous practice. Going to the Sacred Center helps us see our Call to service more clearly and gives us the strength to carry on after the storm.



A Reflection On Racial Strife

“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”  Proverbs 10: 12

Image result for a house divided

Like you I have been horrified by the latest outburst of racial bigotry in Charlottesville, Virginia.  I am reminded that this kind of hatred is often just below the surface; it crops up every so often like an evil Phoenix refusing to die.  This is however the first time a U.S. President has tacitly endorsed such bigotry and that alone should be of grave concern.  Amid the tragedy the outpouring of love is encouraging and hopefully we can move more in the direction of social justice.  Healing though demands a frank conversation about race and justice in America.  It will be uncomfortable but if we are to survive as a nation it has never been more needed.

As a Friend I am especially challenged to speak to that of God in an oppressor.  How can I be a vehicle for God’s love amid the hatred?  First I need to remind myself that redemption is always possible.  Loving my “enemy” does not excuse their behavior but it can act as a beacon of Light when someone is ready to see it.  The Spirit can eventually break through.  I know that “all things which are impossible for people are possible with God (Luke 18: 27), but I have to be willing to be an instrument of peace and reconciliation.

The Religious Society of Friends is not immune from strife, as we have seen in recent years with new schisms in Indiana and North Carolina Yearly Meetings.  The divisions there are largely along differences in how we view Scripture and authority.  The growing acceptance of LGBT people in our Meetings becomes a point of contention.  At times in our history there were outbreaks of extreme intolerance (in rare cases to the point of violence) over who were the “real Quakers.”  It seems this question is still very much alive, though I suspect like the earlier divisions between Hicksite and Orthodox Friends the differences will fade with time.

Recently I read “Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship” by Vanessa Julye and Donna McDaniel.  It has been an eye-opener.  The history of Friends in dealing with slavery and racism, while ahead of much of the Protestant world, is not free of racial bias.  At the most recent Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends of African descent once again pointed out that the terms “Overseer” and “Oversight Committee” remain painful due to the history of enslavement.  Those of us of European descent often don’t understand that pain.  So we still have work to do among ourselves.

We are all in need of God’s Grace, but that should not stop us from having an ongoing conversation about race.  We don’t have to wait for our own perfection to be instruments of God’s peace.  By virtue of our humanity we are all connected to the victims of violence in Charlottesville.  Beyond doing our part as citizens, there is need for much prayer.  Perhaps Friends can play an important role in greater understanding and healing.  Along the way we may come to know ourselves better and find that love indeed does cover all offenses.

Still A Great People TO Be Gathered

As we travelled we came near a very great hill, called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go up to the top of it; which I did with difficulty, it was so very steep and high. When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon Lancashire. From the top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places he had a great people to be gathered. As I went down, I found a spring of water in the side of the hill, with which I refreshed myself, having eaten or drunk but little for several days before.

Pendle Hill

Pendle Hill’s summit

Early this coming July it will be one year since a handful of Quakers on the east side of Hawaii Island decided to gather on a regular basis for unprogrammed worship, known as the Keaau Friends (Quaker) Worship Group.  From the beginning we chose to be independent of any Monthly Meeting to avoid rancor, rent meeting space that would both offer shelter from the rain and welcome the public, and to advertise as funds allowed.   We started off gathering once a month and soon increased this to twice a month, on the 3rd and 4th Sundays.  On 5th Sundays we frequently gather at our home in Hawaii Paradise Park.  Our hope is to eventually meet weekly.  Since we have started we have received a number of visitors who either want to attend Meeting again after a long absence or want to know more about Quaker worship and values.  Attendance has been good, with a core group of ten to twelve people.  With more frequent visitors our numbers seem to be increasing.  We have been active in the local community, giving voice to our Testimonies on equality and peace in particular.

I recognize that at first not all Friends on the island were pleased with the change in the status quo.  In theory Big Island Monthly Meeting has a system of rotation around the island; functionally though this hasn’t worked for the last few years, due mostly to great distances.  We did not ask permission from the local Monthly Meeting to form a Worship Group.  Some Friends may have seen this as a desire to separate from a recognized body and therefore out of order.  The Keaau Worship Group however remains in fellowship with all Friends on this island and we encourage intervisitation as Friends are able.

I invite Friends on this one year anniversary to reflect and dialog about our vision for the future of the Keaau Worship Group.  Where are we Called to be active as Friends? How can we be a voice for peace and justice in a troubled world?   Has the time come to start thinking about meeting on a weekly basis?  I leave the answers to these questions up to the movement of the Spirit among us.  All I know is that there is still a great people to be gathered and God’s work on this island isn’t finished.


A Parable for the Lenten Season

Naylor Blasphemy

Coming from a Midwestern Protestant tradition, Lent never meant much to me.  That was something the Catholics observed.  They apparently saw it as an occasion to abstain from certain foods or pleasures.  Later I learned there was a deeper purpose, to repent from sin and consecrate oneself to God.  The season is not observed as special in Quaker tradition, where turning from evil and doing God’s Will are asked of us daily.  Nevertheless I am reminded of an historic parable beyond that found in the Gospels, one that continues to speak to me over the years.

The Sunday prior to Easter is called Palm Sunday.  It is meant to celebrate when Jesus entered into Jerusalem prior to his crucifixion.  It must have been a spectacular sight as people gathered and threw items of clothing and greenery on the path.  No doubt the site of Jesus riding into the city on a donkey evoked a lot of strong feelings and was probably scandalous to some people, as he played out the prophecy of Zechariah (Zac. 9:9).  The act certainly drew attention to himself and precipitated his death on a cross.  At various times in Church history this event has been acted out in the form of a pageant.  It has not always been universally appreciated or without scandal.

This parable features a prominent 17th Century English Quaker by the name of James Naylor (1616-1660).  He was one of the first followers of George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, and part of a group of evangelists known as the “Valiant Sixty.”  Naylor was known for his charisma and great speaking ability.  He led much of the early Quaker movement when George Fox was in prison periodically for upsetting the religious and civil authorities of his day.  James Naylor’s favored status however was not to last long.

At the height of the new movement, he got caught up with a number of adoring fans, mostly women.  By 1656 George Fox was hardly on talking terms with James Naylor because he had become overly enthusiastic and erratic.  In October that year Naylor and his friends staged a demonstration through the streets of Bristol that proved to be his downfall.  They reenacted the arrival of Christ into Jerusalem.  His followers may have been convinced that James Naylor was another messiah, which he denied claiming he was merely celebrating that of Christ within him.

This quickly became a public scandal.  George Fox was horrified and Quakers denounced Naylor.  By December James Naylor was convicted of blasphemy in a very public trial.  He was sentenced to two years of imprisonment with hard labor.  Prior to going to prison he was whipped through the streets of Bristol, branded with the letter B on his forehead, and his tongue was pierced with a hot iron.

By the time Naylor left prison in 1659 he was a broken man in ill health.  He had long since repented and George Fox ostensibly forgave him, though their relationship was never warm after the incident.  In October 1660, while travelling to join his family in Yorkshire, he was robbed and left for dead in a field.  A day later, from his deathbed two hours before he passed away, he made one of the most moving statements in Christian history about forgiveness and redemption:

“There is a spirit which I feel that delights to do no evil, nor to revenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things, in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty, or whatever is of a nature contrary to itself. It sees to the end of all temptations. As it bears no evil in itself, so it conceives none in thoughts to any other. If it be betrayed, it bears it, for its ground and spring is the mercies and forgiveness of God. Its crown is meekness, its life is everlasting love unfeigned; it takes its kingdom with entreaty and not with contention, and keeps it by lowliness of mind. In God alone it can rejoice, though none else regard it, or can own its life. It is conceived in sorrow, and brought forth without any to pity it, nor doth it murmur at grief and oppression. It never rejoiceth but through sufferings; for with the world’s joy it is murdered. I found it alone, being forsaken. I have fellowship therein with them who lived in dens and desolate places in the earth, who through death obtained this resurrection and eternal holy life.”

This Lenten season I can think of no better tribute than Naylor’s words at the end of his life.  Christ has come into this world for each of us to experience his redemptive love.  Never has the world so needed the Prince of Peace, the Holy One, who speaks to us inwardly across time.




Called to Be Angelic Troublemakers

angelic-trouble-makersWe live in a time when it is easy to lose hope and fall into despair.  I recall the words of Scripture to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and continue in prayer (Romans 12: 12)  These words were written in the context of Paul asking the church in Rome to act humbly and with charity to all, letting love be more than a pretense and choosing good over evil (Romans 12: 9).

In these days after the 2016 election I am especially drawn to the words of Bayard Rustin to become “angelic troublemakers.”  Bayard Rustin knew of what he spoke.  He was a troublemaker from an early age, being influenced by this Quaker upbringing and being an out gay man when it wasn’t popular to be one.  Bayard not only marched with Martin Luther King Jr., he helped King see the importance of nonviolent direct action.

For the first generation of Friends gathering in public worship wasn’t always allowed under the law.  Yet they persisted, holding their gatherings both indoors and out.  When the adults were arrested and taken to prison their children continued to worship in defiance.  They were angelic troublemakers.

For Friends active in the Underground Railroad they persisted in directing enslaved people to freedom, sometimes in defiance of their home Meetings. They were angelic troublemakers.

During times of war Friends have refused to fight and suffered for it.  They were angelic troublemakers.

When African Americans sat in on segregated lunch counters in the 1960s Friends were at their side.  They were angelic troublemakers.

When LGBT people have demanded equal treatment under the law, Friends were there.  They were angelic troublemakers.

Every age has had its challenges.  I wonder what it means to be angelic troublemakers today, in 2017.  What are we Called to do?  This may mean once again standing with the oppressed and placing our bodies “in places so the wheels don’t turn” as Bayard Rustin advocated.

I’ve been a Friend who prefers contemplation over activism for many years now, but lately I find I cannot be silent.  Hopefully I find a healthy balance between faith and deeds.  Faith means nothing without good works to back it up (James 2: 14-26).  I wait in expectation for where God is Leading me.

Lately I’ve been reading a book by the gay Quaker activist Cleve Jones entitled When We Rise.  I knew Cleve Jones many years ago and have occasionally run into him.  I’ve always been impressed with his tireless witness for social justice.  It has led him down many interesting paths, some of which I’ve traveled on as well.

Like many of you I participated in a local Women’s March on January 21.  I was amazed at the level of participation.  This call to action has struck a nerve.  In the face of trouble there is an uprising of the masses that can be channeled for the greater good.  Once again I have hope because I see the rising of angelic troublemakers determined to work toward greater equality, peace, and justice.


A Post Election Reflection



It’s hard to “sing and rejoice” in the “thick night of darkness” yet something within me seeks the Light and wants to proclaim it.  This is a deliberate choice on my part.  It keeps me sane in times of trouble.   The world would like to portray a glass as either half empty or half full.  I chose to see the glass as a vessel that needs to be constantly filled.  In a thirsty world I cannot ignore the needs of others, because they are my needs as well.  We are in this together.

For over twenty years I was a science teacher, but what I really taught (on my best days anyway) was how to think and reason as a life skill and how to get along with and respect others.  My job was to inspire others to engage in the learning process.  My values as a Friend were interwoven with my job.  Seeing that of God in my students and their parents informed my teaching.

Engaging in the political process is no less important or even separate from the learning process.  For Friends the secular is not separate from the spiritual.  As a nation we made our choices in the last election and now we see (perhaps to our horror) how the process is playing out.  We want to be hopeful, but we may be fearing the worst.  As we exercised our civic duty we trusted that the will of the people would be heard.  But what if the will of the people results in suffering for others?  Never before in my lifetime has the necessity of staying engaged in the political process been clearer.  To say that the election is a disappointment is an understatement.  For some people at least the negative consequences are very real.  There are people, especially in minority communities, who are now living in fear for their very lives.

What is our role as Friends in binding the wounds of injustice and helping others to see the Light amid the darkness?  First we can be a safe listening place for people to express their fears.  Second we should be ready to place our bodies beside those most in danger.  We have an opportunity to bear witness to God’s love in what seems like a “thick night of darkness.”  In the end we also gain by being of service to others.  As the nation moves forward it is easy to leave behind the dispossessed.  How can we help those in need to feel safer and part of the process?  Here I prayerfully seek God’s guidance.  I do know that platitudes like “it will all be OK” are not enough.

In the days ahead we are called to be vigilant.  There is a great deal at stake.  Take time to listen to that “still small voice” for a way forward and know that no deed is too small when the needs are so great.  Perhaps all we can do is to be present and speak Truth to power.  We have an opportunity to show God’s love in every day acts of kindness.  Living up to the challenge of our faith we can take comfort in troubled times and become as Jesus admonished us: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10: 16)  That’s a lot to live up to but we are given the spiritual resources.  We need the peace we find in our Meetings for Worship more than ever to help us be “children of the day and the Light.”

Quakers and the Holidays

“When the time called Christmas came, while others were feasting and sporting themselves I looked out poor widows from house to house, and gave them some money.” George Fox’s Journal


As we enter into the holiday season I often reflect on Friends’ history concerning holiday celebrations and how that changed over time.  Historically Friends stay clear of holiday observances and rituals.  Most books of Faith & Practice explain this by stating we believe that all days are equally holy.  While this is historically true there is more to the story.

One of Friends earliest concerns had to do with the “true and acceptable worship of God.”  The 17th Century Quaker theologian Robert Barclay in his “Apology for the True Christian Divinity” devotes Proposition XI to worship.  It is under Proposition XI that the “testimony against the keeping of days” arose.  Section 3 of this proposition states “We are persuaded that all days are alike holy in the sight of God.”  The belief concerning “the keeping of days” included the plain numbering of days of the week and months.

The Book of Christian Discipline (now called Faith & Practice) for various Yearly Meetings weren’t in print until the late 18th or early 19th Centuries.  The 1806 Book of Christian Discipline from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting admonished Friends that only the “worship and prayers which God accepts, are such as are produced by the influence and assistance of his holy Spirit” are to be used by God’s people.  Observation of “public fasts, feasts, and what they term holy days; or such injunctions and forms as are devised in man’s will for divine worship.”

So the main concern was that holidays represent human invention, not a movement of the Spirit.  The same concern for being true to the inward life extended to banning outward rituals of baptism and the communion. There was a similar concern that arose concerning “vein and empty customs” (Barclay’s Apology, Proposition XV), especially those deemed “frivolous diversions” (such as dancing and gambling), the taking of oaths, and participation in warfare.

Until recent times Friends schools and businesses remained open on holidays.  Quaker businesses often faced fines and vandalism for keep their shops open on Christmas Day. Contemporary Quaker views on observing holidays is far less rigid than it was for our ancestors.  Nevertheless Friends tend to reject commercialism of the season and endeavor to practice simplicity in our homes.  Like George Fox we share concern for those living in poverty or despair.

My own view with regards to holidays has changed over time.  For several years I made it a point not to observe Christmas in particular, based on my understanding of Quaker principles and a rejection of the materialism that this holiday represented.  I was fond of pointing out that Christmas had its origins as a pagan holiday, having arose from the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Nevertheless I could always be persuaded to listen to and even sing Christmas carols.  They were part of my childhood and are connected to fond memories.  The custom of putting up a Christmas tree in my home happened rather suddenly.  One day I came home from work to find one in my living room, brought in by my life partner Tom.  I simply laughed and surrendered the last of my objection.  We have had a tree in our home every year since then.  Those first couple years we made our own ornaments.  I still reject overt materialism as inconsistent with following Christ, but I’m a lot less judgmental about those who go all out with their decorations.  Interesting enough I don’t recall ever giving up Thanksgiving observance or even Halloween.  The first may reflect my love of good food and the second is about having fun watching children in costumes.  Halloween is also an especially treasured holiday in the gay community.  I have always loved fireworks, but I prefer to think of them as not connected to any particular military display such as Independence Day.

May whatever family traditions (if any) you observe this year be full of Peace and Blessings.  I leave you with these words from a 19th Century Celtic hymn called Quaker Benediction.

“When the song of the angel is stilled

When the star in the sky is gone

When the kings and princes are home

When the shepherds are back with their flocks,

The work of Christmas begins.

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among brothers,

To make music in the heart.”