Quaker thoughts ...

... or, things I am nearly moved to speak in meeting

Reconciling simplicity and scarlet

Simplicity and plainness have been weighing heavily on my mind since last summer. After seven years of living in white boxes, with new furniture arriving in a few weeks, I repainted the living room. I painted it red -- "cranapple" really. And shortly after doing repainting, a good friend wrote about his decision to dress plainly. Many of Martin's decisions about his life are morally and spiritually grounded, and he has always been a "good example."

Suddenly, the doubts overwhelmed me (not to the extent of repainting the room, however). I was much happier with the room; it seemed homier and warmer. We spent more time in the living room, and less in the den upstairs. The decor is attractive and striking, although not fussy; cleaning carved furniture weekly is not my idea of fun. But was I leading Jorj away from Quakerism's message of simplicity and plainness? Did simplicity necessitate foregoing beauty?

Sunday, another message brought to mind another of Fox's teachings: of putting forth a best effort. Specifically, Fox wrote of early Quakers' emphasis on honesty in spritual and worldly matters benefitted Quaker merchants and shopkeepers; customers trusted the Quakers more than other merchants, and brought them more business. Monetary success was not incompatible with Quakerism.

Similarly, beauty is not incompatible with Quakerism. There is no testimony for ugliness.


It was recently brought to my attention that a number of Quaker pages have links to this page. I feel obligated to provide some information about Philadelphia Quakers.

When we lived downtown, Jorj and I attended Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting meets for worship Sundays at 11 a.m., at 15th and Cherry streets (just north of City Hall) in downtown Philadelphia

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