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Spirit Rising: Young Quakers Speak

Picture of Spirit Rising: Young Quakers Speak

edited by Angelina Conti, Cara Curtis, C. Wess Daniels, Harriet Hart, Sarah Katreen Hoggatt, Evelyn Jadin, John Epur Lomuria, Emma Condori Mamani, Katrina McQuail, and Rachel Anne Miller

Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices celebrates, critiques, questions, and reflects on the Quaker faith experience. Writing and visual art by teenage and young adult Quakers from around the world and across the theological and cultural spectrum of the Religious Society of Friends give readers a window on the spiritual riches and witness these Friends offer.

The product of the two-year Quakers Uniting in Publishing (QUIP) Quaker Youth Book Project, it includes over 200 contributors from 17 countries who reflect on their faith and lives as Friends, on worship and practice, on Quaker testimonies, community, conversion and convincement, and on service to and in the world. They also challenge and inspire, as they witness to and celebrate Quakerism as it has been, as it is, and as it could yet be.

The voices here come together in a symphony, cacophonous but also deeply resonant. Listen and you will hear the gifts not only of the Quaker leaders and ministers of tomorrow, but also those in our midst today. In them and with them the Spirit – called here by many names – is undeniably rising.

What Friends are saying about the Book

While reading Spirit Rising I felt my spirit rising. This delightful and challenging collection of writings is an excellent example of how the Inner Light breaks through into our souls no matter our age, station, or geographical location. These are powerful stories, poems, and essays spoken plainly yet eloquently by diverse young voices. They are a blessing and a reminder that God is at work in this world and that our little Society's contributions in encouraging the life of the Spirit continue -- borne on the words of a new generation of publishers of Truth.

Brent Bill, author of Sacred Compass and Holy Silence, USA

The first generation of Friends included the fiery, the pious, the scholars, the earnest, the iconoclasts, and a few oddballs. Some of that first generation spun off into other directions; others stayed and shaped the cacophony of searching voices into a faith community…or were there already the seeds of many different faith communities? Fast forward a few centuries, add the complexity of differing global cultures and history, and – here we are Spirit Rising: Young Quaker Voices. Each essay stands alone as a reflection of the writer’s search for the Source. But follow how joy and pain, searching and conversion, conviction and questioning, weave cacophony into jazz.

Margaret Fraser
Executive Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation Section of the Americas, USA

Spirit rises like heat rises. It just does. No channel or label or barrier, real or perceived, can do anything about it. The evidence of this truth is on every page of this volume. These voices have been called by the Spirit, moved by the Holy Ghost, stunned into silence by the Living Presence. No seeing eyes or listening ears could deny it. It is the very hope of Quakerism that the writers can hear and see and accept this same Spirit in each other’s voices. Readers who claim to hold Quakerism dear owe each writer an open, expectant, non-dismissive hearing. I am grateful for their courage.

Peggy Senger Parsons, pastor of Freedom Friends Church and author of So There I Was..., Salem, Oregon, USA

This important book lifts up the voices of young Quakers from many contexts, and is the first anthology of young Quaker self-expression to take seriously the majority of the world’s Quakers, who live in Africa and Latin America. The process of creating this book mirrors its content, in the sense that the editorial board formed an intentional multicultural community which sought to discern the many voices of young Friends through which the One voice of God can be heard. From my perspective, the submissions from the African youth are particularly significant, as they empower the voices of youth from places where young voices are not normally heard or valued. The issues raised by these young people, and their abiding hope in the Lord, point to the ways in which Quakerism will renew itself – and be renewed by the Holy Spirit – in the next few decades.

Eden Grace, Field Officer, Africa Ministries Office, Friends United Meeting, Kenya