George Fox asked the question “What canst thou say?”  In this issue we look at what the Religious Society of Friends in Australia can say today.

This year we have made some important corporate statements, and we have included three of them in this issue, with some reflections upon them.  The first issue is that of same-sex marriage.  Guided by our belief in that of God in all people, and our commitment to equality, Quakers have been able to speak with one voice in support of this change in legislation.  The debate has raised many issues which we would like to explore more fully in future issues.  Is there anything special about “religious” marriage?  How far is the “traditional marriage” an institution which needs saving, and are there marriages which should not be saved?  How can we best encourage and support good long-term relationships – and to what extent are such relationships the responsibility of the couple solely, and to what extent are they dependent on society  providing the necessary support in the form of acceptance and material support such as secure housing and employment?

This was the year in which we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum on the recognition of Aboriginal people in our constitution.  We produced a statement looking at what has been achieved, and what still needs to be done.  We include this challenging statement, with a reflection upon it.

Most of the articles we received this time were on the theme of Peace, a concern which is as urgent today as it ever has been.  We have included part of a submission made to a senate enquiry on climate change and national security which we feel needs to be more widely read.  We also hear many pleas from the heart for a kinder and more generous world.  And we hear of some of the things which Friends are doing to bring that world about.

Please note that the correct email address for the Australian Friend is  Apologies for any confusion.

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