We are told that in our spoken ministry we should not be political, but from the beginnings Quakers have not been afraid to become involved in politics if that was needed to further moral and spiritual goals. Michael Corbett reminds us in this issue that Margaret Fell corresponded with both Oliver Cromwell and King Charles II to gain greater freedom for Quakers.  Certainly, the Friends involved in the abolition of slavery were deeply involved in politics.  So it has continued up until the present.

Before the recent election, the Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee presented a webinar in which Friends gave brief presentations on topics that all voters needed to consider before voting.  Summaries of some of these talks are included in this issue of The Australian Friend.

As the political acceptance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart comes closer, we hope, we are pleased to read of QSA’s work with Indigenous groups, and Lindsay Vieth’s uplifting story of the work that can be done by good people, despite oppressive laws.

Andrew Glickson and Aletia Dundas have also written on aspects of peace.  Tim Gee, Secretary of FWCC, tells us about the efforts of the Quaker United Nations Office in international politics, and reminds us that these efforts spring from the spiritual basis of our Society.  He quotes from the Epistle of James:  “Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness”.

We hope to meet some of our readers at the Australian Friend Show and Tell at Yearly Meeting (3 pm on 7 July), and to hear what hope to get from, and perhaps contribute to, our magazine in future

The Australian Friend Committee were saddened to learn of the recent death of Peter Williams, one of our members.  Peter was an active member of Quakers in Canberra and later in Victoria.  The results of his Australian National Quaker survey were summarised in the March, 2015 Australian Friend (still on line), and a more complete report can be found here.  The committee will miss his thoughtful insights.


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