Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Peace in the New Year

I put my feeling about illuminaria (below) here, but the most important thing to say is, it's not really Quakerly, nor is it related to Cloud Quakers in any way. It's just me, in my house, saying I'm here, bring in the light, bring in the blessings of the new year. The world seems overwhelming these days. Israel is militant about killing as many Palestinians as possible, and Palestinians, even in the West Bank, are more supportive of Hamas than ever. And do you think the Russians and Ukrainians will ever just lay down their guns? I doubt it.

I try to envision what militant peacemaking might look like in today's world, when I feel more like a "slactivist," one who professes peace yet mostly just sits here in my chair. Yes I am NOT taking up guns, NOT shooting my neighbor, even feeding the hungry and doing my part to alleviate some of the divisions and strife in today's small town Illinois. But what is one supposed to do about Russia or Israel? I have no idea. To some, the answer is "don't vote for Biden." But to me, that's beginning to sound like "let Trump give all the guns to Russia instead of Ukraine."

One side of it says, pure force is the only answer. Israel must bulldoze Gaza until they wipe out the tunnels; Russia will use its superior force to get what it wants eventually unless we are in there with our superior force; China's invasion of Taiwan is almost a certainty. Where is the UN in all this? The UN is an illusion. Putting our hopes or our force into the UN seems to be somewhat pointless.

Calling on the US to have a less power-based foreign policy seems to have some hope, but I think someone should be able to spell out exactly what this would look like. The AFSC is there for that purpose, and still funded to some degree by American Quakers, but I'm not sure exactly what they've been doing, much less have any clue what I would have them do if I were working for them. They I think became somewhat pro-Palestinian over the years, but these days anyone who criticises Israel's bulldoze-and-kill-the-children war is considered "antisemitic." The evangelist-Trump alliance is probably Israel's best friend, as there's no question that most of the money used in the brutal bombing and starving of Palestinians has come from us and backed by a pro-Israel bloc that is easily a majority. Is the killing of a million or so Palestinians different from the starving and gassing of millions of Jews in World War II? Well, yes, in some ways. But it's still killing, and I'm opposed to it. Succesful militant peacemaking at this point could save millions of lives. But Egypt's plan doesn't seem to be doing it for either side.

In my chair, I'm opposed to all these wars. I have no idea what to do about it, so call me a slactivist. And this is my own opinion by the way, call me antisemitic if you want, but I'm just Tom Leverett, wishing you a Happy New Year here from Galesburg Illinois, and hoping for peace in the new year. Your comments are welcome.

Friday, August 4, 2023

More Quakers on Zoom

Thee Quaker Podcast
Quakers and Zoom: How Videoconferencing Came to Quaker Worship and Whether It’s Here to Stay https://quakerpodcast.com/quakers-and-zoom/?fbclid=IwAR1adH3b_9k8q3wgEvvepXlnEpy0DT8wTBgznRklMFW3WUMLvyOBYNByltM

Listen for yourself (my hearing's bad) - let's remind them that Cloud Quakers was here first, has been here since before the pandemic, and whatever goods and bads there are with zoom gathering, we have experienced it.

It's kind of fun to find new sites, and notice that Quakers are at least getting out there online now. But remember zoom online meetings mean that everyone, everywhere, can connect to Quakerism if they are so inclined.

And as well, you are welcome to join us any time. See the template (side of blog) for details.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Friends Journal does Virtual Meetings


Quinn forwarded this link to me; I haven't had time to digest it thorughly. Apparently it starts with a podcast on this page. My hearing is not that great, so I'm not in the habit of getting information from podcasts. It's interesting, though, and it addresses an issue close to our hearts: how can we make our virtual meetings better?

I must say, we've been working on it. We have a lot to say about it. We've been trying for years now; we've been here since before the pandemic. We should be able to speak to the issue.

I'm not sure how well the comments function on this blog, but I encourage you to give it a try. Better yet, come visit our meeting and give us a piece of your mind.

You can find the details on Facebook if not on this very blog.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

All profits go to Cloud Quakers and/or QVS

I've been saying this a lot on Quaker websites where I advertise my new book (below post), Ten Quaker Closet Plays. I thought I'd explain what this really means.

The zoom fee for Cloud Quakers is ~$16/mo. I could do our zoom on my daughter's university account or some such runaround, but I chose to have my own account so I could make it available to any Quaker for any Quaker event, as well as my family if they should so need it, which they haven't so far. In any case this book and the other book (Quaker Plays for First Days), which is sold under the same stipulation, doesn't really come close to covering this zoom fee. I will be lucky to get that much this month and this will probably be the biggest month.

There is always, however, the possibility that some large Quaker gathering will choose to buy about ten of them at one time, or, everyone will get online and download ten or even twenty of them. Right now you get about 1/3 of a penny for every page read, which means that if 20 people downloaded and read the book I'd get about $8, but if 12 people bought the book I'd get another $8. Either way I'd be lucky to ever get to $16 in a month.

What you are seeing is that we are not talking about a huge economy here. How many Quakers are there? How many of them just buy a book of plays when it comes out? So far, just me and maybe a friend or two. Some people know the first book, which was explicitly aimed at First-Day, and some of the plays in it were pretty good. That book is getting a makeover. If there is only one Quaker playwright in any given generation, that one has to be as good as possible. And that's what I intend. It's not a bad book.

By the way, if more than forty buy it, then Quaker Volunteer Service comes into the picture.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Ten Quaker Closet Plays


For reflection and discernment
and for adult education and quarantine zooms...
read about Fox, Nayler, Rufus Jones, Hoover, Nixon, and even Smedley Butler (Nixon and Butler grew up Quaker, but weren't Quakers as adults).

On Amazon
Paperback $5.40 + shipping
Kindle $1.99, or free on Kindle Unlimited
Hardcover $12.80 + shipping

Profits go to Cloud Quakers or Quaker Voluntary Service

Friday, May 19, 2023

Pamphlets are back

That's right - it's a pamphlet, the size of a quarter sheet of paper - 20 pages, all personally printed, folded, trimmed and stapled. I have kept the price (below) down in Quaker fashion without making any deals for amount or other things. You simply pay the costs of putting it together and getting it out there.

It's kind of a labor of love to crank these out and send them out, but that's for another post. Here I'll say that the cover was intended to be black and white, but still has several versions, similar to this, and is now being printed in color. Color used add significant cost to the operation, but it no longer does. Here are the prices.

send orders to Tom Leverett, 919 No. Broad St., Galesburg, IL 61401, or use Paypal (tlevsp@gmail.com).

They are $.80 each + postage. Even if you get 100, they are $.80 each, but postage will change. Postage is
$.63 for 1-2 (first class)
$3.49 3-10 (media mail)
$4.29 11-30 (media mail)
These prices are subject to change as I find out more; all prices are for Domestic.
Use paypal or send check to given address.

Updated info on Quaker press page: http://tlevspressquaker.blogspot.com"

Peace in the New Year

I put my feeling about illuminaria (below) here , but the most important thing to say is, it's not really Quakerly, nor is it related to...