What In the World Were We Thinking? (A Dress Code? Seriously?)
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
2w ago
The older I get, the more I look forward to summer, and this summer especially. It’s been several years since I’ve been to the state fair, and there’s something I’ve always wanted to do there, but never have, which is to visit the Pentecostal tent just inside the front gate. Slowing down as I approach, studying their posters, looking confused, then saying, “Just who is this Jesus you speak of?” I feel so sorry for those people. No one talks with them. They step out, brochure in hand, smiling, and people scowl and hurry by. No one who spends their vacation trying to save the rest of us from hel ..read more
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What In the World Were We Thinking? (Our Belief in the End Times)
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
1M ago
Well, that was some eclipse, wasn’t it? I hope you were able to enjoy it since we won’t have another one until 2153, 129 years from now. Thirty-five of us gathered on the kitchen porch here at the meetinghouse. Herb and Chris grilled hot dogs and we ate moon pies and played cornhole, then watched the darkening skies and after that the gradual lightening, a dawn at mid-day. If we had been ancient people, it would have terrified us. We would have fled to the nearest cave. But now that we are enlightened, we know eclipses happen because God is fed up and wants to smite us upside the head. This ha ..read more
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What In the World Were We Thinking? (A Distrust of Leaders)
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
1M ago
Some time ago, I wrote an essay about the abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. It got published and circulated around, and made its way back to Danville, to the Catholic Church where I had been raised. I knew that was likely to happen and had girded my loins, as the Bible says. Truth be told, I had been in trouble with the Quakers for so long, I was looking forward to being in trouble with a new group of folks. Mix things up a bit. Sure enough, I began to hear rumors that certain Catholics were upset and wanted to meet with me. A few of them saw me around town and said they wanted to take me ..read more
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Cooperation, not Competition, as an Aspect of Community
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
1M ago
I was being a curmudgeon the other day, talking with someone about how young people today don’t know anything about history, when it occurred to me that until I was 30 or so, the only thing I knew about World War II was what I learned from watching Hogan’s Heroes. A great challenge as we age is to refrain from assuming the worst about younger generations. They’re usually a lot brighter and more capable than we suppose. I was thinking of Hogan’s Heroes because I heard someone use the word collaborator this past week, and it occurred to me that I had first heard that word on Hogan’s Heroes when ..read more
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Quaker Qualities (Not Just Integrity, but Integration)
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
2M ago
Several years ago, Joan and I were in Frostburg, Maryland, attending the sessions of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. For those of you not accustomed to our Quaker jargon, a yearly meeting is a collection or assemblage of local or monthly meetings, usually in the same geographical area, who gather once a year to discuss and decide their shared ministries and concerns. Just so you know, the definition of a Quaker is someone who won’t attend their own yearly meeting, but will drive 450 miles to attend someone else’s. We had a free afternoon and after consulting a map, I discovered we were only 50 miles ..read more
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Quaker Qualities (Not Simplicity, but Generosity)
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
2M ago
When I was 32 years old, I received a phone call from the Friends World Committee for Consultation, asking if I would serve on their Executive Committee. This was a big deal in Quakerism, like being asked to serve on the college of cardinals and pick a new pope. I was certain a mistake had been made, but agreed to do it, knowing it would allow me to see the country on someone else’s dime, since I didn’t have many dimes of my own back then. My first meeting was in Philadelphia, in the heart of American Quakerism. I flew in, was picked up at the airport by a local Quaker, driven to the Race Stre ..read more
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How to Die Before You’re Dead (7) 
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
2M ago
VIEW VIDEO  I’ve been thinking this week about family traditions, which we used to have in my family until my granddaughter was born and tradition went out the window. When my siblings and I were young and had birthdays, we received one present, a cake, and Mom would make our favorite meal. No guests other than family, and the birthday present was never of our choosing. That was what Christmas was for, you told Santa what you wanted, you had a say in the matter. But birthday presents were surprises, usually chosen by my father who worked as a bug spray salesman and gave us bug spray promo ..read more
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How to Die Before You’re Dead (5)      
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
2M ago
VIEW VIDEO  We’re having family Thanksgiving on Friday this year, which would have been unthinkable when I was a kid, like having church on Monday instead of Sunday. It just wasn’t done. But Spencer is at the firehouse this Thursday, so we moved the family dinner to Friday, even though it says in the Bible that Thanksgiving should be held on Thursday. At least that’s what my Aunt Doris always told us, and she was always reading the Bible and quoting from it, so I’m inclined to believe her, even though I haven’t seen that verse myself. We would go to her house in Vincennes every Thanksgivi ..read more
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Quaker Qualities (Consistent Compassion)
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
2M ago
This past week, I was at the bank and noticed the young woman working as a teller had her preferred pronouns, “she/her,” written on her name tag, just after her name. I thought, “Well, that’s just because she’s young and idealistic,” but then I noticed all the tellers had their preferred pronouns on their name tags, even the teller who’s older than me, whom I’ve known most of my life and votes Republican. (In Danville, we all know who votes for whom.) I never expected PNC to lead the charge for diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, but there you go. Back when I was young, you could depend ..read more
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Quaker Qualities (Democratic Discernment)
Plain Speech with Philip Gulley
by Stacey Denny
2M ago
It was my birthday this past week. I turned 63 and thought it important to have a little preventative maintenance done on my chassis, so Monday had my teeth cleaned, Tuesday had six pre-cancerous lesions frozen off, fasted on Wednesday, in preparation for a colonoscopy on Thursday, which did not begin well when I received word that the procedure would be done by a visiting gastroenterologist from Minnesota. Apparently, this is a thing now, done to lessen the chances of having your colonoscopy done by someone you might later see at the grocery store. The traveling doctor walked into my room rea ..read more
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