Ann Arbor Friends Meeting
1420 Hill Street Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Office: M-Th, 9am - Noon • (734) 761-7435 •
Clerks: • 734 996-0825 (c/o Lynn Drickamer)

Meeting for Worship
Sundays 9am, 11am | Thursdays 7:30pm
   3rd Sundays 7:45am instead of 9am
   5th Sundays 10am only
Meeting for Worship for Business
3rd Sundays, 9am


Make a Donation

New to Friends?
   Who are Friends/Quakers?
   What is Unprogrammed
   What is Meeting for
     Worship for Business?

Ann Arbor Friends
   About AAFM
   Meeting Committees
   LGBTQI Welcome
   Map and Directions

AAFM Activities
   Activities for Children/
     First Day School
     Teacher Job Descriptions
     Policy for Protection and
       Safety of Children and

   Financial Handbook (PDF)
   Financial Assistance (PDF)
   Middle East Travel Fund (PDF)
   Potluck Ingredients Form (PDF)
   Final Affairs Plan (PDF)

Quaker House Residential Community (QHRC)
   FAQs (PDF)
   Application for QHRC (Google form)

   Past Readings for Reflection
   Query for this month
   Environment & Social Concerns

Links Outside of AAFM
   Friends General Conference
   Lake Erie Yearly Meeting
   American Friends Service
   AFSC Michigan Area Office
     Prisoner Advocacy Program
   Michigan Friends Center
   Friends Lake Cooperative
   Friends Committee on
     National Legislation
   Pendle Hill
   Detroit Friends Meeting
   Friends for Lesbian, Gay,
     Bisexual, Transgender and
     Queer Concerns
      (Welcoming Church Directory)

Readings for Reflection: November 2011
from the Committee on Ministry and Counsel

By Ruth Zweifler

This month’s Reading is an unsolicited contribution by a member of our Meeting who has been “thinking a lot about how words lead us.” 

Words are recognized for their powerful ability to transmit ideas. They also perform another, less acknowledged but even more powerful function.  The language we use, the words we choose, subtly and relentlessly shape those ideas and concepts.

The pervasive use of win/lose, adversarial terms, and sports metaphors permeate our society and influence actions and attitudes.  Our legal system is a battle of wits – and money – rather than a search for truth. War and peace is sanitized by game images. Recently a commentator justified the Mars landing project by reminding listeners how unacceptable it would be if China got there before we did; we would no longer be #1.

From earliest school days children pledge allegiance to a country “with liberty and justice for all.” Done. Completed. Challenging the reality of that assertion is un-American. But what if the pledge were modified in this manner: “working to assure liberty and justice for all”?  Might not such a pledge provide a basis for examining the work still to be accomplished?

And in Sunday Schools throughout the land, congregations – adults and children – are reminded of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you wish others to do unto you,” thus ingraining an egocentric world view. John Woolman’s admonition turns the Rule around:

  Our blessed Redeemer, in directing us how to conduct one towards another,
  appeals to our own feeling: “Whatsoever ye would that other men should do
  to you, do ye even so to them.” Now where such live in fullness on the labour
  of others, who have never had experience of hard labour themselves, there is
  often a danger of their not having a right feeling of the labourer’s condition,
  and therefore of being disqualified to judge candidly in their case, not
  knowing what they themselves would desire were they to labour hard from
  one year to another to raise the necessities of life ….  (pp. 241-42)

Treat others as they would wish to be treated? Much harder to do.

Friends have developed a precise and comprehensive vocabulary that reflects and conveys the world view we strive to make real. We do not speak of looking at the Light – from this comes blindness. Rather we seek to walk in the Light that opens our way through an ever-changing world. We endeavor to walk lightly on this earth as we seek that of God in everyone and a world of peace and justice for all. We do not find answers; we respond to queries. We continue to seek.

All Readings for Reflection

All content, including pictures, images, text and quotations are
© 2018 Ann Arbor Friends Meeting unless otherwise stated.