What enabled many of the first Friends, as well as Quakers in our time, to live spiritually empowered, transforming lives?
Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey describes ten essential elements of the Quaker spiritual journey, as experienced by the first Quakers and by Friends today. The book is intended to help Friends and other spiritual seekers explore our own experience and better understand how God, Christ, Spirit, the Light is calling us into lives of faithfulness. It’s designed for both individuals and study groups. This book is the fruit of many years of prayer, research, teaching, and traveling among Friends.
Our Life is Love is available from Inner Light Books in hardback, paperback, and ebook.
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A Study Guide for Our Life is Love is available HERE.
An excerpt from Our Life is Love is available from Inner Light Books. Many blog posts on A Whole Heart (between 2012 and 2014) were first drafts for some of the sections of the book. Her blog post The Fruit of Long Labor describes her process of learning, research, and writing.
You can help this book to reach other people who could benefit from the wisdom of early Quakers and Friends in our time. Please pass the link for this page on to your friends. Organize a study group at your meeting or in your congregation. Write about this book on your blog. Write a review. Ask your bookstore to stock copies. Invite Marcelle to lead a workshop, do a book talk and signing, or speak at a forum. Contact her HERE.
Below are links to book reviews of Our Life is Love: the Quaker Spiritual Journey.
A quote from Marty Grundy’s review:
Martin uses biblical language and metaphors that were very meaningful to early Friends and can become filled with meaning for Friends today who choose to travel this path. But the language is not the important thing. What is crucial is the experience. This is not “Quaker lite,” the idea that the highest value for Friends is tolerance, that one can believe anything or nothing. This book points to the real thing, a path that is narrow and difficult, requiring surrender and the Cross, while promising unimaginable joy, healing, and freedom within all-encompassing love. …
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for any Friend or meeting that yearns for the heart of Quaker faith and practice, summed up here by paraphrasing William Penn: that we must be changed ourselves before we can change the world.
A quote from Ellen Michaud’s review:
The brief but well-crafted stories of 33 early Quakers like Elizabeth Hooten and James Naylor evoke powerful, piercing images that offer concrete examples of spiritual journeys from which to extract valuable lessons, as do the 62 stories of more contemporary Quakers such as Richard Taylor, Eva Hermann, and Thomas Kelly.
What also makes Our Life Is Love far more accessible than many books on Quaker spirituality is that Marcelle does not write, as Carole Spencer, an associate professor at Earlham School of Religion, points out in the book’s foreword, “…as a detached historian, analytical theologian, or objective outside observer, but as an intuitive, empathetic fellow traveler [who] shares their spiritual DNA. She enters into their story with empathy, thus parting the veil for the modern reader to cross the threshold into the profound realm of [even] those early Quakers who lived a life of holiness and perfection.”
As a result, and particularly if one or another of its chapters is read in the meeting community and accompanied by reflection and discussion, Our Life is Love will help each of us recognize who we are as a people, where we’ve been, where we are, and—as Way opens—where we’re being led.
About the author:
Marcelle Martin has led workshops at retreat centers and Quaker meetings across the United States. She was the resident Quaker Studies teacher at Pendle Hill for four years and a core teacher in the School of the Spirit program, The Way of Ministry. She is the author of the Pendle Hill pamphlets Invitation to a Deeper Communion and Holding One Another in the Light. In 2013 she was the Mullen Writing Fellow at Earlham School of Religion while working on her book. On her blog, A Whole Heart, she writes about spirituality today, taking inspiration from the past to help us find the courage to become all God has created us to be in our day.
Marcelle travels to lead workshops, retreats, and conversations about the Quaker spiritual journey and many aspects of the spiritual life. She is following a leading of the Spirit to nurture the vitality of Friends meetings and other communities by teaching practices that open people to the direct experience of God active within and among them.