Friends Journal Staff Picks

In the 7 years since QuakerSpeak’s launch, our videos have been viewed nearly 4 million times—and the Friends Journal staff is still excited to come together and watch each new episode before it officially goes live here on the site. We thought it would be cool to put together a playlist and share some of our favorites. Enjoy!

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Rebecca Hamilton-Levi, Videographer

“This was the first in-person video I was able to shoot after the COVID-19 lockdown. Avis Wanda was an amazing host, and I felt honored to listen to her tell her story.”

“I grew up attending school with Chloe’s children, so listening to her story from her own perspective was immensely moving.”

“While I know there are scholars who look at the bible through a liberatory lens, I had never heard it first hand until I talked to Olivia. I think her framework for working to create a heaven here on Earth is one to strive for, and one I often come back to.”

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Gabriel Ehri, Executive Director

“Sometimes a QuakerSpeak video will truly capture someone filled with the holy spirit. This, to me, is one of those moments.”

“Quakers believe that there is that of God in everyone, and it’s not just a learned priest or pastor who can share God’s message. That puts the onus on us to interpret spoken ministry, to filter it through our own lens. This video captures that beautifully.”

“This video is the fruit of many years’ work, querying a tremendously diverse cross-section of Quakers about what’s most important about the path we’re on.”

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Gail Whiffen, Associate Editor

“This story is a beautiful example of Spirit in action, and how two Friends courageously choose to remain faithful in an unknown, potentially dangerous situation in order to bear witness for the greater good.”

“As a hearing person, I really value Jane’s perspective on the power of intentional silence in a group setting. Watching this interview broadened my own view of how Friends can experience a silent meeting for worship.”

“I love all the different meanings, uses, and metaphors of Light represented in this video. The Inner Light is so central to Quakerism, and here you get to see seven different Friends sharing their own thoughts about it—how enlightening.”

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Sara Gada, Director of Advancement

“Every Murder is Real was one of the first QuakerSpeak videos we worked on. Hyper local to where I work and live, it opened my eyes to what was and is happening around me.”

“I’m a huge fan of Sterling Dun’s poetry and really enjoyed the companion piece to this video.”

“The Top 10 Reasons I Am a Quaker video really struck a chord with me. Witnessing a new perspective, from a Quaker pastor across the country, was eye opening and exciting.”

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Martin Kelley, Senior Editor

“I love the different personality styles of each speaker. Without saying a word, the flow shows that there’s no single way to be a Friend.”

“This is one of the most practical tools Friends have to share with the larger world and I appreciate how many different flavors of Friends get interviewed here.”

“I’ve known George Lakey for over 20 years, but this first-season QuakerSpeak brought his message and enthusiasm alive in a completely fresh way. It reminded me why I was drawn to Friends back in college. Watching the first draft of this video made me realize QuakerSpeak wasn’t just for newcomers but also us slightly-too-comfortable Friends as well.”

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Patty Quinn, Layout Assistant

“Feeling as I do that I’m on a spiritual journey, this video helped me to find my way in the journey.”

“I cannot separate my spiritual from my political beliefs. I felt this video validated how I join the two.”

“Doug expresses deep concern about the planet and how Quakerism offers a path for us to cease ‘devouring the creation.’”

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Ron Hogan, Audience Development Specialist

“I learned about Wess’ elaboration of Revelation as a handbook for Christian activists resisting the power of Empire shortly before joining Friends Publishing. It’s a powerful reminder that many of the books we consider Scripture today were prophetic responses to real-world conditions.”

“I started working with Friends Publishing at the beginning of the pandemic, so it was more than a year before I actually met any of my coworkers. This video was a chance to get to know Sara a little better while we were all sheltering in place.”

“As Kody Hersh says in this video, it’s not just that the Kingdom of God includes everybody, even folks at the margins. It’s that the kingdom of God includes everybody, especially folks at the margins.”

Jon Watts, Creator of QuakerSpeak

“Every once in a while an interviewee will look at me directly and say something that brings tears to my eyes. This was one of those times. Deborah has been such a powerful and gifted mentor to so many young people. I was lucky to be sitting in the chair across from her when she said this.”

“It’s a special treat whenever I get to interview Quaker musicians, in part because I always make them play music for me. Incidentally, this is one of the best versions of this song I’ve ever heard.”

“I always try to stay silent behind the camera so that the audience isn’t confused by weird offscreen noises and laughter. In this case, it was impossible. If you listen closely, you can hear me cracking up off camera.”