Seeds that Change the World

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Quaker Press of FGC is pleased to announce its first new release in almost four years – Debbie Humphries’ Seeds that Change the World: Essays on Quakerism, Spirituality, Faith, and Culture.

The Quaker tradition at its best is a practice-based religious path that embodies the ability to hold paradoxical truths with deep love and a minimum of hierarchy. Each of these elements is an important capability, that the world as a whole needs today. These capacities are developed through regular exercise of both individual and corporate spiritual practices, that can be taught and strengthened. The ongoing divisions and separations among us speak to our failure to live up to our potential. As stewards of this tradition, we need to better embody the truths of the Quaker tradition.

With a foreword by Diane Randall, Humphries’ book helps readers do just that by exploring Soul Time, Our Hope for a New Life, Four Pillars of Meeting for Business, Embracing Wholeness in the World, Exploring the Unwritten Rules of Waiting Worship, Why the World Needs Quakerism and more.

Of Seeds that Change the World, Lloyd Lee Wilson says “In these essays, Humphries enters the long-standing debate among Quakers as to whether Friends have anything distinctive to offer the contemporary world. Her conclusion: Yes!”
“Part spiritual autobiography, part critique of the white middle class, this collection of essays offers deep insights into the unique constellation of gifts of Quaker faith and practice, and pleads for Friends to better understand and embrace our radical tradition,” writes Marty Grundy.

Debbie Humphries came to Quakerism in the early 1990s after growing up Mormon. Debbie has travelled in the ministry among Quakers since 2004 under the care of Hartford Monthly Meeting, carrying a concern for the spiritual health and vitality of the Religious Society of Friends.

Paperback: ISBN 978-0-9993823-0-1, $14.95 e-book: ISBN 978-0-9993823-1-8, $9.95
Order at ( or through
Ingram Content Group (for booksellers)

Heart of Oneness

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An exploration of the oneness at the heart of the universe

Publishing 24th November 2017 by Christian Alternative Books (imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd) – Heart of Oneness – a little book of connection by Jennifer Kavanagh.

ISBN: 978-1-78535-685-8 (Paperback) £6.99 $10.95
EISBN: 978-1-78535-686-5 (e-book) £3.99 $5.99

Our screens and newsfeeds are full of violent images; our world is full of poverty, inequality and injustice. We find it hard to live together, in our families, communities, or in the world at large. At the same time, we are surrounded by the beauty of the natural world, and daily life is full of acts of compassion, kindness, friendship and love. How do we reconcile these differences? What does the universe, with its countless examples of mutuality, have to teach us? Science, religion and our own experience teaches us that the whole of creation is a web of interconnectedness.
This book explores the oneness at the heart of existence – and what this means for how we act in the world.

A wise and welcome reminder of the mutuality and interconnectedness at the heart of the universe. Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation

Her new book is a gorgeous treatise of practical mysticism, a liberating testimony to the truth and reality of oneness, interconnectedness and personal power amidst the divides, difficulties and traumas of today’s world. Rev Dr Lynne Sedgmore OBE

Jennifer Kavanagh worked in publishing for nearly thirty years, the last fourteen as an independent literary agent. Jennifer contributes regularly to the Quaker press, and is an associate tutor at Woodbrooke Quaker study centre. She has published 8 books of non-fiction and one novel.

(All are published by different imprints of John Hunt Publishing.)

She lives in London.

The Newcomers

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The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom
by Helen Thorpe

From an award-winning, “meticulously observant” (The New Yorker) writer comes a powerful and moving account of how refugee teenagers at a Denver public high school learn English and become Americans.

The Newcomers follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado, in an English Language Acquisition class created specifically for them. Speaking no English, unfamiliar with American culture, their stories are poignant and remarkable as they face the enormous challenge of adapting. These newcomers, from fourteen to nineteen years old, come from nations convulsed by drought or famine or war. Many come directly from refugee camps, after experiencing dire forms of cataclysm. Some arrive alone, having left or lost every other member of their original family.

At the center of The Newcomers is Mr. Williams, the dedicated and endlessly resourceful teacher of South’s very beginner English Language Acquisition class. If Mr. Williams does his job right, the newcomers will leave his class at the end of the school year with basic English skills and new confidence, their foundation for becoming Americans and finding a place in their new home.

With the US at a political crossroads around questions of immigration, multiculturalism, and America’s role on the global stage, Helen Thorpe presents a fresh and nuanced perspective. The Newcomers is a transformative take on these timely, important issues.

6 x 9 inch, 416 p. hardback
ISBN: 9781416538981
Cost: $28.00

This book can be ordered directly through Simon & Schuster

The Machine Society

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Rich or poor. They want you to be a prisoner.


Mike Brooks’ debut novel is an adventure story set in a dystopian future in which our taste for branding, consumerism and artificial reality is boundless. In /The Machine Society/, he weaves together psychological insight, philosophical reflection and spiritual inquiry to give us a novel that is both a deep satire on modern life and a rich metaphor for our longing to find inner peace. Dean Rogers lives in the Perimeter of New London, holding down a soul-destroying job, surrounded by people who have lost the will to communicate. He is afraid his debts will spiral out of control, resulting in him being cast out of the city, outside of the Security Wall. Meanwhile, in the Better Life Complex, New London’s rich elite live in plastic luxury, unaware of the sinister secrets that underpin their world. /The Machine Society/ is an original and intelligent sci-fi thriller, and a heartfelt rally cry for the soul’s liberation.

Author Bio
Mike Brooks was born in Edinburgh, grew up in south Manchester, and now lives in London. After completing a psychology degree at the University of Central Lancashire, he trained as a journalist and went on to work for various newspapers and publications in Manchester, Yorkshire and London. He is currently the editor and communications manager for an international development agency.

A thoroughly gripping and highly intelligent novel, with a wholly plausible, perfectly imagined future – a warning of where present cultural trends may take us – all underpinned with philosophical speculations on the nature of freedom.
Steve Taylor, author of The Fall and Back to Sanity

Distributed to the trade by National Book Network in US; by Orca Marston in UK
Publisher contact:

Publication Date
October 2016
ISBN: 978-1-78535-252-2
$16.95 | £10.99
8.5×5.5 inches | 216×140 mm

ISBN: 978-1-78535-253-9
$7.99 | £4.99

Library of Congress 2016934226

The Beyond Within

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What future for Quakerism?


Derek Guiton’s The Beyond Within is a courteous, plain-speaking critique of the militant strand within Quaker non-theism which advocates a future for Britain Yearly Meeting based on “radical religious humanism,” a form of atheism. Written as a commentary on David Boulton’s Through a Glass Darkly, it focuses on three themes which are central to the continuing crisis in British Quakerism − inclusivity, transcendence, and religious language. Affirming that for Quakers, transcendence and immanence are indivisible, this short work underlines the importance of the “mystical” at the heart of Quaker worship and practice. The Beyond Within is available from, price £7.00 exc. postage, and from the Quaker Centre Bookshop.

Discernment and Inner Knowing

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Discernment and Inner Knowing: Making Decisions for the Best
by Joycelin Dawes

This ground-breaking study of spiritual and secular discernment explores Quaker discernment – individual and decision-making in a group – through the eyes of Theory U, a secular framework for change. The book explains and applies the methods and visual map of ‘Theory U’ to shed light on Quaker practice. This form of ‘mutual irradiation’ between Quaker discernment and Theory U brings greater clarity and strength to Quaker discernment and shows the reader how the insights of Theory U might deepen their own discernment practice.
The book follows a Theory U cycle, through opening mind, heart and will to reach the deepest inner place from which we discern a way forward. It questions how we understand and interpret ‘making decisions for the best’. The second part of the book looks at how discernment is clarified then tested through designing action that puts it into practice.
This book grew out of research into discernment for an Eva Koch scholarship awarded to Joycelin in 2016 by Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, Birmingham, UK

This fascinating, meticulously researched book is an essential addition to the library of any Meeting or Friend interested in exploring discernment by looking at it in a fresh way.

“This compelling book provides an original and insightful understanding of the art of discernment for the modern world in all its complexities. Joycelin Dawes explores the Quaker tradition and practice of discernment alongside modern secular leadership approaches of presencing and sensing. She offers an invaluable synthesis and makes a significant intellectual and practical contribution to the field of discernment and decision making for individuals, leaders and members of organisations. I cannot recommend it highly enough for its wisdom and insights.” Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE. Former Chief Executive of 157 Group, The Centre for Excellence in Leadership UK

“Joycelin Dawes’ book explores Quaker discernment in the context of ‘Theory U’, a model for understanding the flow of decision making. It helpfully illuminates Quaker discernment without turning it into an artificial or theoretical process but retaining the connection to deep spiritual experience that we as Friends are seeking and encounter when engage in discernment processes. This book will help Friends to better understand, practise and share Quaker discipline and the source from which we act.” Simon Best, Head of Learning, Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre

Website and blog:
ISBN: 9781786977793
Paperback / 130 pages / published 27 April 2017

Face to Face

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Face to Face: Early Quaker Encounters with the Bible
by T. Vail Palmer, Jr.

6 X 9 inch, 288 p. paperback
ISBN: 978159490374
Cost: $20.00

Through most of our history Friends have taken the Bible seriously and have looked to it for guidance. Friends have been leaders in testifying against war and working for peace, in recognizing the equality of women and men in Christian ministry, in working against slavery and advocating for social justice.

Yet we find in the Bible passages that instruct women to be silent in the churches, that call for the destruction of entire people groups, that suggest poverty is intractable, that require the submission of slaves.

The earliest Friends constantly quoted the Bible—and it is clear that their pioneering positions on matters such as war, women’s ministry, and justice derive from their understanding of the Bible.

How can this be?

The writings of George Fox, Edward Burrough, and Margaret Fell demonstrate that at least these three, first-generation Friends, were reading the Bible with empathy. For them the heart of the Bible lay in its personal narratives. Out of this empathetic reading emerged their innovative understanding of the Christian way of life.

This book can be ordered directly through Barclay Press

Come Away and Pray

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Come Away and Pray: God is Light
by Judy Brutz

Come Away and Pray, God is Light invites quiet moments of contemplation. Ponder statements of Quaker thought as well as scriptural verses. “I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness: and in that I saw an infinite love of God…” George Fox, 1624 – 1691 “Let women then go on – not asking favors, but claiming as a right the removal of all hindrances to her elevation in the scale of being – let her receive encouragement for the proper cultivation of all powers, so that she may enter profitably into active business of life … Then in the marriage union, the independence of the husband and wife will be equal, their dependence mutual, and their obligations reciprocal.” Lucretia Mott, 1793 – 1880 “Words may help and silence may help, but the one thing needful is that the heart should turn to its Maker as the needle turns to the pole. For this we must be still.” Caroline Stephen, 1834 – 1909. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9 I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me. Matthew 25:35-36

5.1 x 7.8 inch, 126 p. paperback
ISBN: 9781544984872
Cost: $7.00

This book can be ordered directly through Amazon

Holy Silence

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Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality
by J Brent Bill

J. Brent Bill’s Holy Silence is a contemporary classic on sacred silence. With warmth, wisdom, and gentle humor, Bill presents the Quaker practice of silence and expectant listening to a wider Christian audience. This revised and expanded edition includes new spiritual silence practices and a new section on incorporating holy silence into worship. Written by one of the most respected interpreters of the Quaker tradition, Holy Silence opens up for readers a fresh way of connecting with God.

5.2 x 8.1 inch, 159 p. paperback
ISBN: 9780802874030
Cost: $15.99

This book can be ordered directly through Eerdmans

Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker

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Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker: A Humble Stumble Toward Simplicity and Grace
by J Brent Bill

On quick observation, the Quaker lifestyle boasts peace, solitude, and simplicity—qualities that are attractive to any believer of any denomination or religion. Yet living a life of faith is not as simple as it may look. In fact, it’s often characterized more by the stumbles than the grace.

“When someone asks me what kind of Christian I am,” says Quaker author J. Brent Bill, “I say I’m a bad one. I’ve got the belief part down pretty well, I think. It’s in the practice of my belief in everyday life where I often miss the mark.” In Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker, a self-professed non-expert on faith invites readers on a joyful exploration of the faith journey—perfection not required. With whimsy, humor, and wisdom, Bill shows readers how to put faith into practice to achieve a life that is soulfully still yet active, simple yet satisfying, peaceful yet strong.

For anyone who is bad at being good, this is an invitation to a pilgrimage toward a more meaningful and satisfying life . . . one step—or stumble—at a time.

5.5 x 8.5 inch, 208 p. paperback
ISBN: 9781630881313
Cost: $16.99

This book can be ordered directly through Abingdon Press

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