On rummage sales and simplicity

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March 18, 2019

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Pam Ferguson admits that she hates rummage sales: “Our Friends meeting holds two each year with proceeds going either to a Friends mission site or to local ministries such as the community food pantry.” These sales support meaningful work, and they make basic items available and affordable while helping the members of Pam’s meeting to recycle their unneeded possessions that might otherwise end up in landfills.

So what’s to hate?

“As an outward discipline,” Pam writes, the Quaker testimony of simplicity “is about my lifestyle and the stuff I spend my life’s energy to acquire and maintain. And as a communal discipline, it is about how I live and how my choices matter in a world where there are people who struggle to find enough to eat.” 

These twice-a-year sales reveal just how much people have that they don’t need. These sales unveil the reality of how people live in spite of their stated values. For instance, Friends know that when we “nurture the inward discipline of simplicity, the need for stuff quickly disappears,” Pam writes. But we still have a lot of stuff.

This is a challenge for Friends.

Today, I’m accepting this challenge and joining Pam in praying that God will “make my life richer in spirit and less cluttered in soul.”

Also, I’m grateful for you. Four donors offered to match the first $3,000 of donations that came in over this last four weeks, and we made it! As of this morning, we received $3,271 from 10 first-time donors and 29 total donors.

Thank you!

Eric Muhr

P.S. Barclay Press is a non-profit ministry of Friends, and we are only able to do the work we do because of your support. You can join in supporting the continuing work of Barclay Press by clicking DONATE at barclaypress.com, or by sending a check to Barclay Press, 211 N Meridian St #101, Newberg OR 97132.


211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132


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