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🌱 The Systems of Death and the Subversive Seed

C. Wess Daniels
C. Wess Daniels
Watercolor from John Jay Alvaro of First Baptist in Pasadena, CA
Watercolor from John Jay Alvaro of First Baptist in Pasadena, CA
Happy Friday, Friends.
I hope that your week has been positive. That you’ve been loved. That you’ve taken care of your mind and body. That you’ve laughed. And that - if you were able - you’ve found ways to share love with others.
Out good news is that Emily and I have both gotten our second shots this week and for that I am deeply grateful. I hope that if you have had the chance to get yours it went smoothly and if you haven’t had the chance yet it is coming very soon.
Today, I am going to share some excerpts (and links to longer portions) from things I’ve been working on these past couple of weeks that I want to share with you. First is a sermon I preached this past Sunday for First Friends here in Greensboro on John 12:24 about the “Systems of Death and the Subversive Seed,” then I’ll share the YouTube video from the Robert Barclay Institute Symposium with Dr. Derek Brown on the subject of a Quaker Pastoral Theology where I was a respondent this past Thursday, and finally, a short blog post called, “Without The Promise of Change.”
Hit reply to this email if you want to ask any questions or share feedback.
Thanks for reading,
Wess Daniels
Greensboro, NC (Haw River Watershed)
Reflections from this Past Week
Systems of Death and the Subversive Seed (a message on John 12:24)
This week, we saw the shooting of 8 individuals, 6 were Asian-Americans reminding us again of the ongoing and increased racism Asian-Americans and other communities of color have faced in the last year. 
Maybe unsurprisingly at this point: it was done by a man who was not only a Christian but was by accounts of his pastor “one of the most committed members.” (A thought that I find chilling).
This stream of what David Dark calls “White Supremacist Terror” (see also David Dark’s “Dumpster Fire”) continued in January when we saw Christian Nationalists violently storm the US Capitol. And of course, this year also saw other terrors from the previous president tear gas peaceful protestors for a photo op holding a bible in front of a church, to the horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery, Brianna Taylor, and others.
Robert Barclay Institute Symposium
With Dr. Derek Brown, C. Wess Daniels, and Scott Wagoner on “What is a Quaker pastoral Theology?” 
Robert Barclay Institute Symposium: Dr. Derek Brown 3.24.21
Robert Barclay Institute Symposium: Dr. Derek Brown 3.24.21
Above is the video hosted on YouTube of the symposium. I have it queued to start when I come up (I go right after Derek Brown and before Scott’s response) but if you’re interested in the topic, I encourage you to watch the whole thing which begins here.
(In follow-up I’ve linked to another piece I wrote coming out on the subject soon through Quaker Religious Thought).
Without the Promise of Change
Over the past few months, since Apple Fitness+ launched, I’ve been getting more and more into indoor cycling and strength training. I really like the workouts and the trainers and every once in a while I get a little insight from a workout that I want to hang on to.
Today, during the International Women’s Ride with Kym Perfetto (one of my favorite trainers) she said something that helped me out considerably. 
@cwdaniels brings a prophetic message to Friends in his article in the upcoming QRT issue, "Revolutionary Faithfulness: #Quaker Pastoral Practice and Theology in an Age of Empire." Order now at
Subscribe to Quaker Religious Thought or purchase the issue if you’re interested in not just my writing but a number of really great pieces including a great paper from Newsletter reader and guest writer, Ashley Wilcox.
Dorothy Day’s Jan 48 reflections on one of her favorites gospel texts: “Unless the seed fall into the ground and die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die it bringeth forth much fruit. So I don’t expect any success in anything we are trying to do, either in getting out a paper
Kristin Du Mez
New arrival, a book I would have loved to have had in hand when writing J&JW. Instead, I was happy to have a chance to endorse it. @GribbenC
Tiago Forte
My dad’s new painting. Not controversial at all
👀 Read and Watch
Dig around. You might find something in here interesting, useful, or entertaining.
Song Exploder | Jon Batiste
Thom Yorke Remixes “Creep” for Japanese Fashion Show: Watch | Pitchfork
Dispatch from Alabama: The Biggest Amazon Union Drive Yet | Labor Notes
‎Valerie June on Apple Music
10 signs of creative burnout
Dumpster Fire - Dark Matter
Private Schools Are Indefensible - The Atlantic
📅 Events
Freedom Church of the Poor - Sunday Evenings: 6 pm
Every Sunday night at 6pm EST on Facebook live the Freedom Church of the Poor meets. We learn from activists, theologians, clergy, and artists about their own resistance to the religion of empire.
(Coming Soon!) Resisting the Evils of the Religion of Empire: liberating spirituality
14th April 2021 - 19th May 2021 (£72.00)
This course is open to any and everyone. Please register using the link below.
Whose side is God on? What does God say about empire, especially when Empire uses God to justify so much of what it does? In our day, “religion” has often been
🗣 One Final Thought
The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it. - [[Karl Marx]]
☕️ Thank you for Supporting This Newsletter
You support this newsletter by reading it, sharing it with your friends, giving a thumbs up below, and/or by buying me a cup of coffee for the making of this newsletter and my other ministries.
Thank you! -Wess 💚☕️
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C. Wess Daniels
C. Wess Daniels @cwdaniels

Old and New (Spiritual) Technologies For Life Today in the Face of Empire. Renewal and change in the hopes of mobilizing communities for love & liberation.

Wess Daniels
Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College

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