Co-operation is better than conflict – 8 April 2019

‘Tis the gift to be simple’, says a Shaker song, so here today a simple piece of embroidery that seeks to tell the truth. The image of the mules comes from the Quaker Tapestry, appearing as part of the panel on Peace Embassies (F16). The two mules first appeared on a peace poster.

The Quaker Tapestry is part of the long tradition of subversive stitching. Embroidery is not a speedy art, rather, it takes time. Those who have sewed these mules (and there are many now) have sat with cloth and needle and pondered the truth of these words. The full panel notes other Quaker writings on peace: ‘true peace cannot be dictated, it can only be built in co-operation between all peoples’, and, ‘every step to diminish fear is a step towards peace’.


Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

John Greenleaf Whittier, American Quaker


I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

In wise decision-making and good legislation
May our government lead us today.
In courageous re-thinking and creativity
May our government lead us today
In fair representation of the people who elected them
May our government lead us today.
In honesty, fair dealing and integrity
May our government lead us today.
For the sake of the children, the marginalised and the weak
May our government lead us well today. Amen.

The Sanctuary Centre