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Three Ravens and Two Widows: A Perspective on Controversy Among Friends

By Richard Macy Kelly

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #401 (2009)

Price: $7.50


This essay is an intimate portrait of two women whose very different lives and characters were faithful responses to the challenges of loss, responsibility, love, and difficulty at different times and places in Quaker history. The author’s mother, Lael Macy, and his grandmother, Madora Kersey, “sang” the same ballad of love and pain in very different lyrics. Using the metaphor of the ancient ballad, The Three Ravens, Richard Kelly invites us to explore how history and family traditions may limit our understanding of Truth or give us the strength and vision to see new possibilities in times when disagreements – including the contemporary controversy between Friends of liberal and evangelical traditions over different understandings of marriage and sexuality – trouble our communities. Discussion questions included.

About the Author(s)

In his long career, Richard Macy Kelly served as a YMCA professional, executive director of the Maryland Council of Churches, and administrator of HIV/AIDS programs for the Baltimore City Health Department.  He is the author of Thomas Kelly: A Biography, and edited The Eternal Promise, a posthumously published work by his father, Thomas Kelly.  A member of Vassalboro (ME) Monthly Meeting in New England Yearly Meeting, he has led many workshops on scripture and church history.

Pendle Hill Pamphlet #401

Additional information

Weight 2.3 oz