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William Penn “Seeking Faithfulness” Lectures Now Available to Download!

There are many free epub (e-book) readers available online for Windows, Mac, Android, and Apple iOS. Click on the image above for a list of recommended products.

There are many free epub (e-book) readers available online for Windows, Mac, Android, and Apple iOS. Click on the image above for a list of recommended products.

The William Penn Lectures started as a ministry of the Young Friends’ Movement of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM). In the beginning of the last century, “Young Friends” was the community of young adults from both the Hicksite and the Orthodox Philadelphia Yearly Meetings, which reunited in 1955. The Young Friends Movement began the lecture series “for the purpose of closer fellowship; for the strengthening by such association and the interchange of experience, of loyalty to the ideals of the Society of Friends; and for the preparation by such common ideals for more effective work through the Society of Friends for the growth of the Kingdom of God on Earth.” The name of William Penn was chosen because the Young Friends Movement found Penn to be “a Great Adventurer, who in fellowship with his friends started in his youth on the holy experiment of endeavoring ‘To live out the laws of Christ in every thought, and word, and deed; and that these might become the laws and habits of the State.’”

The first run of William Penn Lectures were given between 1916 and 1966, and are warmly remembered by Friends who attended them as occasions to look forward to for fellowship with our community, inspiration, and a challenge to live into our faith.

The lectures were published by the Book Committee of PYM, and PYM has since granted Pendle Hill and Quaker Heron Press permission to reproduce the lectures as free e-books.

Quaker Heron Press

Since 2004, the Quaker Heron Press has been working with Pendle Hill to make out-of-print pamphlets more widely available.

This partnership grew out of a leading. Jim Rose, of Quaker Heron Press, describes how he came to the idea: “Pendle Hill had a practice of asking week-long students to take on a job on Wednesday afternoon. One week my task was to clean/dust and arrange the books in the Upmeads library and in the process I found, high on an upper shelf, a whole series of dusty pamphlets called the William Penn Lectures. Inaccessible? You bet. A few months later I sojourned at Pendle Hill while my late wife was taking a week-long course. During that week, I sat with my computer and scanned the text of those pamphlets. My intent was to make that body of literature more accessible to Quakers and others throughout the world on the internet. And recently that goal has been achieved.”

Although it was announced in 1960 that the series would be discontinued, several lectures were published in the early ’60s. It appears that the lectures given between 1923 and 1931 were never published. If we come upon manuscripts of these lectures, we hope to publish them in future.

In 2010, the Young Adult Friends of PYM revived the series, officially launching the second run of the William Penn Lectures in 2011. The series was renamed the Seeking Faithfulness series in 2016, as part of the Young Adult Friends of PYM’s concern for dismantling racism within the yearly meeting and the wider society. It no longer felt rightly ordered to have a major event named after a slaveholder. The Seeking Faithfulness series is hosted by the Young Adult Friends for the benefit of the whole yearly meeting community, and invites a Friend to challenge us all to explore new ways to practice our Quaker faith. The Seeking Faithfulness series seeks to nourish our spiritual lives and call us to faithful witness in our communities and throughout the world.

PYM's "Seeking Faithfulness" lecture seriesRequests for permission to quote or to translate should be addressed to:

William Penn Lecture series
c/o Pendle Hill Publications
338 Plush Mill Road
Wallingford, PA 19086-6023

Below is a chronological list of all the lectures currently available in epub (e-book) and PDF format. Just click on the link(s) to download. For a list of recommended e-readers for Windows, Mac, Android, and Apple iOS platforms click here – many can be obtained for free online.

1916/05 Elbert Russell ~ The Christian Life ~ e-book | PDF
1916/11 George A. Walton ~ The Quaker of the Future Time ~ e-book | PDF
1917 Norman M. Thomas ~ The Christian Patriot ~ e-book | PDF
1918 Harry F. Ward ~ The Christian Demand for Social Reconstruction ~ e-book | PDF
1919 Rufus M. Jones ~ Religion As Reality, Life and Power ~ e-book | PDF
1920 John Haynes Holmes ~ Heros in Peace ~ e-book | PDF
1921 Paul Jones ~ Hidden from the Prudente-book | PDF
1922 Kirby Page ~ Incentives in Modern Life ~ e-book | PDF

1932 Henry T. Hodgkin ~ Can Quakerism Speak to this Generation? ~ e-book | PDF
1933 John A. Hughes ~ The Light of the World ~ e-book | PDF
1934 Harold E. B. Speight ~ Tradition and Progress ~ e-book | PDF
1935 Patrick Murphy Malin ~ Design for Living ~ e-book | PDF
1936 Howard W. Hintz ~ The Basic Necessity for Spiritual Reconstruction ~ e-book | PDF
1937 Douglas V. Steere ~ The Open Life ~ e-book | PDF
1938 Howard H. Brinton ~ Divine-Human Society ~ e-book | PDF
1939 Thomas R. Kelly ~ Holy Obedience ~ e-book | PDF
1940 Allen D. Hole ~ Sharpening the Edge of the Spiritual Message ~ e-book | PDF
1941 Rufus M. Jones ~ The Vital Cell ~ e-book | PDF
1942 Kenneth Boulding ~ The Practice of the Love of God (also published as PHP #374) ~ Kindle | Nook
1943 Edward R. Miller ~ In the Nurture of the Lord ~ e-book | PDF
1944 Henry J. Cadbury ~ Two Worlds ~ e-book | PDF
1945 Cecil E. Hinshaw ~ The Light Within as Redemptive Power ~ e-book | PDF
1946 Gilbert H. Kilpack ~ The City of God and the City of Man ~ e-book | PDF
1947 D. Elton Trueblood ~ A Radical Experiment ~ e-book | PDF
1948 Bayard Rustin ~ In Apprehension How Like A God! ~ e-book | PDF
1949 Jean Toomer ~ The Flavor of Man ~ e-book | PDF
1950 Amiya Chakravarty ~ A Saint at Work ~ e-book | PDF
1951 Clarence E. Pickett ~ Having Done All, To Stand ~ e-book | PDF
1952 A. Burns Chalmers ~ Declaring the Everlasting Truth ~ e-book | PDF

1953 Elfrida Vipont Foulds ~ Living in the Kingdom ~ e-book | PDF
1954 H. Richard Niebuhr ~ The Churches and the Body of Christ ~ e-book | PDF
1955 Thomas Shipley Brown ~ The Personal Relevance of Truth (also published as PHP #81) ~ Kindle | Nook
1956 Elise Boulding ~ The Joy That is Set Before Us ~ e-book | PDF
1957 Norman J. Whitney ~ Into Great Waters ~ e-book | PDF
1958 Ira De A. Reid ~ Peace and Tranquility: The Quaker Witnesses ~ e-book | PDF
1959 Henry J. Cadbury ~ The Character of a Quaker (also published as PHP #103) ~ Kindle | Nook

1962 Albert Bigelow ~ Freedom to Love ~ e-book | PDF
1963 Landrum Rymer Bolling ~ The Search for a Sense of Unity ~ e-book | PDF
1964 Allan A. Glatthorn ~ God’s Lonely Man ~ e-book | PDF
1965 Dorothy H. Hutchinson ~ Unless One is Born Anew (also published as PHP #143) ~ Kindle | Nook
1966 Warren W. Wiggins ~ If You Want to Have a Friend ~ e-book | PDF

Videos of recent William Penn/Seeking Faithfulness Lectures:
2011 George Lakey ~ Powerful Beyond Measure: Trusting the Call to Leadership
2012 Signe Wilkinson ~ Putting the Cheer into Walking Cheerfully
2013 Michael Gagné ~ Toward a Great Turning: Love, Soulforce, and the Future of the Religious Society of Friends
2014 Christina Repoley ~ Prophetic Service as Formation and Transformation
2015 Matthew Armistead ~ Daring to Stand Up
2016 Mary Crauderueff ~ Spirit Works: Exploring Quaker Leadership
2017 City Love ~ Listening for Spirit: Answers Waiting for Action