Sketchnotes from Palmer’s “A Hidden Wholeness” Chapter 1

A Hidden Wholeness - Chapter 1

We are reading through Quaker author Parker Palmer’s wonderful book, A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life. As a part of my preparation for leading the group I am making sketchnotes of the chapters.

Here are the notes I have done for the prelude and chapter one.

Here are the discussion questions from those same chapters.

If either are helpful to you, feel free to download, reuse, or remix however you like.

Available from Powell’s, an independent, local bookshop here in the NW where we live.

Finding Healing After a Suicide

I wrote an article last summer about some of the healing process I have been working on in relation to my step-dad’s suicide. Friends Journal picked up the article, redid a little of it and has published it this month in their issue on mental health.

If you’d like to read it, listen to the audio of me reading it or see a short video interview about it go here: Suicide and the Things We Carry.

A Convergent Model of Hope is Ready To Share

C Wess Daniels - A Convergent Model of HopeI finished my dissertation, “A Convergent Model of Hope: Remixing the Quaker Tradition in a Participatory Culture,” last November.

But it is finally rolling out so that it can be shared with others.

I know it’s the case that dissertations aren’t always thought of as super interesting things to read but let’s not underestimate how interesting a dissertation can be to read especially when it references topics such as contextual theology, early Quakers such as Margaret Fell, Jay-Z, Bob Dylan, remix and Freedom Friends Church! I know I am biased, but I think this little stack of papers glued together has the potential to be inspiring for a lot of folks out there. 

Here is the abstract:


In the wake of modernity, faith traditions face the challenge of how to adapt within changing cultures, new scientific discoveries, and other pressing realities that bring about crisis. Often the response to revitalization is to eschew tradition altogether or rigidly cling to it. The “convergent model of renewal” proposed here demonstrates how renewal can conserve tradition while being innovative. The model draws on missiology and participatory cultural studies, enabling the construction of a theory that is fully contextual and fosters participation.

In order to construct the model, I draw on the work of philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, missiologist Stephen Bevans and cultural studies scholar Henry Jenkins. MacIntyre argues that traditions are historically extended arguments that are socially embodied within living communities. At their best, they overcome internal and external crises by drawing on the resources already within their tradition. Bevans emphasizes that all theology is contextual, and that changing contexts necessitate changing theology. Bevan’s synthetic model illustrates how practitioners within a context can be in a dialogue with tradition, culture and praxis. Henry Jenkins demonstrates that within participatory culture, practitioners remix original texts in order to create something new, they work to create authentic experiences, they produce what they want to consume, they share their collective intelligence in ways that are decentralized, and in doing so they embody an alternative social community.

The convergent model draws on these three thinkers to offer a way forward for tradition. Tradition is the only grounds for innovation, context is the catalyst for change and participatory culture provides the practices for holding these two things together. Two examples are presented that demonstrate how the model works: early Quakerism and Freedom Friends Church in Salem, Oregon. Both of these groups remix original texts of their tradition with new texts in a way that innovates while maintaining a continuity with the past, as they resist a passive culture of consumerism in order to foster an authentic subjective experience, drawing on many voices an open work of shared power and knowledge is formed, and by doing so they embody an alternative participatory community.

I am still working on making it more widely available and less expensive but for now if you have access to an academic library you can get a hold of free as a .pdf through ProQuest.

I would love to come and do a workshop, retreat or other teaching around the topics covered in my research. Please contact me if that is of interest to you.

Thank you,


Like Seeds Being Poured Out (Matthew 28:16-20)

Spilled Seed

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16–20 NRSV)

The Great Commission

This text is known to many who grew up in the church as the “Great Commission.” So let’s think for a moment about what a commission is in this context?

  • an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people
  • a group of people officially charged with a particular function

Maybe that’s what Jesus is up to here, give a command and laying out the duty of every single person who wishes to be his disciple.

But unlike Matthew 22:34-40, where Jesus argues that Love of God and Neighbor are the most important and essential commandments, he doesn’t use the word “commission” anywhere in this passage. Continue reading

Hope on a Tightrope Sermon #Sketchnotes

Each week as I study, I take a lot of notes. Some of those notes I type into Evernote on my computer, and some of them I sketch out. The stuff that really stands out to me, the important quotes, and image-heavy ideas go down on paper. I love using sketchnotes as a way to organize ideas. It helps me stay concrete because I’m forced to think of how I can draw this idea and it’s easy to remember later as I begin putting an outline together. After I take all my notes, I make an outline and start writing.

Resurrection: Hope on a Tightrope (Matthew 28:1-10)


“After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.” (Matthew 28:1)

A Little Hope

I don’t know about you but I am in need of some hope this week. I have had enough death to last me awhile. I’ve had it with bad news, sickness, and sadness we continue to experience.

We need a day to celebrate new life, and resurrection couldn’t come at a better time. And just like today, Jesus’ resurrection happened in the midst of a lot of death, destruction and disappointment.

Resurrection Sunday brings with it mixed feelings, fear and joy are both present. We rarely know where hope will take us. Or if hope will ever present itself. Continue reading

Cornel West – Hope on a Tightrope


“The vocation of the intellectual is to turn easy answers into critical questions and to put those critical questions to people with power.”

“The quest for truth, the quest for the good, the quest for the beautiful, all require us to let suffering speak, let victims be visible, and demand that social misery be put on the agenda of those with power. So to me, pursuing the life of the mind is inextricably linked with he struggle of those on the margins of society who have been dehumanized.” -Dr. Cornel West in Hope on a Tightrope

You can find more quotes from the book on this blog.

Remixing Tradition in Today's World by C. Wess Daniels