This Week’s Lesson: Peacemaking, Part 4 – Ursula Franklin

Ursula Franklin (1921-2016)
“Ursula Franklin was a Canadian physicist, pacifist, feminist, and Quaker who defined peace as, “not so much the absence of war but the presence of justice … the absence of fear… a commitment to the future.” Thus her desire for peace extended to a concern for women’s rights, economic justice, and for the environment. Her pacifism and feminism were, she believed, inextricably linked – both necessary to the “promise of a liveable future … she became convinced that “war does not work, even for the winner.”
“… Energy, she said, is the currency of a technological society and should be managed like money. “Don’t waste it. Spend it wisely … Don’t leave bad debts.” She wished for governments to view Nature as they would a powerful nation-state whose interests they must always consider before they act.”

“Dr. Franklin is truly an example of someone who lives her convictions, who is not afraid to act on the basis of her beliefs, and whose presence among us helps to make this world a better place to live.” – Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

Ursula Franklin was awarded the Pearson Peace Medal in January 2002, by the United Nations Association in Canada.
Read more about this incredible human being from:
Quakers in the World
Ursula Franklin Academy

From Faith & Practice

Peace and Non-violence “… Wars break the law of love as does violence in communities, and families, and fighting between individuals. Friends have a settled intention to practice love and to make peace … Peace cannot be attained at the expense of others. ‘Do to others as you would be done by’ is indeed a Golden Rule … We are called as peacemakers to deal with the violence and aggression within ourselves, to find ways of living in harmony with ourselves and neighbors.” – Faith and Practice of Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, 1988 (page 32)

From the Bible

Thessalonians 5:15-18 (New King James Version)

15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


  • What does the Golden Rule mean to you? Have you had a need to use it recently?
  • Who do you know that is a peacemaker?
  • Do you consider yourself a peacemaker? Explain.

Book Pick of the Week

The Ursula Franklin Reader: Pacifism as a Map by Ursula Franklin, Toronto: Between the Lines, 2006. …” Her analyses grow out of Quaker convictions, relying on deep-rooted pacifism and feminism. This collection explores Franklin’s understanding of pacifism as a map, a paradigm for examining all of life, an act of alternative imagination … Peace, as Franklin speaks of it, means the presence of justice and the absence of fear, and thus has huge social implications.” – Review by Conrad Grebel University College

Who Said This?

Can you guess which Quaker in history said this? “The Truth is one and the same always, and though the ages and generations pass away, and one generation goes and another comes, yet the word and power and spirit of the living God endures forever, and is the same and never changes.” – Margaret Fell, a founder of the Religious Society of Friends (c. 1614 – April 23, 1702)

Video Pick of the Week

It is no secret what God can do – A beautiful song by Mahalia Jackson
“You may have longed for added strength
Your courage to renew
Do not be disheartened
For I have news for you …”

More Videos

A very inspiring sermon by Bishop Curry!

Watch “George Washington Carver: An Uncommon Life” and be inspired! The Soil Story: A must watch for hope and inspiration!

Reading Resources

Great Library Resources! Find books and guides on anti-racism for teens, click here. For online storytelling, visit the library’s BookFlix app: you’ll need your library card to log in. The Friends Journal has published anti-racist reading suggestions. Click here for children’s books. Click here is the link for adult books.

Fun Project! How much soil do we actually have for growing the food we need? While people don’t often think about it, fertile soil is one of our most valuable resources. Without it, we would not be able to grow the crops and plants we need to feed all of the people and animals on earth. So, just how much of the earth is made up of land that is suitable for growing food? Try this fun project to find out: click here.

Kindness Resources. During difficult times, we often see the most beautiful acts of kindness. Check out the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s activities page. Learn more: click here (Families)

If you have ideas for activities that students and families can do from home, please contact the Religious Education co-clerks Maria and Cameron: and

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