Monday, December 6, 2021

Winter Solstice Celebration (A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual), on-line

bread and roses spiritual nurture invites you to

the 25th Annual

Winter Solstice Celebration

[a spiral of lit candles in the dark]

A Celebration of the Darkness and the Light
with Songs and Stories

Saturday, 18th December, 2021

7-9 pm GMT

Please note: the Celebration lasts one hour and fifteen minutes; we are allowing time for technical issues as well as for fellowship after!

* A time of quiet reflection in the midst of the hectic festive season
* Songs, stories, candle-lighting, silent meditation, singing, and more
* All ages welcome
* People of all genders welcome


You will receive a copy of the programme after you register.

If you wish to view the programme in advance, please go to this link:

Donation -- sliding scale

We are requesting donations to cover our costs and pay our event organiser for their time.

TICKETS ARE ONE PER ZOOM LOGIN.  You MUST register in order to obtain the link. 

Any funds after expenses we will donate to Stonewall UK and Gendered Intelligence in support of trans lives.

A presentation of A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual

For more information, please see

[two lit candles in the dark, sharing a flame]

Top photo (c) Laura Treadway; used with permission. [a spiral of lit candles in the dark]

Footer photo: (c) Nevil Dilmen, Candles in love, used via Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license. [two lit candles in the dark, sharing a flame]

Sunday, October 31, 2021

A blessed Samhain, and Samhain queries

 Blessed Samhain to you.

This is the Witches' New Year, and the Sabbat where we honor those who have gone before and welcome those who have been newly born.  

Some possible queries for you to think about: 

  • Who are your ancestors, literal, but also spiritual and cultural? 
  • Are there people you've been taught are your ancestors, in any of those senses, who really aren't?  How are you letting them go?    
  • Who has gone before whom do you honor?  (Who has gone before whom you don't honor?) 
  • What endings are you honoring?
  • Who are you mourning? 
  • What new beginnings are you honoring? 
  • Who are you welcoming?  

Three lit tea light candles in the dark, via
Three lit tea light candles in the dark, via

Thursday, September 23, 2021

On-line Winter Solstice Singing starts in early October!

[image: candles in the dark]
[image: candles in the dark]

On-line Winter Solstice Singing starts in early October!  

Sign up here:  

Starting on the first Sunday in October, I'll be hosting on-line song-learning sessions / rehearsals for an on-line Winter Solstice Celebration (a presentation of A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual).

There will be regular sessions from October to December that build on each other, leading up to the Celebration on 18th December.

You are invited to participate in the Winter Solstice Celebration whether you sing or not -- but if you'd like to learn the songs in advance, including harmonies, please sign up!

You also do not need to commit to the Celebration to come learn songs. Maybe you just want to come learn songs and sing! (You can also decide later.)

We will meet once a week. If needed or preferred, I will record rehearsals for those who can't join us live and for anyone who wants to go back over the rehearsal during the week; these will be shared privately. There will also be a variety of learning resources available between sessions for your work on your own.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of experience singing or ability to read music. There are easier pieces and more challenging pieces -- a little something for everyone.

 == Song-learning sessions ==

...will run on Sundays from 3rd October through 12th December, each week building on the week before.

We'll cover the sing-along songs, of course, including harmonies, but also the "performance" songs as well. (If you'd like more information on the specific songs, please go to and click on "Songs.")

* Song-learning sessions will run from 7-9 pm Edinburgh/UK time, and are open to anyone, regardless of geographic location.

* You can check what time that is for you here:

* You don't need a copy of the book or CD in order to participate, although they're helpful to have.  More on that below.  

== Schedule: ==

* Song-learning sessions/rehearsals Sundays, 3rd October - 5th December, 7-9 pm Edinburgh/UK time; not sure yet about 28th November

* Complete read-through and sing-through, Sunday, 12th December, 7-9 pm UK time

* Winter Solstice Celebration, Saturday, 18th December, 7-9 pm Edinburgh/UK time

== Copies of the book and CD ==

You do not need to own a copy of this in advance, but the book contains all the sheet music, and the CD contains full recordings of all 15 pieces, as well as teaching tracks for 8 (as well as the text for the full Celebration), so it's very, very useful.

If you live in Europe and would like a copy for £14 + postage, you can get one from me.

If you live in the US and want a copy, the person to contact is my co-author Julie Forest Middleton; I can put you in touch.

== How do I know without knowing more about the music itself? ==

The songs are a mix of rounds, well-known songs, spirituals, feminist spirituality chants and Pagan chants, and a couple of choral pieces.

There's detailed information about every song at; click on "Songs."

I'm looking forward to singing with people from a wide range of places in the Northern Hemisphere!

== Open to people of all genders ==

Both the choir and the Celebration are open to people of all genders. Transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, and agender people are explicitly welcome.

* The music I have is written mostly in treble clef and is labeled for sopranos and altos, but I've worked with tenors and basses in addition for several years, and these pieces adapt well for lower voices as well.  I teach "Line 1," "Line 2," "Line 3," etc.

* Anyone can sing any part that works for their voice on any song. You might sing one line for one piece, and a different line on another. You can also choose to sing the same line on all the songs if that's what works for you. We have lots of flexibility.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

If you'd like to sign up for the song-learning sessions, please click here:  

Please share widely!

cover of A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual book


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Upcoming events: Winter Solstice Celebration; Winter Solstice singing

I am excited to share a few bits of news!

  • Winter Solstice Celebration (on-line): Save the date!
  • Winter Solstice Singing (on-line song-learning sessions)

Winter Solstice Celebration (on-line): Save the date!  

This year I am hosting a presentation of A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual on-line again.  

Saturday, December 18th

11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern / 7 pm UT / 8 pm Central Europe

Presented by Stasa Morgan-Appel (bread and roses spiritual nurture) and friends

Live Narration, Readings, and Song-Leading; pre-recorded music; available in real-time only

Pre-registration required to obtain links


If you're already on the email list, you'll receive email updates (indeed, you should have received one already); if you'd like to receive updates, you should go to the website for more information and the link:

Winter Solstice Singing (on-line song-learning sessions)

If there's enough interest, I will host on-line song-learning sessions again this year, starting in late September.

  • Sessions will be on Sunday evenings from 7-9 British Time.  (You can check what time that usually is for you here:
  • If enough people are interested but can't attend live, I will make arrangements for video recordings to be available.
  • Other song-learning resources will available outside live sessions (sheet music, audio teaching tracks, audio recordings).  
  • Each week will build on the week before.
  • To sign up or register your interest, please fill out this form:  

These sessions are explicitly welcoming of all women and all other gender minorities, especially transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, and questioning people.


Just a reminder that the websites are: 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Quaker support for banning conversion therapy

At our recent special called Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, South Edinburgh Quakers expressed our support for making conversion therapy for gender and/or sexual orientation illegal in Scotland.  

Attached below please find an email from Rici Marshall-Cross, Clerk of South Edinburgh Local Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), about our recent Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, as well as our minute and our submission to the Scottish government consultation on banning conversion therapy.   


Dear Friends,

The Scottish Government is holding a consultation on a law to ban the provision or promotion of LGBT+ conversion therapy in Scotland. Friends in South Edinburgh Local Meeting encourage other Friends to make a submission, which you can do here: . The deadline for the consultation is 13th August. Submissions do not need to be lengthy. In this email is a bit of background and the minute from South Edinburgh local meeting, including our response, which may help with ideas for the submission. Many of us were not aware that conversion therapy is not already illegal. Stasa Morgan-Appel is happy to talk to anyone who would like to discuss the issue. Her details are in the book of members, or I can pass them on.

Conversion therapy (or ‘cure’ therapy or reparative therapy) refers to any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or to suppress a person’s gender identity. It is based on an assumption that being lesbian, gay, bi or trans is a mental illness that can be ‘cured’. These therapies are both unethical and harmful. (definition taken from Stonewall

In 2018 the UK Government committed to ban conversion therapy in the UK, and this commitment was repeated in the 2021 Queen's Speech. However, the process is facing further delays at the UK level. The SNP committed in their 2021 manifesto that if the UK government failed to ban conversion therapy, then it would seek to ban it in Scotland. The consultation we are responding to is part of the Scottish process to ban LGBT+ conversion therapy.

You can find more information here:
We hope that this information will be useful for Friends.  

In Friendship,
Rici and Stasa


South Edinburgh Local Meeting 
Meeting for Worship for Business 25th July 2021 
Minutes of Special Meeting 

21.7.1. Submission to Government consultation on banning LGBT+ conversion therapy

Stasa Morgan-Appel has brought to our attention the Scottish Government consultation on banning LGBT+ conversion therapy. The closing date for submissions is 13th August.

We were reminded in our worship this morning by the words of Quaker Faith and Practice 22.16 that it is fear and vulnerability that often makes people afraid of those who are different. We affirm our belief that sexual orientation and gender identity are sacred gifts.

We agree that we would like to make a submission as a meeting. We affirm the draft wording prepared by Stasa, and thank her for preparing this. We ask Stasa and our clerk, Rici Marshall Cross to submit this on the government portal on our behalf

We ask Rici to send information to Sue Proudlove to send out to all Friends in Scotland to encourage them to make submissions to the consultation. We agree to discuss this topic with our MSP, Daniel Johnson when we meet him in August.

Wording of our submission

Section 1 - What are your views on the action called for in the petition?

South Edinburgh Local Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, in keeping with our Quaker Testimony of  Equality,  affirms our continued leading as a faith community to treat people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual in the same way as we treat people who are heterosexual or cisgender, and to advocate for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people to be treated equally in society.  

We therefore support a ban on all practices that seek to change a person's sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

In 2009, Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) stated plainly that as a faith community, “...we are being led to treat same sex committed relationships in the same way as opposite sex marriages.”   In 2013, South Edinburgh Local Meeting responded to the Scottish Government consultation on same-sex marriage in support of a change to the law in order to treat same-sex couples equally to opposite-sex couples.  Also in 2013, Southeast Scotland Area Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) joined other faith bodies in Scotland to support changing marriage law in Scotland to include same-sex couples, eventually leading to our support for the Marriage and Civil Partnership Act (Scotland) 2014.         

We believe that both sexual orientation and gender identity are sacred gifts.  We are deeply troubled by the harm caused to people who have been subjected to conversion therapy for gender identity and/or sexual orientation.  We would oppose efforts to change heterosexual people's sexual orientation; we would oppose efforts to change cisgender people's gender, ie, the gender identity of people whose gender identify is consistent with the gender they were assigned at birth.  We oppose efforts to change the sexual orientation and/or gender of LGBTQIA+ people.    

We support the following action items:  

  • A comprehensive ban on conversion therapy, accompanied by support to survivors and communities impacted by these practices, as both necessary and urgent.
  • That the ban include all forms of conversion therapy on the basis of sexuality or gender identity without exception.
  • The Scottish Government should act immediately to ban conversion therapy, without waiting for Westminster, to prevent further harm.

Section 2 - What action would you like to see the Scottish Government take?

  • The implementation of a criminal ban on the promotion, provision, causing of a person to undergo conversion therapy or removing a person from the UK to undergo conversion therapy abroad.
  • Training on safeguarding and awareness in the public health service and private healthcare providers, and the establishment of an anonymous reporting system.
  • Outreach and engagement with religious and community leaders including training to explain the impact of certain teachings on LGBTQIA+ members of their communities.
  • Outreach and support for survivors and communities affected by conversion therapy.

Section 3 - Do you have suggestions on how the Committee can take forward its consideration of the petition (e.g. who should it talk to and hear from)?

  • Survivors and those who have come to harm through conversion therapy should be at the forefront of any decision making.
  • LGBTQIA+ rights groups and mental health experts should also be invited to provide evidence and inform the committee on the best approach to supporting survivors.
  • Legal expertise from those with experience in implementing Scottish law in similar areas, for example in domestic abuse, hate crime, and coercive control legislation should be considered to examine the possible application and impact of a criminal ban.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Poetry for Brigid: On-line song-learning workshop

[image: a tree on a plain against a night sky bright with stars and light. source*:]

The Sabbat mid-way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox is called by various names in different traditions: Brigid.  Candlemas.  Imbolc or Imbolg.

Brigid is a triple Goddess of smithcraft, healing, and poetry.

In this song-learning workshop on 30th January, we'll learn a song inspired by two poems by Rumi.

Join us!  Registration required.

More info:

Register here:

Saturday, 30th January

On-Line Song-Learning Workshop: Come As You Are

We'll learn a piece together in five simple parts, then sing it together.

All genders welcome; I use gender-neutral voice terminology. You do not need to read music, but I usually have sheet music available if that is helpful for you. Come as you are!

Saturday, 30th January

7-9 pm UT/GMT (11 am-1 pm Pacific, 2-4 pm Eastern, 8-10 pm Central European)

Sliding scale

* GBP: £5 suggested fee; £1 for low earners or unpaid folks; £10-20 if you'd like to help someone else attend

* Euros: €6 suggested fee; €1 for low earners or unpaid folks; €11-23 if you'd like to help someone else attend

* USD: $7 suggested fee; $1 for low earners or unpaid folks; $14-27 if you'd like to help someone else attend

Register here:


* image source: