Family Differences


Dear Editor: I applaud Pablo Stanfield for his excellent article, “Those Other Friends.” My first experience with a Friends World Committee on Consultation conference was back in the 70s, in Wichita, Kansas. It was then that I realized Quakers are good about working towards peace outside our family of “Friends,” but we are not very good at working towards peace within our own family. Quaker Evangelicals threatened to boycott that conference if an LGBT presence was allowed. Finally, we found a compromise and were allowed to hold an LGBT discussion, as long as it was not on the campus of Friends University.

A lot has changed in forty years, but a lot has stayed the same. In my town, the Sacramento Friends Meeting and the Sacramento Friends Church are less than fifteen minutes away from each other and miles apart theologically We come together on issues we can work on, and then, like siblings, we accept the fact that some of our differences may never get resolved. Even so, I believe in miracles. Eventually, the Spirit will help Friends see the Light that “liberty and justice for all” means just that.

– Gary Miller, Sacramento Friends Meeting (PYM)

[A longer version of this letter is posted in Western Friend’s online library at]

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