Dear Friends: A history of John Woolman School is in the works. Catherine Lenox, who grew up in the Santa Cruz Meeting and attended John Woolman School in the ‘60s, is the primary author. To ensure there will be sufficient funds to complete the project, Catherine asked me to set up a campaign to pre-sell copies of the book and seek sponsorships. All funds raised beyond expenses will be donated to John Woolman School / Sierra Friends Center. We will use Kickstarter.com for the... Read more.
Dear Friends: We gaped as almost 100 congressmen, state attorneys general, and governors signed an amicus brief to a futile lawsuit in Texas, attempting to monkey wrench the recent presidential election. A recent radio piece on NPR, “A Conspiracy of Silence” (Hidden Brain, 12/6/2020), put forth an explanation: Being social creatures, every one of us has to “go along to get along” at times.
To say what is hard, to stick out, requires a measure of safety for most of us. People... Read more.
Dear Friends: Since becoming a Quaker, I have realized the importance and urgency of having peace. We have been programmed to believe that violence is the only way to get someone to stop aggression. But in order to have true peace, we must stop responding in kind. Violence only leads to more violence, and if you go to war to fight for peace, you might win the war, but you’ve only subdued the “enemy.” There will still be thoughts of revenge, so that’s not really peace. (Consider how the... Read more.
Dear Editor: In the Community Forum [“letters” section] of your Nov/Dec 2020 issue, the book White Like Me is mentioned. That book is by White author Tim Wise. White author Debby Irving’s book is called Waking Up White.
– Karie Firoozmand, Stony Run Meeting, Baltimore, MD
Dear Friends: Two articles in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue express concerns about policing and both would benefit from tempering in their respective meeting communities. “Get Out of the Way” alleges unfair discrimination by the author’s meeting, in part based on its reticence to display a “Black Lives Matter” poster and a “defund the police” banner while giving support to other social justice causes. Similarly, the author of “Abolish the Police” states, “As Friends, our Society has a long history... Read more.
Dear Editor: Thank you for this latest issue of Western Friend, “On Rules.” I’m only half-way through, but I’ve appreciated every article. Eleanor Dart and David Tucker gave good viewpoints on their topics. And then I got to Valerie Ireland and Lori Patterson, and I was truly moved to tears, which is really unusual for me. I don’t know if you will get some flak for Lori’s article, but it was a really good push for me. I have a lot to learn, and these present-day Quakers, sharing their... Read more.