Articles

Author(s): Stanford J. Searl Jr.
Mary Dyer and Colonel Shaw on Boston Common

Augustus Saint-Gaudens memorial to Robert Gould Shaw, photo by the U.S. National Park ServiceThe martial music plays, bronzed alive
only the invisible songs survive
... Read more.

Author(s): Julie Peyton

Trees in fog

Dear Western Friends: We held a quarterly gathering of our new Yearly Meeting on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at Eugene Friends Church in Eugene, Oregon. One Friend accepted the task of taking photographs, and these have been showing up on our Facebook page over the past few days. The photographer caught Friends... Read more.

Author(s): Sally Kingsland

In the five years I have lived in California, the deepest public worship experiences I have had, without a doubt, have been during my two visits to the Soledad Worship Group. This group is the “best-kept secret” in Pacific Yearly Meeting. There you find Friends with faith strong enough to humble you on the spot. I believe the worship in Soledad is especially deep both because many of its members are committed to personal transformation and because their circumstances require them to hand... Read more.

Author(s): Christine Betz Hall

A friend of mine bicycled 2,700 miles this summer along the Continental Divide. In an article she wrote for the Fairbanks Daily News Miner (8/12/2018), she said, “When doing endurance races, I have a question I ask myself when I want to quit: ‘Am I in danger or just uncomfortable?’ If I’m just uncomfortable, I tell myself to keep going. Things will get better. And they usually do.”

My friend’s observation about the positive role that discomfort can play in... Read more.

Author(s): Hellen Lunkuse Tanyinga

Dear Friends: I am Hellen Lunkuse Tanyinga, a member of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting in eastern Uganda. We are a new Friends meeting, inspired by David Albert of the Olympia Friends Meeting. We have worked with David for many years and have felt a lot of love and admiration for him, so we started asking him questions about what it means to be a Quaker. He answers fire pumped us, and in February 2018, sixteen of us met under a mango tree in Kamuli and resolved to start a Friends meeting... Read more.

Author(s): Steve Finger, Allen Winchester

A year ago, when the phrase #MeToo went viral, it created an opening for women to talk about negative patriarchal experiences that they have been forced to put up with for years, and it drew widespread attention to sexual assault and harassment of women in all walks of life. #MeToo actually began in 2006, when social activist and community organizer Tarana Burke created the phrase “Me Too” on the Myspace social network. Her goal was to promote “empowerment through empathy” among women of... Read more.

Author(s): Rick Ells

In the mid-1730s, John Bartram, a Quaker living near Philadelphia, wrote the following in his journal: “One day I was very busy in holding my plough (for thee seest I am but a ploughman), and being weary, I ran under the shade of a tree to repose myself. I cast my eyes on a daisy; I plucked it mechanically, and viewed it with more curiosity than common country farmers are wont to do, and observed therein very many distinct parts, some perpendicular, some horizontal. What a shame, said my... Read more.

Author(s): Amy Cooke

When our lives and organizations go according to plan, decisions flow naturally from our commitments. We experience little controversy. Our friends and families don’t question the direction we are headed. We don’t spend our days agonizing over choices.

Then, something happens. The circumstances of our lives are thrown into the air, and we are set adrift. It may be the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, or a health crisis. Suddenly, we have to let go of the familiar. We feel... Read more.

Author(s): Gillian Burlingham

“There’s nothing wrong with dating a black guy,” blonde-haired, blue-eyed Julie Boyle said to her friends in our seventh-grade classroom. “My cousin is dating one, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Julie was the most popular girl in our grade. Her opinion carried weight. When, during homeroom, the girls’ conversation had turned to race, my mind froze.  But Julie’s words released me. I could breathe again.

That was the first time I felt how meaningful other people’s words... Read more.

Author(s): David Zarembka

I was living in the Mua Hills of Kenya in 1969, an area where the Kamba tribe is predominant. One day I was walking down the road and noticed a group of Maasai – the Kenyan tribe beloved by tourists – at the home of a local villager. Kamba and Maasai cultures are quite different from each other. The Kamba care for small farms – growing corn, beans, bananas, and other crops, along with a few cows, goats, sheep, and chickens. The Maasai are a pastoral people who traditionally raised cattle and... Read more.

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